Red Clover

red clover

Botanical Name: Trifolium Pratense | Family: Leguminosae

Common name(s): Red Clover, Trebol (Spanish)

GROWING

  • Perennial, herbaceous | Zones 5-9 | Full sun, partial shade | 12-15″ | blooms May – September
  • No special soil needs
  • Stratify seeds for several weeks and sow directly outdoors (I have planted seed directly without stratifying). Space a foot apart.

HARVESTING

Harvest just the blossoms, carefully, by hand. Pick in the early morning when the dew is still on the blossoms. Handle gently, they bruise easily.

PREPARATION / DOSAGE

Infusion: 1-3 tsp dried clover flower to one cup boiling water, infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3x/day

Tincture: take 2-6ml of the tincture 3x/day

Combinations: Yellow Dock and Nettles for skin problems

MEDICAL

Constituents: Phenolic glycosides, flavonoids, coumarins, cyanogenic glycosides, resins, minerals, vitamins

Actions: alterative, antispasmodic, blood thinner, expectorant

Uses: Childhood eczema and other skin problems. Completely safe and most useful for children, but can also be used by adults. Good in treatment of coughs, especially whooping cough. High in vitamins and minerals, so it can be incorporated into the diet, eaten fresh or dried for tea. Also useful in treating menopausal symptoms and preventing excess estrogen from accumulating (which is thought to be one of the causes of cancer).

Cautions: because of its blood-thinning properties, it should not be used by those taking heart medication or 2 weeks before or after surgery.

SOURCES 

  • Homegrown Herbs, Tammi Hartung
  • Holistic Herbal, David Hoffman
  • The Way of Herbs, Michael Tierra
  • Medicinal Herbs, Rosemary Gladstar

Every time I see red clover in my garden, I leave it. It’s a nitrogen fixer, and draws nitrogen into the soil to benefit the other plants. Before I knew that, I just left it because I loved it as a plant. It’s pretty, it reminds me of my childhood, and it brings in pollinators – bees love clover flowers! We put in an orchard this year and planted a field of white and red clover!

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