Trifolium spp. – Red Clover
Red Clover – Trifolium spp.
Trifolium = tri-fo-lee-um, from Latin tri (three) and folium (leaf);
Identification: Clover is so familiar that one hardly needs a description of it. Suffice it to say that clover is found in waste places, escaping cultivation. It is often found in lawns, roadsides and disturbed soil.
Preparation & Uses: Clover is one of those plants that can be eaten in its entirety. It should be sparingly eaten when raw because it can cause bloating (though completely harmless) when cooked. The bloating effect is also decreased if the plant is first soaked in salt water. Clover is high in protein, making it a nutritious meal. As a tea, clover is excellent, especially the dried flowers and seeds.
Red Clover flowers are alterative, sedative, deobstructent, diuretic and expectorant. For stimulating the liver and gall bladder, an infusion of clover flowers is often used. Clover can also help in cases of constipation, sluggish appetite, skin problems, whooping cough, bronchial and renal conditions. A strong tea of clover flowers can assist as a gargle for sore mouths and throats, acting as a mild sedative. This tea can also be used both as a rectal and vaginal injection.
Externally, clover tea is used as a fomentation for rheumatic or gout pain and to soften hard milk glands. As a poultice, it is useful for athlete’s foot and other skin problems. A good salve can be made from clover flowers for treating external cancer and indolent ulcers.
The recommended dosage is to take 2 tsp. of the flowers and steep them in ½ cup of water for 10 minutes. Take 1 to 1 ½ cups a day, in mouthful doses at any one time. The tincture dosage is 5-30 drops in water.