Red Clover

(Trifolium pratense)

I think of it as the herb of fertility, rising from the earth in glorious shaped leaves with a bird in flight printed on each leaf. When in bloom many little bright pink trumpet like flowers erupt in a glorious pom pom that reminds me of ovaries bursting into sweet life on top of the green stems.

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Most often seen in fields, parks, meadows and along roadsides, its bright pink blossoms lasting from mid-summer into the the misty autumn days of early October. Bees, butterflies and wonderful bumble bees love to be around its blooms drinking in its sweet nectar.

Clover is a member of the Pea family and has three leaves. As with many three leaved plants in pre Christian times Clover was seen as sacred; the leaves representing the triple goddess aspect (mother, maiden, crone) and once christianity took hold the meaning was then changed to represent the holy trinity.

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Clover is often grown to fix nitrogen in the soil and feed cattle, keeping both the earth, its animals and creatures healthy wherever it grows.

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Red Clover as food and medicine

Food-

Many an adult has told me how as a child they would suck the beautiful sweet flowers often called little clover trumpets or just delicately hold them on their tongue to get a little drop of sweet flavour from them.

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The blossoms when eaten raw have a gentle and sweet taste that can sometimes be a little beany too. They are lovely in salads as are the leaves, when cooked the flowers often work well with rice, but I find they lose their flavour dramatically when cooked and so work when paired with more flavourful plants and herbs. I find that the flavour and sweetness does not last when preserving or drying.

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I have seen many a herbal plant person smoke Red Clover mixed with Coltsfoot but I haven’t looked into what it is good for but I still hold the memory of old vervain sitting amongst the hedgerow smoking sweet herbs and telling tales of her wild youth and medicine making.

Eating Red Clover will bring you a rich source of many wonderful nutrients such as calcium, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, thiamine, potassium, and vitamin C. It is also considered to be one of the most potent sources of isoflavones (water-soluble chemicals that act like estrogens and are found in many plants).

 

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Medicine-

Red Clover is a nourishing blood purifying herb that when used as a strong infusion can bring back a glow to the skin and feelings of improved and enlivened well being.

 

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One of the most sweet and good working fertility-increasing plants is red clover. Working as a good ally for women through all aspects of the female journey. For those who are wanting to conceive, for the menstrual / moon time cycle, or who are going through peri menopause and the menopause.

Susun Weed successfully uses Red Clover to treat unexplained infertility in women, women and women with an unbalanced cycle. She recommends using 29 grams of dried Red Clover blossoms put into a jar with a lid. Cover with boiling water, put a lid onto the jar and leave for 4h-8hrs (overnight is a good idea) strain and drink throughout the day. This works well mixed with Spearmint to lighten the flavour. Because Red Clover works in a food based way as a nourishing herb it can take many months to start to notice the difference and it is used as a daily tonic.  Red Clover is best used for 3-6 months when preparing for pregnancy and to help detoxify the body of environmental pollutants before conception.

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During the menopause Red Clover decreases uncomfortable symptoms, keeping women flexible and juicy while decreasing feelings of depression and anxiety, it slows down bone loss and it even boosts bone mineral density while often bringing a welcome reduction in hot flashes.

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Energetically it is sweet, salty and cool with alterative (likely or able to produce alteration), an antispasmodic (used to relieve spasm of involuntary muscle) and an expectorant (a medicine which promotes the secretion of sputum by the air passages, used to treat coughs)

As an expectorant and antispasmodic, red clover is used to calm fevers, sooth inflamed lungs, and works well with coughs as it has a mild sedative quality too. For this I like to make a tea which you can add raw honey to.

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Red Clover can be used to help remove waste products from the body due its blood purifying qualities and works well with eczema, psoriasis and other skin irritations especially when mixed with Nettle both internally and externally.

This is a wonderful pom pom ovary looking bee attracting plant that I would encourage you to get to know, its firework pink trumpet flowers are a joy to humans and bees, looking beautiful in the lawn, in the teapot and in the body.

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IMPORTANT NOTES:  Some concern over mixing with hormone treatments.

 

*CREDIT photographs by Jon Howell- Website coming soon, Contact joneh@hotmail.com

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