RED CLOVER

Trifolium pratense  

Part/s Used: Blossoms
Energetics: Neutral, sweet, salty, astringent (mild)
Actions:  Nutritive, lymphatic, alterative, expectorant, anti-spasmodic 
Constituents:  Phenolic glycosides, flavonoids, coumarins
Nutritional Properties: High amounts of vitamin A (beta-carotene), Vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, calcium, chromium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, tin.  Moderate amounts of protein, pantothenic acid, cobalamin (B12), biotin, choline, inositol, amino acids, cobalt, copper, iron, selenium, silicon, sodium, zinc.

Medicinal Preparations:

Tincture: Fresh 1:4  95%  Dry (ratio & % alcohol) 1:5 60%
Drops: 10-60   Times a day: up to 4x

Glycerite: Fresh 1:5   Glycerin: 40%  Alcohol: 30% Water: 30%
Drops: 10-30  Times a day: up to 3x

Tea: Hot infusion  Ounces: 8-12   Times a day: 3-4x

Habitat:

Red clover is a small perennial and common roadside flower that has naturalized throughout the world. They blossom in the early summer when the weather is still cool and then again in the early fall.  Red clover blossoms are fragrant and dense and range in color from red to purple.  It is widely  cultivated by farmers as a crop cover to fix nitrogen and rejuvenate the soil.

Medicinal Uses:

Red clover is primarily a nutritive herb with a sweet taste and gentle nature.  Perfect for children. This little wildflower is one of nature’s best vitamin and mineral supplements and supports the entire body.

Red clover can be used as a long term, subtle lymphatic tonic.  It has a special affinity towards specific glands around the neck, under the ears and to the back of the neck but can be used for treating any lymphatic congestion.  Especially lumps and swelling during PMS.  Long term use can also prevent issues like recurring ovarian cysts and fibroid tumors. 

RIch in flavonoids and isoflavones that produce estrogen like effects in the body and is effective herb to use for menopausal women.  It has a beneficial effect on menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings and night sweats. 

Red clover is a mild antitussive and a remedy for asthma, dry cough and whooping cough and effectively restores health and vitality following respiratory infections.

When you decide to use red clover as a herbal remedy, it usually needs to be taken consistently for about 6 weeks.

Harvesting:

Red clover is an excellent remedy for the herbal forager. Under the sun, in full bloom, they can be plucked right off and eaten fresh, or dried for tea.  The blossoms are dense and can be challenging to fully dry, so it is recommended to dry in a well ventilated area out of direct sun.  Add the fresh blossoms to salads and soups.

External: 

Red clover can be used externally by fomentation or poultice for respiratory infections and skin conditions.  

Contraindications:

Do not use with blood thinning medications. Avoid during pregnancy or hormone sensitive conditions.  Do not use red clover 2-4 weeks before and after surgery.  Contraindicated with bleeding disorders and heavy menstruation. 

 

Sources:
Medicinal Herbs by Rosemary Gladstar
Northwest School for Botanical Studies by Christa Sinadinos
Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West by Michael Moore
The Complete Herbs Sourcebook by David Hoffman 
The Book of Herbal Wisdom by Matthew Wood