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A Note on this Materia Medica

Each botanical write up is compiled from my notes taken at various herbal schools, favorite herb books and personal experience. This information is for general health and information only. Nothing contained in the herbal monographs should be taken as medical advice. People passionate about living a holistic lifestyle and the uses of plant medicine will find something of interest here. This project is dedicated to my love of herbs and a place where I can share with others who feel the same. This is a work in progress and as I go through my notes and continue my studies I will be updating and adding new herbs. Thank you for being here!

-Colleen, Head Witch

RED CLOVER

Trifolium pratense  

Common Names: Red Clover, Cow Clover, Meadow Clover, Sweet Kitty Clover, Bee Bread
Family: Fabaceae
Part/s Used: Blossoms
Energetics: Neutral
Taste: 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.
Planet: Mercury
Element: Air

Medicinal Preparations:

Tincture (ratio & % alcohol): Fresh: 1:4  95%  Dry: 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 and Botanical Description: 

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.  

Recommended Products:

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:

  • Gladstar, Rosemary. Medicinal Herbs: A beginners guide. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing; 2012
  • Hoffman, David. The Complete Herbs Sourcebook. New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing Inc; 2016
  • Moore, Michael. Medicinal Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Santa Fe, NM: Museum of New Mexico Press; 1993
  • Sinadinos, Christa. The Essential Guide to Western Botanical Medicine. Fieldbrook, CA; 2020
  • Sinadinos, Christa. Northwest School for Botanical Studies Course. Lecture Notes; 2014
  • Wood, Matthew. The Book of Herbal Wisdom. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books; 1997

Disclosure: This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.