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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

2010 Back to Basics: RED CLOVER Presentation Top Ten Herbals for Wellness

Red Clover
                                                                      (Trifolium praetens) 
Also known as; Meadow Honeysuckle, Meadow Trefoil, Purple Clover, Trefoil, Wild Clover, Cleaver Grass, Marl Grass, Cow Grass.

I pick Red Clover blossoms every year. On our homestead, we have one particular pasture that grows Red Clover in abundance. I get to harvest as much as I want, just before we begin our haying (cutting and baling for our cattle, horses and goats). I bring my cloth bags for harvesting, bring all the dogs with me for a walk and enjoy a few hours of wild crafting. I add this to most of my tea blends as it is an excellent blood purifier and overall health tonic.

Description: A perennial herb, with origins believed to be in Britain where it is abundant. Found world wide and naturalized in nearly every country, even the Arctic Circle and high up into mountains.
Cultivation and wild crafted it is an easily grown, from seed or root cuttings and requires little attention. The long root is rhizome, and sends out runners, producing several stems 1 to 2 feet high, slightly hairy; leaves ternate, leaflets ovate, slightly toothed, ending in long point often lighter colored V shape in center, flowers red to purple, fragrant, in dense terminal ovoid or round heads. Blooming from April thought out the summer months.
Constituents: Contains phenolic glycosides, flavonoids (Vitamin P and citrin), salicylates (known for its ability to ease aches and pains and reduce fevers. These medicinal properties, particularly fever relief, have been known since ancient times, and it was used as an anti-inflammatory drug. Some researchers believe that salicylate is an essential micronutrient in the human diet, potentially qualifying as a vitamin, namely Vitamin S), coumarins (sweet-smelling plant substance), cyanogenic glycosides, mineral acids.
A viable source of many nutrients including high protein content, calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C. It is also considered to be one of the richest sources of isoflavones (water-soluble chemicals that act like estrogens and are found in many plants). Contains genestine which is known to inhibit cancer cell growth.

Wellness Properties and Modalities: Healing properties of the flower and young leaf alleviates the symptoms of female menopause, promotes general prostrate health, normal urinary tract function in males, support for normal cholesterol levels, lymph flow and supports the immune system function. It is suggested to provide a mild sedative effect that can relax and relieve muscle cramping and nervousness.
Known as a blood purifier, useful for improving the overall health of the liver. Acts as a digestive aid and stimulator of digestive fluids and bile production. It is a good expectorant and relieves bronchitis and coughs.

Crushed Fresh Flowers: applied to insect bites and stings.                                                        
Tincture: Taken internally for eczema and psoriasis.
Compress: Used for arthritic pains and gout.                                                                                      
Ointment: Applied topically to lymphatic swellings.
Eyewash: 5 to 10 drops tincture in 20 ml water (a full eyecup) or a well-strained infusion is used for conjunctivitis.
Douche: Infusion is used for vaginal itching.
Syrup: A syrup made from the infusion is used for stubborn, dry coughs.
Flower Essence: Self-awareness: Provides true self-awareness so that the individual can think in a calm and balanced way, and act from his/her concept of reality without the undue influence of the group consciousness. Used for centered awareness and clearing the heart chakra when it is in conflict. It allows new energies to be involved when overcoming a crisis and brings on new opportunities.                                                                                                                                    
Cautions: Use with caution if on anti-coagulants and anti-platelet agents or if using contraceptives. Do not use before or after surgeries because of blood thinning properties.

Culinary Uses: Harvest edible leaves for soup or salad before flowers fully bloom. The sprouted seeds are edible in salads and have a crisp texture and robust flavor. 

Folklore: In the middle ages this herb was considered a charm and worn to ward off evil spirits and witches. The four leaf plant was said to have even more power against evil, a five leaf plant was said to be worn by witches to give them evil powers, and a two leaf plant would give a maiden the power to see her future lover.

1 comment:

Julie said...

We just pick it when it's young and eat it right from the plant. Grew up doing that. Daddy use to say call me a cow when I'd eat the weeds. :o)