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Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) and its Uses

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Trifolium pratense
Trifolium pratense

This common plant is easy to spot.  I recently gathered a nice abundance of the fragrant purply-pink blossoms, and they’re drying in a basket outdoors in the shade right now.  Also in the basket is some yarrow, so it’s quite an intoxicating scent!  So glad I can capture some for later.

Found: Meadow lands, open fields, roadsides, sunny areas throughout Europe and North America.

Identifying: Divided leaves with 3 oval leaflets, which are fine-toothed. A “V” mark on each leaflet.  Rounded flowerheads, ranging in color from pink to red.

Parts Used: Flowerheads which are gathered between May and September.

Medicinal Use: Immune system stimulator.  Helps body remove toxic waste products.  Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, athlete’s foot, sores, burns, ulcers; especially good for children’s eczema.  Mild expectorant; good for dry coughs, laryngitis, bronchitis, asthma, pertussis; especially beneficial for whooping cough.  Red clover used to be smoked as a cigarette for asthma relief.  Many herbalists use it to assist the body in fighting cancer, and in cancer prevention.  Mild antispasmodic, sedative, expectorant, and blood thinner.  Also good for swollen and encysted glands, mastitis, mumps. Works well for insomnia, especially in children.

Preparation: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 3 tsp. dried herb and leave to infuse for 10 – 15 minutes.  Should be drunk 3x daily.  

Allergic Reactions/Warnings: Should not be used by pregnant women and those using blood thinners.

Note: These posts are not meant to be a medical guide but an overview.  Consulting an herbal specialist is always recommended.