Red Clover - Trifolium pratense, t. wormskioldii

Why Get to know this plant:

Clover is a tonifying herb that is nutritive, blood purifying and especially helpful as a woman’s herb. Red clover contains well researched chemical constituents such as genistein and diadzein and other isoflavones that are used to treat menopausal women since they act like estrogen in the body and can help with hot flashes, depression, irritability, mood swings and osteoporosis. As well as the phytoestrogens the plant contains many nutrients calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium. Red clover not only regulates menstrual cycle with hormone balancing but also can be used for fertility issues to promote fertility and a heathy reproductive tract.

Red clover is powerful yet it is gentle enough for use in children’s health to fight colds and flus. Topically it can help clear up inflammatory skin conditions like acne, rashes, psoriasis and eczema. Bonus: it grows everywhere.

Where This Plant grows:

This legume is a common plant in many habitats, ranging from forest edges to open fields. It grows wild all over the world and as a legume it helps to fix it’s own nitrogen in nutrient poor soil. Remember when harvesting to avoid areas of car traffic or dog pedestrian spots where it could have been soiled. Best to find a location that is in the woods or better yet your own yard.

 

 

 

 

How to Identify red clover:

Short lived perennial: stems from flat to 80 cm high, can be erect or spreading across ground. Three leaflets bundled per leaf, and leaflets are oval shaped, 2-5 cm long. Clusters of flowers form a globe or sphere shape, flowers individually are 1.2-2mm long and are red-pink-whitish. As a child you likely picked the little flowers from the red clover flower head and sucked out the honey-sweet nectar for a treat.

 

Parts Used:

Flower and top most leaves are used. Usually as a tea or made into an ointment to use topically.

However, studies have shown that the highest amount of chemical constituents are present in the spouted seed. Sprouting seeds is easy and makes the medicine readily available, fresh and edible year round.

 

Medicinal Actions:

Alterative, antioxidant, antispasmotic, astringent, bitter, cholagogue, diuretic, expectorant, galactogogue, nervine, sedative, tonic.

 

Caution: 

Red Clover also contains coumarin a natural blood thinner so it is not recommended for people who are taking blood thinners.

 

Constituents in the plant:

Isoflavones: (biochanin, diadzein, formononetin, genistwin, pratensein, trifoside)

Flavonoids (pectolinarin, kaempferol); volatile oil (furfural); clovamids; coumarins (coumestrol, medicagol, coumarin)

Nutritional Profile:

Vitamins A, C, E, K and B12 and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, chromium, iron, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, trace amounts of zinc and small amounts of protein.

 

References:

Gray, Beverly (2011) The Boreal Herbal: Wild Food and Medicine Plants of the North. Aroma Borealis Press. Yukon Canada. p. 67-72

Hoffman, D. (2003) Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Healing Arts Press. Rochester, Vermont, USA. p 690

Keane, Kahlee (2015) The Standing People: Wild Medicinal Plants of British Columbia. Save our Species. Canada. p 80-81