Healing Weeds - Getting a closer contact with the healing world of herbs and wild plants.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Red Clover

Trifolium pratense
NL: Rode klaver - F: Trèfle des prés

Clovers are known as great soil improvers and can also help with eliminating unwanted weed species. They loosen subsoil, oxygenating it with their roots, naturally fix nitrogen in the soil up to 60-70kg per acre and are also great bee-friends.

As food they should be consumed moderately in their raw form due to their high content in oxalic acid. Young leaves and young flowering heads are eaten raw in salads, or cooked like spinach. The seeds can be sprouted and used in salads or cooked.

Do not eat the seeds raw, as they contain trypsin inhibitors, meaning that it can interfere with certain enzymes that help in the digestion of proteins. Those substances are normally destroyed if the seed is sprouted first. Flowers and seed pods can be dried to make a delicate herbal tea, or can be ground into a powder and used as a flour to enrich meals. Root is also edible, cooked.

Red Clover is traditionally known for its powerful cleansing properties. It is thus commonly used to treat skin conditions (especially eczema and psoriasis) as well as to relieve conditions of the lymphatic system and chronic degenerative diseases, normally in combination with other purifying herbs, such as burdock or nettle. It is a folk remedy for breast cancer and some claim it is also beneficial in the treatment of menopausal complaints.

The flowering heads are also antispasmodic, expectorant, sedative and tonic. Poultices of the herb have been used as local applications to cancerous growths.

Make sure to harvest only healthy-looking plants and avoid those with any strange or diseased appearance.

* More on Red Clover:

Red Clover - LearningHerbs.com

Clover: Edible and Medicinal Uses by Mayeux Ministries

Red Clover in the Garden, from Green Path Herb School

3 Easy ways to get the benefits of Red Clover

How to make Red Clover lemonade

Clover - Weekly Weeder

Red Clover: an edible plant that packs a punch

Red Clover - Survival Plants Memory Course

* Extensive article in Dutch / Uitgebreid artikel in het Nederlands: 

Liber vitae - Rode Klaver (Trifolium Pratense L.)

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