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

Monday, June 17, 2013

White Clover

Trifolium repens
NL: Witte klaver / F: Trèfle blanc

White clover is found growing abundantly in various types of environments and soils. In urban areas it can be spotted all over grass fields as it is widely used to improve lawn quality. It is one of the most popular, easy-to-use green manure plants, helping to fix nitrogen into the soil, strengthening the health of the surrounding plants. It is particularly great to be sown together with crops from the grass family, such as rye, barley, rice... Permaculture master Masanobu Fukuoka used it widely in his highly productive rice fields. 

White clover is also an amazing “living mulch”. It makes a great soil cover, keeping it moist, helping to restore soil fertility and preventing erosion. It is thus handy to have it grown for instance on the sides of raised garden beds or as cover for pathways. It also attracts bees and other pollinators.

It is a highly nutritious edible, particularly the young leaves, which can be eaten raw or prepared as spinach.  The young leaves should be harvested before the plant comes into flower. Flowers and seed pods are also edible and can be dried in a shadowy, ventilated place and kept for further use. The flowers can be used in tea infusions and the dried seeds can be powdered and used to enrich the mineral and protein content of cooked meals. Do not eat the seeds raw.

In the history of herbal medicine white clover has been used as a general tonic, to prevent and treat rheumatic conditions, colds, coughs and also as depurative. The flowers can be prepared as infusion to be used in eye lotions or genital wash to treat leucorrhoea. 

Here is an interesting article on why to grow white clover in the garden:

And here is a short video with a few tips on how to eat it and use it medicinally:

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