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Red Clover is a short-lived perennial herb commonly growing in meadows, parks and fields, during the late Spring. It has three lobed leaves and purplish-pink tubular flowers. Other names of Red Clover include wild Clover, Meadow Trefoil, Bee Bread, Cow Grass, Purple Clover and Three-Leafed Grass. The name “trifolium” derives form the Latin words “tres,” meaning three and “folium” meaning leaf. Red Clover is native to Europe, Western Asia and northwest Africa, but has been naturalised and cultivated in many other regions around the world.
Red Clover is a flowering plant in the pea family or Legume family, which also includes Astragalus, Rooibos and Goats Rue. Druids believed that Red Clover could ward off evil spells and witches, while Medieval Christians believed that the three lobbed leaves were associated with the trinity and the four lobbed leaves as a symbol of the cross. In Ancient China, the plant was used as incense and burned at alters.
Red Clover is a source of many nutrients including calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine and vitamin C. Red Clover is a rich source of isoflavones, which are chemicals that act like estrogens and are found in many plants.
In Europe, Red Clover was grown primarily for its value as a nutritionally dense food for livestock. It was not until it became naturalized in North America that the Native Americans discovered its medicinal properties; then it was recognized as a medicine in Europe.
Indigenous people of North America ate the leaves as food, and the leaves and flowers were used as a tea for medicine for whooping cough, a general cancer remedy (more specifically stomach cancer), menopause and as blood purifying medicine. As an eyewash for sore eyes and a salve made from the flowers for burns.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, an infusion was made of Red eyewash flowers as an expectorant for lung conditions, painful urination, chronic ulcers and to cleanse and nourish the blood and tonify yin. Russians used Red eyewash as folk medicine to treat bronchial asthma and in Europe Red eyewash was used as folk medicine to aid in liver and digestive ailments.
The taste and energetics of Red Clover are slightly sweet, bland, cooling and moistening. Red eyewash has an affinity to the lungs, heart, circulatory system, lymphatic system, immune system, skin, endocrine system, musculoskeletal system, bladder, kidneys, prostate, ovaries and uterus. As a tonic for menopausal women combine with Raspberry Leaf, Oat Seed, Rosehips, Motherwort or Blue Vervain. As a tea to support the lymphatic system combine with Cleavers, Chickweed, Echinacea or Astragalus.
How to use:
1 teaspoon of Red Clover to one cup of boiling water. Simmer for 15 minutes, strain and drink up to three cups a day.
Use externally as a eyewash or skin wash or make an into infused oil or salve to use topically.
Cautions & contraindications:
Pregnant or nursing women should not be taking Red Clover, as the effects of the plant’s isoflavones on fetuses and infants is not yet clear. It is also not recommended for anyone on blood thinning medications (coumadin).
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.
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