RED CLOVER, Mother Nature's Amazing and Powerful Little Flower
Red Clover Herb
An Amazing Little Flower Great in Teas, Tinctures, and Cooking Too
A Bit About Red Clover:
Latin Name: Trifolium pratense
Part Used: Blossoms and leaves
Energy and Flavors: Sweet, salty, cool
Red Clover has several excellent properties, among them being an alterative, antispasmodic, expectorant, and even having anti-tumor qualities.
It is a pretty little pink flower that is larger than the typical clover flower. It's best harvested upon its opening, then used fresh or dried. It's a wonderful addition to salads! I always say, "Eat your medicine whenever you can!"
Uses for Red Clover:
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration pooh pooh's red clover altogether and for any medicinal purpose, many traditional herbalists disagree. Some herbalists, such as famed Michael Tierra include Red Clover as an ingredient in a recommended tea as an aid for cancer. "Studies conducted by the National Cancer Institute determined that red clover has at least four important anti tumor compounds." Note: I personally would not use Red Clover as a cure for cancer, as there is not nearly enough evidence to back that use up, however, as a preventive measure, it certainly could not hurt. For life threatening illnesses, you should always look into every avenue available and consult a medical practitioner.
As a Blood and Lymphatic Purifier:
Red Clover is thought to alkalize the blood as well as aiding the liver and kidneys in their vital job of filtering toxins from the body. You will notice it is often an ingredient in products used for skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as acne.
As a Gentle Respiratory Tonic:
Red Clover is exceptional as a follow up herb, a preventive herb, or to take at the beginning of a respiratory infection. It is gentle enough and tasty enough for children to use. It has some mild antispasmodic properties that may calm and relax respiratory issues and allergic reactions in the respiratory system. The nice thing about Red Clover is that it tastes good too!
Vitamins & Minerals:
Red Clover is jam-packed with minerals and anti-oxidants. I take the tincture daily for this reason alone! It is high in beta carotene, calcium, vitamin C, a wide range of B vitamins, and essential trace minerals such as magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, and selenium. Red Clover is by far one of nature's best nutritional supplements!
Many Peri-Menopausal and Menopausal women find some relief when using Red Clover consistently. The key word here is consistently, as it is with most herbs. The usable plant parts contain isoflavones and phytoestrogens (plant estrogen-like hormones). These have an impact on hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. In addition, because of the high level of mineral content, Red Clover is touted by some to help maintain bone density. The role of phytoestrogens are still being studied by researchers, but it is believed that they bind with estrogen receptor sites in our bodies, which prevents the accumulation of too much estrogen. Due to our unhealthy food supply these days, this is a plus for both men and women.
NOTE: Another great herb I just love for female hormone support is Vitex agnus castus--the berries from the Chaste Tree. I'll have an article on this herb soon!
As a Pretty Little Garden Plant:
Red Clover is great for your garden! It is a legume, and as such, fills your soil with much-needed nitrogen! It provides pollen and nectar for bees and butterflies, helps to alleviate erosion, and it is just a beautiful little plant.
How to Use Red Clover
In a Tincture:
This is my favorite way to use most herbs. It's quick, easy, and has a high impact on your body, sometimes almost immediately!
I tincture organic dried Red Clover in an alcohol base of 80 proof quality grain alcohol for a period of at least four weeks to up to several months. The solvent (alcohol) extracts the nutrients and constituents of the herb. This creates a usable liquid that is powerful in very small amounts. The alcohol also helps it to be absorbed quickly into the blood stream.
See my article in the Remedies section about how to make herbal tinctures!
In a Tea:
I love drinking herbal teas, although this was not always the case. The more I have included daily cups of tea into my life, the healthier I seem to be getting!
It's easy to make Red Clover Tea: Just take the dried blossoms and infuse them in nearly boiled water for a period of at least 30 minutes to several hours. The great thing about using herbs in teas is that you can play around with the amount of herb to water and find your perfect "sweet spot" for taste! However, the more herb to water used, and the longer it is infused, the stronger the tea will be --- and the more beneficial as well.
PLUS, if you love green tea or other kinds of teas, why not add a bit of Red Clover?
I use Red Clover is several of my loose leaf teas, in combination with other herbs for a powerful nutrition and cleansing experience for my body. ***The word, "cleansing" sometimes connotes an extreme laxative effect. This is not the case with Red Clover. It is gentle, and purifies the blood, and supports the liver and kidneys. I use Red Clover in teas more as a tonic that should be used consistently and over time is an effective blood and lymph cleanser and detoxifer along with the combined herbs.
This link is to a tea I make that tastes great and does the job well. It is packed with herbs that are good for you, and I drink this tea almost daily these days:
Use it as an Addition to Your Cooking!
There is just something really cool about eating a flower. Edible flowers look amazing in salads! And since Red Clover has such a nice taste, its addition to a salad enhances the salad! You can also toss fresh or dried Red Clover into soups, stews, and other dishes. I love using unexpected herbs in my dishes---and the nice thing is, NO ONE KNOWS! :-) Children and adults get the health benefits of vegetables and herbs in a delicious way!
All in all, Red Clover, is I have to say, one of my personal favorite plants. What could be better than beauty, nutrition, and medicinal uses all in one tiny and amazing flower. God has given us such great wonders on this earth, and plants deserve all the respect they can get! There is something about the symbiotic sharing of space between the human body and plants that rises above the chemical nature of our recent modern world. Red Clover is a fine example of how a small and normally overlooked little plant can pack an absolutely powerful punch to our health.
Safety Factors: Red Clover contains a small amount of a blood-thinning constituent. Although it is generally regarded as safe, you should always consult your physician before taking any herbal substance. If you are taking blood thinning medications, especially, speak with your doctor before using, just in case.
Starwest Botanicals is where you can buy high quality Red Clover and other herbs too! It's a great store, and I highly recommend it.
Disclaimer: The information in this article, elsewhere on my blog, in my shop sites, in conversations, and on labels is for informational purposes only and not meant to cure, treat, diagnose, or prevent any medical condition. I am not a medical doctor, so please see a medical professional for concerns. I simply provide my own personal advice based on experience and study for ways to live a healthy and natural way of life. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Gladstar, Rosemary, Rosemary Gladsatr's Medicinal Herbs, Copyright 2012, Storey Publishing.
Moore, Michael, Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West, Copyright 2003, Museum of New Mexico Press Santa Fe.
Tierra, Michael, The Way of Herbs, Copyright 1998, Pocket Books.
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