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March Herb of the Month - Red Clover


Red Clover: Trifolium pratense

You have probably seen red clover at some point. It grows in so many places, often on the road side or clear cuts. It is part of the bean family (Fabaceae), native to Europe, parts of Asia and Africa. Now it is a well know “weed” in Western Canada and most of the world.


Synonyms:

Purple Clover, Clover, Cow Clover, Beebeard

Description:

Red clover is a perennial herb. It has three oval leaves that display a light V mark on them. The red clover flowers are often pink to purple in color and have a round head. It grows between 8 – 31 inches tall. This plant tolerates drought well, which is why can is commonly found in the packed soils of road sides.


Parts Used:

Flowering tops/Aerial Parts


Actions/Uses:

Red Clover is widely used as a cover crop and is valued for its nitrogen fixation, creating more fertile soil.

Traditionally red clover was used for a blood purifier, asthma, whooping cough and gout. However, now it is most commonly used for menopause symptoms. Red Clover can be found in our Luna Tea Blend.

The flowers are edible and can be used in salads or tea.

Red clover’s herbal actions are antispasmodic, expectorant, nutritive and alterative.


Folklore:

There is folklore and tales surrounding this pant for sure. It is said to bring luck to a person that dreams of a field of red clover.

In the middle ages the clover was considered to a be charm against evil spirits. It was said that if you carried a 3-leaf clover it would allow you to detect witches, fairies and people of magic but a 4-leaf clover was more powerful in detecting this, while the elusive 5-leaf clover was worn by witches to give them more power.

In Christian faith the 3-leaf clover stood for the father, the son and the holy spirit while the 4th leaf was for the Grace of God.

If an unmarried woman wore, ate or put a 2-leaf clover in her shoe or placed it on top of the door frame, it was said that the next man to come her way would be her future husband.


Flower Essence:

Red Clover essence may help with anxiety and negative emotions from group interactions. It’s for one that is easily anxious in groups. It lessens fear and hysteria and helps one remain calm. It balances to maintain a good foundation. The Chakra associated with Red Clover is Root.


Cautions/Contraindications:

Red clover is contraindicated in people with a history of breast cancer, endometriosis, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, uterine fibroids or other oestrogen-sensitive conditions.

Now that you know a bit more about Red Clover, how to identify it and some of the folklore associated to it, I hope the next time you see clover it will be for its purpose and not “just a weed” on the road side.

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