Red clover is associated with good fortune. The phrase “living in clover” refers to living a carefree life of ease, comfort, and prosperity. The familiar three-lobed leaves of the herb were associated by medieval Christians with the Trinity. Fairy lore states that unicorns particularly like to lie in fields of red clover. Washing the eyelids with red clover water was believed to promote seeing the fairies and unicorns
Red clover is considered a "blood purifier" by acting as a diuretic and expectorant, improving circulation, and helping cleanse the liver. It is a source of many nutrients including calcium, chromium, magnesium, iron, niacin, phosphorus, vitamin C, potassium, and thiamine. Nutritionally, red clover is most well known as a very rich source of isoflavones; compounds that act like estrogens and are found in many plants. These phyto-chemicals, also found in soy, look similar to the hormone, estrogen. Many case studies are currently ongoing regarding the effects of red clover as a supplement for women’s health issues.
Gather red clover in summer when in it is in full, open bloom. Take time to rinse the flowers and check them for insects. Be sure the place you harvested your blooms was not sprayed with chemicals. Pull the petals from the fresh flower head and add them to salads or prepare a refreshing red clover iced tea. To use at a later date, rinse the flowers and lay the blooms in the shade on a screen or paper towels to dry. Store the flowers in air tight containers, in a cool dark place.
For one large glass of iced tea you will need:
One to two teaspoons dried red clover flowers or ½ cup fresh red clover blossoms and eight ounces of good water
Bring water to a rolling boil, pour the boiling water over the red clover flowers and steep for 7 – 12 minutes. Strain and add local honey (red clover honey would be a good choice) to sweeten if desired. Allow to cool before pouring your brew into a large glass filled with ice cubes. Garnish with lemon balm or lemon verbena leaves. Enjoy!!! (You can certainly make a ‘pitcher’ of iced tea – just increase the ingredients to proportions).
The information provided in this article is intended solely to inform the reader. Please be certain to ‘know your herb’ before consuming it.
“Walk Gently on this Earth!”
Mary Hammond – Herbal Practitioner