Native to Europe, central Asia and northern Africa, but naturalized throughout the world. Clover is the national flower of Ireland (although some say the true 'shamrock' is actually oxalis acetosella) and the state flower of Vermont.
Red clover is a perennial herb that commonly grows wild in meadows throughout Europe and Asia, and has now been naturalized to grow in North America. The red flowers at the end of the branched stems are usually dried for therapeutic use.
The leaves of a four-leaf clover represent Fame, Wealth, Faithful lover, and Good health. A 5-leaf clover is said to be unlucky.
Medicinal Uses for Red Clover
Red Clover is used as a nerve tonic and as a sedative for exhaustion. It is used to strengthen children with weak systems, and is used to treat children for coughs, bronchitis, and wheezing, as it is mild to their systems. It is also used for skin eruptions (such as acne).
A compress of the flowers has been used for arthritis and gout. A poultice has been used to soften hard milk glands and for athlete's foot and skin problems.
The infusion (add twice as much water as blooms by volume - approximately 2 to 3 teaspoons per cup steeped 10 minutes) has been used as a douche for vaginal itching.
Has also been used as an eyewash for conjunctivitis (5 to 10 drops of tincture in 5 teaspoons of sterile water).
The fluid extract is used as an alterative and antispasmodic. An infusion made by 1 ounce to 1 pint of boiling water may with advantage be used in cases of bronchial and whooping-cough. Fomentations and poultices of the herb have been used as local applications to cancerous growths.
Red Clover Tonic Tea
For nervous condition 1 tablespoon of oatstraw is added. When there is a need for a more potent blood cleanser, 1/4 cup of burdock root is added. For respiratory problems 1 tablespoon elecampane and 1 tablespoon horehound is added. (Some people are allergic to horehound. Withhold until this is established.)
For arthritis, ginger and rosehips are added as follows: 1 part red clover, 1 part rose hips, 1/2 part chickweed, 1 part dandelion, 1/6 part ginger. A dose for medicinal purposes uses 1 tablespoon of any of these mixtures steeped in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes. (Entire recipe may be made in advance and single doses placed in heat sealable tea bags for convenience.)
Culinary Uses of Red clover
Whole flower heads, dried and pulverized, have been used by some to replace flour in bread.
Asians powder leaves and flower heads and sprinkle them onto rice. Whole flower heads are dried and used for tea.
Other uses include fritters, soups, cooked greens, and as a syrup.
Beverage Tea: 1 heaping teaspoon dried flower heads, 1 cup hot water, honey and mint to taste, if desired. Steep five minutes.
Red Clover Vinegar: Fill a pint jar with clover blossoms. Combine 1 cup red or white wine vinegar and 3 tablespoons clover honey and heat to boiling point. Pour into jar of blossoms. Cover and shake gently. Place in cupboard for 4 to 5 days; strain and bottle.
Red Clover Wine Recipe
Red Clover blossoms combined with sugar, lemons, raisins and yeast to bring it all together into this tasty and unique wine.
1 gallon red clover blossoms
10 pounds sugar
1 dozen lemons (cut up)
1 box raisins
5 gallons boiling water
5 cakes (or packages) active dry yeast
Combine blossoms, sugar, lemons and raisins in large stoneware jar. Pour in the boiling water and stir enough to dissolve the sugar. Cool to lukewarm. Mix the yeast with a small amount of the lukewarm liquid and add to the jar. Mix well; cover jar with a cloth, tie it down around the top, and let stand for 5 days at room temperature; stir occasionally.Strain through a double thickness of cheesecloth and pour into glass jugs. Cover tops (balloons are good for this purpose) but do not seal until the wine stops bubbling and is still.
Red Clover Folklore
Red Clover can be added to the bath water to aid you in dealing with financial arrangements. Its infusion is used in lust potions, and to remove negative spirits.
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