Weedy Wonders: Red Clover
There are a variety of medicinal plants waiting to be harvested right outside your door. One of my favorite nourishing "weeds," red clover, begins flowering in many of your yards and all along the roadside in spring and into summer. Red clover's beautiful pink/purple buds and leaves contain a wide array of vitamins and minerals, particularly iron, calcium, and nitrogen. They also have many medicinal uses. Red clover makes a lovely nourishing tea infusion, fresh or dried, and can also be tinctured in alcohol or made into an herbal vinegar by steeping it in apple cider vinegar. Although it can be found all over, I recommend not harvesting it directly by the roadside or in an area that has been sprayed with pesticides. Our weedy herbs are so nutrient dense because they excel at soaking up vitamins and minerals from the soil. This means that they unfortunately soak up toxins too.
Red Clover Trifolium pratense
Parts used: Flowering tops and leaves
Medicinal uses: This weed is a powerful but gentle detoxifier and respiratory tonic. The leaves and flowering tops of red clover are both medicinal and its expectorant and anti-spasmodic properties make it especially beneficial for chronic lung issues, such as colds, coughs, and bronchitis. Like violets, red clover is also an alterative or “blood purifier,” with a specific affinity for both the nervous system and skin (especially eczema and psoriasis). Red clover helps the body efficiently remove metabolic wastes and also helps prohibit the attachment and metastasis of abnormal cells, making it beneficial for preventing and treating cancer. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium, nitrogen, and iron and is a great blood-building herb. Like dandelion and violet, red clover is a great, gentle springtime cleansing herb.
How to use & dosage: Tincture dosage for this herb is 2-4 ml (70-140 drops)/ 3x day. As a tea, infuse 1-3 tsp dried herb in 8 oz water for 10-15 minutes and drink up to 3x/day.
Contraindications: Red clover is a strong blood-thinner and will increase the effects of prescription blood-thinners. It is also not to be used during pregnancy. If using red clover for the treatment of cancer, I strongly recommend working with a trained herbalist, naturopath, or other health professional.