Herbal Remedies Information - Red Clover

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Herbal Remedies Information - Red Clover
By: Mercedes Aspland

This article is part of a series giving information about herbs and their medicinal properties. We are going to look at red clover in this article. You will find out what this herb is, how you can use it and the conditions that could be helped by red clover.

What is Red Clover?

Red clover is a plant that is thought to have originated in Britain but can now be find in virtually every country throughout the world as it is easily grown. The plant usually grows to a height of around 60cm (2 feet) and the stem is round, grooved and hairy. The leaves are dark green and are ovate, often toothed and finishing with a point. They also often have a small amount of light green in the middle of the leaves. The plant usually flowers from April all the way through the summer. The flowers are globe shaped at the end of the stem and are usually a magenta colour. The flowers are edible and are sweet, smelling similar to honey making them very attractive the bees.

How to use Red Clover

It is the flowers of the red clover that have medicinal properties. You can pick them throughout the summer and dry them out to keep for use all year round. There are a number of different remedies you can make with red clover and these are detailed below:

Tea - add about 1 tablespoon of the dried flowers to a cup and cover with boiling water and leave to infuse for about 10 minutes. You can then sweeten to taste and drink.

Tincture - You should combine about 4 oz of the flowers with a pint of brandy, gin or vodka and the same amount of water. This should then be placed in a sealed container and dark cupboard for about five weeks. Remember to shake the mixture several times each day.

Ointment - Add fresh clover blossom to a glass pan of non-chlorinated water. Simmer on low heat or in a crock pot for two days. Strain the mixture. Allow most of the water to evaporate and combine the plant extract with an equal amount of melted beeswax. Pour while warm into small airtight containers.

Uses of Red Clover

There are a number of uses red clover and in fact the Native Americans actually used it as a cancer cure for some time. However now the most common use is for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It also has some great properties that means it can be very useful for bronchitis and spasmodic coughs and in particular whooping cough. It has also been used to treat constipation and as a remedy for asthma.

For external use it has also be seen to be useful in treating athlete’s foot and insect bites. You can also use it as an eyewash to help treat conjunctivitis. Using it in a compress could help to relieve the pain felt from arthritis and gout. A recent study has also shown it could be helpful in treating hot flushes.

Side Effects and Precautions

Red clover is thought to be a mild herb and if taken in the correct doses there are no reported side effects or problems with the herb. In terms of interactions with other medications there have been shown to be some adverse problems with certain medications including heparin, ticlopidine, and warfarin. The herb is also thought to reduce the absorption of combined oestrogens. If you are in any doubt you should discuss taking red clover with your doctor before you begin.

This article has been supplied by alternative therapies directory. You can also find more information on our Herbal Medicine page.

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