If you know any words in our local language (Anishinaabemowin) for Red clover, please comment!

My favorite folk name for red clover is honey/honey-stalks, but it isn’t just honey bees that like this honey. Mammals like opossum, snowshoe hare, eastern chipmunk, raccoon, striped skunk, and white-tailed deer are buzzing about it. And birds like ring-necked pheasants, ruffed grouse, and wild turkeys.

Red Clover and Daisies

A striped skunk has been living under my cabin some nights, so I’m hoping he’ll pose with clover later this year for a photo-op.

Edible Uses

The fresh Spring leaves can be used like spinach, and the flowers are edible too. I like to use its flowers in tea occasionally. And the flowers can also be substituted for dandelions in this recipe for wild wine.

Using the seeds you can grow nutritous microgreens and sprouts. To prepare sprouts, rinse and then soak the seeds for 4-8 hrs, then rinse them twice a day for 5 days while they sprout, and they should be ready to eat! I use a Now Foods Sprouting Jar, which has a screened lid, for this, but I have to be extra careful because these seeds are tiny.

Red Clover Seeds for Sprouting
Red Clover Sprouts
Tastes… like sprouts.

Rich in minerals.

Medicinal Uses

Red clover is primarily said to support these body systems:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Digestive
  • Endocrine
  • Integumentary
  • Lymphatic
  • Respiratory

Medicinal tags include Alterative, Antimicrobial, Antispasmodic, Astringent, Cool and Neutral, Circulatory, Diuretic, Expectorant, Laxative, Lymphatic, Nervine, and Vulnerary. See Medicinal tag key for more information.

Common usage includes parts in a tonic for menopause support (as red clover contains 4 phytoestrogenic isoflavonoids) and parts in skin salve recipes.

Alternative Uses

This plant is a soil fixer, like dandelion, and is often used as a cover crop.

Growing

Easy to grow!

Warnings

Diuretic.

It’s oestrogenic.

Red clover contains a blood thinner related to coumarin.

And the Usual Cautions:

1) Most medicinal herbs, if edible, are meant to be eaten in moderation, even sparingly. Some require extra preparation.

2) People can be allergic or sensitive to nearly any plant; try new herbs one at a time at your own risk.

3) For medicinal use, I must recommend receiving a diagnosis and working with a reputed health care provider. I generally do not post specific treatments and dosages because I think that is best between you and your health care provider, and ideally monitored. Herbalists do not have an official certification yet, but that may be in the works.

4) Anyone pregnant, nursing, or taking prescription drugs should talk to a health care professional before adding new food items to their diet.

5) Many plants have look-a-likes, and sometimes they are poisonous.

REFERENCES

wiki/Trifolium_pratense

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs (Llewellyn’s Sourcebook Series) (Cunningham’s Encyclopedia Series)

The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine

Indian Herbalogy of North America: The Definitive Guide to Native Medicinal Plants and Their Uses

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs

Reader’s Digest Magic and Medicine of Plants

The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies: Simple Salves, Teas, Tinctures, and More

Stalking The Wild Asparagus

Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use

Edible and Medicinal Plants of Canada

Field Guide to North American Edible Wild Plants