Sweet clover is valued for its medicinal uses because the flower contains coumarinic acids. Coumarin is the active ingredient in prescription anticoagulants (blood-thinning medications). Its presence in sweet clover allows it to reduce inflammation and swelling by increasing the flow of blood between the heart and the veins.
As an herbal remedy, sweet clover is used in the treatment of bruises, hemorrhoids , and varicose veins . Its wound-healing properties have been confirmed in tests conducted on animals.
Taken internally as a tea or as a tincture, sweet clover relieves discomfort in the legs, particularly night cramps, itching , and swelling. The herb also supports the traditional medical treatments of vein inflammation, blood clots , and congestion of the lymph nodes. Applied externally as a poultice, sweet clover speeds the healing of bruises, painful joints and eases the swelling of hemorrhoids.
Because of the anti-inflammatory properties it is also useful with bronchitis and asthma, as well as all respiratory issues. It helps the lungs loosen and expel the phlegm.
Drinking a cup of sweet clover tea can help with an upset stomach, indigestion and as a relief from flatulence.
Sweet clover has also been employed in the form of a laxative (purgative) and diuretic (promoting flow of urine) and helping the body release the excess fluids.
This herb also possesses mild tranquilizing and antispasmodic properties and is prescribed for treating insomnia or sleeplessness, particularly among children, and anxiety, as well as headaches.
Sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis ) is a biennial plant that grows to heights of 2-4 ft (0.6-1.2 m) and produces small yellow flowers emitting a fragrance resembling that of hay or vanilla. It is a member of the legume, or Leguminosae, family. The plant is also called hart's tree, hay flower, king's clover, melilot, sweet lucerne, or wild laburnum.
Sweet clover grows in North America, Europe, Australia, and the temperate regions of Asia. In the early 1900s, sweet clover was grown for forage and to build up the soil, since its roots help to keep nitrogen in the soil. In the twenty-first century it is used to support honey production. In some agricultural areas of the United States, however, sweet clover is now considered a nuisance because it spreads rapidly and can take over open fields or prairies.
The flowers of sweet clover are a major source of nectar for honey bees due to their high sugar content. “Mellilotus” is Greek for “honey”, referring to the plant's use as a nectar source.
Aside from their many agricultural benefit’s, the fragrant flowers of sweet clovers were used as an herb to flavor Gruyere cheese, snuff and also pipe tobacco. This plant species was traditionally valued by Kalmuks, and also present day Chinese, as food and a good source of protein and minerals. The seeds of yellow and white sweet clover have a similar chemical composition to Tonka beans (both species are from the pea or Fabaceae family), for which they have been used to substitute.
Preparation: To prepare a sweet clover infusion, boiling water is poured over 1-2 tsp of the sweet clover and stems. The infusion is allowed to steep for 5-10 minutes, then strained into a cup. For the treatment of varicose veins, 2-3 cups per day is recommended.
To prepare as a poultice, the crushed herb is mixed with a small amount of boiling water, then spread on a soft cloth. The cloth is applied to the affected area until the cloth is cold. The poultice is applied as needed.
Sweet clover has blood-thinning properties, avoid if you are on any kind of medication connected to blood or blood pressure! Patients suffering from liver ailments need to consult their doctors prior to using sweet clover. In addition, people enduring diabetes should also exercise caution while using this herb. Sweet clover should not be given to women during pregnancy. In addition, nursing mothers taking this herb should consult their physician before breast-feeding.
FDA Disclaimer: These statements and products have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health concern or condition, consult a physician. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises.
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