Lately I’ve been teaching myself about herbal remedies. And the more I learn, the more I want to learn. It’s astounding to me how many natural remedies to common ailments are growing in empty lots and in our backyards.
Take, for instance, red clover. Red clover is blooming in most parts of the country right now. And this “weed” can cure us of coughs and skin disorders, among other things. Some studies have proven that red clover can help improve liver and prostate health.
Let’s take a look at this phenomenal little flower, which is probably growing in a meadow near you…
The Benefits of Red Clover
One of my herbal books, The New Age Herbalist: How to Use Herbs for Healing, Nutrition, Body Care, and Relaxation, says this:
Red clover is a relaxant and expectorant, making it useful in treating coughs, bronchitis, and whooping cough. It is also used for treating skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, and herbalists use it for children with eczema/asthma syndrome. It has been employed in the herbal treatment of cancer, but there is no scientific evidence for this (pg. 80)
Red clover is also rich in nutrients. According to Natural News:
Red clover is a valuable source of nutrients including calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C. Its isoflavones are a rich source of phytoestrogens, water soluble chemicals that act like estrogens in the body because of their ability to fit into estrogen receptors.
And that’s not all folks. Red clover is an excellent herb for women because of its “estrogen like” qualities. Here’s what Herb Wisdom has to say about it:
Several studies of a proprietary extract of red clover isoflavones suggest that it may significantly reduce hot flashes in menopausal women. Also, menopause increases a woman’s risk for developing osteoporosis (significant bone loss) and some studies suggest that a proprietary extract of red clover isoflavones may slow bone loss and even boost bone mineral density in pre and peri-menopausal women. The estrogen-like effect of red clover isoflavones may be involved, and red clover also may have a direct effect by preventing the breakdown of existing bone.
What I’m Doing…
I’ve been waiting for red clover to start blooming for months. And finally, I found a HUGE batch in an empty lot on my way back from the grocery store this afternoon. I felt like a kid in the candy store with $10 in my back pocket.
I swerved off the road like a maniac and spent a good half an hour gathering this little flower. Now it’s drying in my basement. And I’m going to get more tomorrow.
So, what am I going to do with it?
Once it’s dried, I’m going to store it to use whenever I get a respiratory infection. I’d much rather take red clover than over the counter medicine.
Red Clover Herbal Infusion
You can use dried red clover to treat coughs and bronchitis by steeping 1-2 T of dried flowers in a cup of boiling water for 15-20 minutes.
Where to Get Red Clover…
Red clover grows just about everywhere in North America. If you take a drive out to the country in the next few weeks, you’ll find it blooming anywhere there’s sunshine.
It can be wiley to find, however. Like I said, I’ve been waiting and looking for months. I just found some today. So if you want to skip the treasure hunt, you can buy dried red clover herbs through Mountain Rose Herbs (Shameless Plug: if you click on the Mountain Rose Herbs ad at the bottom of this post, I’ll earn a bit to help keep the blog going!).
But, I’m not promoting Mountain Rose Herbs just because I’m affiliate. I only signed up with them because I LOVE their products. Their red clover is harvested here in the U.S., and you can also purchase organic red clover through them.
The bad news: they’re currently sold out of red clover, and have been for some time (I’ve been checking). This little flower is really popular because it’s so useful.
You can also take red clover in the form of a tincture, or even in pill form.
But the cheapest way is to go pick it and dry it yourself.
Red clover is an awesome little flower that most people don’t look at twice. But that’s what’s so amazing about it, and all the rest of the “weeds” that are growing in our neighborhoods. They can be safe, natural ways for us to treat common ailments, for free.
If you have any recipes for using red clover, I’d love to hear them!