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This week, while visiting my sister in Colorado Springs, I have had the pleasure of taking to the land and foraging for wild edibles and herbs not commonly available to me in the low desert of Phoenix.
Imagine my surprise and delight when I stumbled upon a large patch of Red Clover growing in the sandy soil near a creek bed while hiking a few days ago!
Red Clover infusions have quickly made their way onto the list of my top 5 most favorite drinks — not only is the tea nourishing but the blossoms of this clover are super tasty when eaten raw, and they make a wonderful treatment for wounds when used topically.
In fact, Red Clover could be compared to the herb Alfalfa leaf simply because of it’s nutritional value.
Moreover, it is an all-around good immune system builder, blood purifier, and one of the best herbs for detoxification.
A list of health benefits may include:
1. It functioning as a good tonic for colds.
2. Make a salve or poultice with the blossoms and use it on burns, psoriasis, eczema, various sores, and acne.
3. A great respiratory system herb! It eases coughs, colds and symptoms of bronchitis.
4. Use it as a mild sedative to relax and calm the nervous system.
5. Known to relieve the symptoms of PMS in pre-menopausal women and can assist the body in establishing a healthy menstrual flow.
6. Reduces the symptoms of menopause. Notably hot flashes and may delay the effects of osteoporosis.
7. Great for liver health as it purifies the blood and helps to remove toxins.
8. Red clover also seems to reduce our levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol and our risk for heart disease.
9. Nutritionally speaking Red Clover blossoms contain a good amount of calcium, magnesium, potassium, niacin, thiamine, and lots of Vitamin C.
How to Use Red Clover Blossoms
How should we use these beauty blossoms?
They are most often dried to be used in teas or herbal infusions. But they can be tinctured or used externally and made into salves…even used as a poultice. Likewise, Red Clover blossoms can be added raw to many culinary dishes such as salads and soups.
I have been enjoying these blossoms in a wonderful, cleansing infusion for the past couple of days. A perfect detoxifying drink for my time away from home!
And here’s how I’ve done it…
Red Clover Blossom Infusion
*For all of my herbal infusions, I follow the wisdom of Susun Weed. Click this link to read more about her methods. And I encourage you to read her books — Healing Wise (Wise Woman Herbal Series), Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, New Menopausal Years — if you are further interested.
-1 ounce Red Clover blossoms (about a cup)
-1 quart-sized jar filled to the top with hot water (just cooled from boiling)
Directions: Fill your jar with the blossoms and cover with hot water to the top. Place the lid on the jar and allow the mixture to steep for 4-10 hours.
To Use: Strain the plant material and enjoy the tea…drink 2-4 cups per day. The remainder of the liquid should be chilled and consumed within 36-48 hours — this prior to spoilage.
Fun additions: My sister has a beautiful mint garden, so I’ve been adding a few mint leaves…yummo! Sage would also be a wonderful addition.
Cautions for Red Clover: Do not consume internally during pregnancy. Do not use if you are taking anti-coagulant medications or if you have thin blood. Generally considered safe for children. Note…please consult with a medical professional before taking this or any other herbal supplement as it may interfere with certain medications and treatments.
-Don’t have access to freely growing Red Clover? I usually don’t either, so I buy them in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs. The quality is amazing!
Now it’s your turn! How do you use Red Clover?