It didn't take me long to become overwhelmed, so I decided I'd only focus on the 'wildflowers' or 'weeds' growing in my own backyard. And so I began, filling my notebook with tidbits about this weed and that wildflower.
Red Clover has been used in culinary delights and medicinally for many centuries. Actually a member of the legume family, Red Clover contains the full chain of amino acids, making it a perfect protein that is easily absorbed by the human body. This fact alone makes Red Clover an easy essential to pack while camping, hiking, etc., or to harvest from the wild when you are there.
As if that isn't impressive enough, Red Clover also contains calcium, vitamin B complex, thiamine, niacin, vitamin C, chromiium, magnesuim, nickel, potassium and phosphorous.
Red Clover is considered to be an alterative herb, meaning it possesses the ability to send its medicine into many areas of the body at once.
Researchers from the National Cancer Institute have found that Red Clover contains four (4) anti-tumor compounds. It has an affinity for the lymphatic system, which makes it a suitable building herb for dealing with lymph-related cancers, or conditions which require a strengthening of the immune system. Because Red Clover has a tendency to act as a blood thinner, persons already on a blood thinning medication should use caution when supplementing their diet with Red Clover. Word is, it keeps the liver healthy, acting as a blood purifier.
Historic accounts of the use of Red Clover indicate it has been used for skin problems, feverish conditions, constipation, and as a gargle for sore throats and mouths.
The two most common ways to use Red Clover is to prepare a tea, and to use the youong leaves and new flowers in salads and soups.
Red Clover Tea is easy to make. Use approximately one ounce of the leaves and/or blossoms to approximately 2 cups of boiling water, and steep for 10 minutes. Flavor with any of your other favorite
herbs and/or clover honey.
A third recipe that you can try that is pretty simple to make is the Red Clover Remedy for Chapped and Dry Lips, a China Bayles Mysteries recipe! Simply: Combine 1 Tablespoon dried Red Clover flowers, 2 teaspoons of honey, and 1/4 cup water. Bring this to a boil, simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Strain, add 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch, and cool, stirring occasionally.
The great thing is that in most areas, it is available right outside your back door!! It's also available at your local health food store in a variety of forms. Please keep in mind that any herb can counteract already prescribed medications, so some research might be required. And know, too, that not many medical institutions commit to or condone the use of herbs for medicinal purposes. Draw your own conclusions.