Medicinal Weeds: Red Clover

With alternate, divided leaves and clusters of irregularly shaped flowers, using Newcomb's Wildflower Guide, we shouldn't be surprised to find this plant on the same page where we found White Clover two weeks ago. Of the three other Trifoliums listed on page 60, we find the plant that matches: Red Clover (T. pratense) – a plant with flower clusters that appear stalkless and leaves which often show prominent white chevrons.

Photo of Red Clover

Red Clover blossoms (or entire tops as pictured above) make an excellent wild tea. Herbalist-author Gregory Tilford says Red Clover is “an herb that helps free the blood of toxins and systematic waste while providing an assortment of nutrients critical to healthy blood” (From Earth to Herbalist, p. 174). In short, he describes the plant as a “medicinal food”.  Only fresh or properly dried material should be used, as wilted Red Clover can mold and contain harmful toxins.  Of course, it is critical to do your own research and come to your own confident conclusion regarding identification, proper preparation and personal health considerations prior to consuming any wild plant.

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