herbalism · white clover

The Simple Joy of White Clover

White clover fills my backyard

I think everyone has something (usually many things) that you see so often you stop actually seeing them. I experienced this the other day at work (bio-hazard and chemical safety signs!) and then again this weekend with clover. And for me this rediscovery was especially timely since it happened on the Summer Solstice, also known as Litha.

I was sitting out on the patio, trying my best to ignore the frantic pawing at the glass door behind me as my cat, Churchill, tried to remind me I must have accidentally left him inside (spoiler alert: It was totally on purpose…). Gazing at my yard and garden it made me suddenly miss the abundance of Dandelion that came with spring. I wasn’t able to get around to making the Dandelion wine like I had planned, but I drank lots of Dandelion tea, but now even that option was gone with the longer, hotter days. That’s when it struck me! I was looking at tons of White Clover!!! Was it edible??? I had spent my entire life looking at the white clover that grows seemingly in every lawn ever that I had forgotten all about it! As a child I would pick it and smell it’s sweet scent and stick a flower or two in my hair, but eventually after I had smelled it’s smell and determined it wasn’t hiding a four leaf clover I would eventually discard the flower and move on. It turns out, there is a lot more to White Clover than just childhood memories!

Photo by https://unsplash.com/@xiaomingyo

Trifolium repens, the white clover, is also known as Dutch clover or Ladino clover. Its name means three (tri) leaf (folium) and creeping (creeping). The plant usually has three leaves, hence the name, but occasionally you can find that lucky four leaf clover! As I said before, it can pretty much be found everywhere. It is native to Europe and central Asia but has been introduced elsewhere and is now grown pretty much globally as a forage crop. It it can be mixed in with turf grass as well to help cover areas where the grass itself won’t grow well.

This little flower is mostly visited by Bumble Bees but Honey Bees also like it! In fact, I am pretty sure most of our clover honey results from this plant. I like honey bees, but I LOVE bumble bees! So big and clumsy! I feel like a jerk when I am standing still and one flies into me, like it was still my fault! Sorry dude! I will move out of the way next time!

Bee love aside, medicinal properties of white clover are said to be improvement to the condition of the blood; supportive of the lymphatic system; aiding with Gout; and even can help with kidney disorders that lead to water retention in the kidneys. I am not a certified herbalist, so this information comes from various sources around the internet.

Picking white clover for tea

The other day I went outside and gathered up some clover for tea! It was my first time making clover tea so I kind of just winged it. I gathered about 30 clover flowers. After washing them I put them in a mason jar with some hot water and let them infuse for a couple of hours. When I deemed it was ready to drink (a decision made solely on how I didn’t want to wait anymore vs anything actually practical),I strained out the flowers. I mixed about one and a half teaspoons of honey in a little bit of hot water (just enough to blend the honey into) and then added the clover tea and some ice cubes! Easy as that!

I loved the taste; very floral and just slightly sweet with the addition of the honey it helped to create!

Image from The Herbal Academy

Last year I decided I wanted to pursue my interest in herbs and the plants around more seriously and in a more structured manner. So I decided to sign up for the Introductory Herbal Course at The Herbal Academy. It was such a good decision.

You may not know, but I am a Manager of a hospital clinical laboratory. There are so many benefits to modern medicine and some diseases we just couldn’t handle without it! But I also believe that a key to a healthier you might be growing in our own back yards! I mean, thousands of year of human existence and folk remedies can’t be all wrong, right? 🙂

If you are interested in Herbalism and learning more about the plants growing around you in nature I strongly recommend checking out The Herbal Academy!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my small ramble on white clover! See you again soon!

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