Herb Information - Sweet Clover
Melilotus officinalis Fabaceae Also called Melilot
Sweet clover contains the glucoside melilotoside. This is converted to coumarin, which gives the plant its scent. Flavonoids are also present. If contaminated by fungi sweet clover produces dicoumarol. a compound that prevents blood clotting.
Because of its melilotoside content, sweet clover can help to strengthen blood vessels, and is used for circulatory problems such as varicose veins and to relieve related conditions such as swelling due to fluid retention. A clinical trial by Italian scientists in 1999 found that sweet clover could reduce the upperarm swelling in women who had undergone breast cancer surgery.
The plant is also known to be anti-inflammatory - an ability now substantiated by animal studies. It is used on wounds, bruises, sprains, eye irritations and for rheumatism. The flavonoids act as diuretic and help to ease digestive problems.
Furthermore, the plant may have the potential to treat thrombosis, when the anticoagulant compound dicoumarol is present. This, however, should not be used as an alternative or adjunct to properly monitored anticoagulant medication.
PREPARATION AND DOSAGE
For internal use
TO TREAT haemorrhoids. varicose veins. heavy (dead) legs, fluid retention. digestive problems
For external use
TO TREAT sprains. bruises. eyelid irritation, bleeding COMPRESS Put 20g dried flowers into 100ml of water. Boil for 15 minutes. If using for sprains or bruises, soak a cloth in the liquid while warm. and apply to the affected area, two or three times a day. Allow liquid to cool before using for eyelid irritations or to stop bleeding.
IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR
Sweet clover can be grown from seed. which is planted in autumn or spring. The plant thrives in a welldrained. neutral to alkaline soil. exposed to plenty of sunlight.
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