Red Clover in June
I've had a boom year for Red Clover/Trifolium pratense. It has decided that this yard needs it in all places that even get a lick of sun (we're surrounded!). So medicine making begins.
There's a path in there. Really. A bunch of medicinals have decided that this was THE place to be.
I removed the heads, using the "peace sign" to pop the heads off to the best of my ability. This prevents oils from turning the clover top brown when drying (thank you, Matthew Wood). I wasn't going to dry them, but it's a good practice.
I placed the heads in a jar and poured brandy on them. About a 1:1 ratio. Red Clover is naturally sweet, and I could have used vodka. But I really wanted the sweet brandy to match the clover. You can dry them in a dehydrator and use the heads for making tea. You can even pop a head off for a little snack, too! They taste fresh, green, and sweet. They are part of the Pea Family (Fabaceae), so... they taste a bit like that.
So what is the medicine of Red Clover? It can be used for mumps, lumps, saliva, and dryness. It's sweet, so that means it's nourishing and can lubricate. That means from the mouth, to the parts down below. If you're short on saliva, this will palliate it, but not fix the underlying condition. It can be used for lymphatics, and has an affinity for lumps or cysts in the breast. It has walled off (but not eliminated) tumors (Matthew Wood). I can be used to shrink polyps, be it in the nose, lungs, or intestines (Phyllis Light). For folks who have chronic sinusitis, polyps may be at the root of this, causing the sinus area to be smaller and more prone to infection (Phyllis Light). Dorothy Hall mentions that this plant has plant-hormones or phyto-steroids in it, which explains its use in women's formulas. Hall also mentions that it is used for "dirty blood," meaning it's a blood cleanser/liver-helper.
There is a lot more than to this herb, but here is just a small snack of what this lovely herb can do.