Red Clover: Herb of the Week

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is this week’s herb of the week!

Infused With Nutrients

This red clover is growing right outside the Field’s Corner T station in Dorchester – plants will grow anywhere there’s a bit of dirt. They teach us lessons about persistence.

Red clover is a favorite herb for many herbalists, and is often one of the first herbs people learn – it’s such a gentle helper! First of all, it’s a nutritional powerhouse: packed with vitamins and minerals (especially minerals – which are harder and harder to come by these days!), red clover is much more cost effective and bioavailable than a multivitamin. Make sure that you steep it overnight, because it takes a while for minerals to release into the water. I just add about an inch of red clover blossoms to a quart size mason jar (they’re fluffy, so maybe two inches) and fill it with boiling water, right before I go to bed. The next morning, I strain it into my water bottle and drink it all day long. That’s a “nourishing infusion”.

Cleaning Crew

Red clover is an important alterative herb – which means, in this case, that it stimulates the lymphatic system and helps improve the quality of the blood. When we think of life today, there’s just a lot of trash to take out: junk food on a day there wasn’t time to eat well, pathogenic debris from the last time you were sick but couldn’t miss an extra day of work to really let it run its course, the birthday cake at the party last night… and it’s not just the suboptimal stuff that goes into your body, but also the reality that most of us have to work at desks and just don’t get enough movement in our day.

All that adds up to a sluggish lymphatic state – which is why you need red clover! It can keep things flowing much more freely so your system doesn’t gum up. Sort of like “drive your engine clean”, except it’s your body.

Caring For Kidneys

Red clover looooooooves your kidneys – and that’s a big part of how it helps improve the quality of your blood! When your kidneys are happy and doing their job well, your circulating fluids are … ya know, my dad likes to fix cars, so I’m realizing that I have a lot of car analogies here. Red clover’s kidney action is like putting the extra fancy premium high-octane fuel in your tank!

It’s complex, too. Because red clover has such nice high mineral content, it’s able to feed the kidneys, and also save them on work: a big part of the job your kidneys do is check the mineral content of your blood and if it’s low, they carefully recycle minerals to keep you going.

Did you know that your kidneys also play an important role in glucose regulation? If there’s too much glucose (sugar) in the blood, the kidneys pull some out – which is why diabetics have sugar in their urine. Your kidneys are the soil that your adrenal glands live in: healthy, happy kidneys mean better functioning adrenals, which means a human better able to manage stress. There’s so much more that the kidneys do for you, so why not do a little something for them?

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PS: We have a full video + text herbal monograph on red clover (and 86 other herbs) in our Materia Medica course, which you can take stand-alone or as a component of our Herbalism 101 program.

Herbalism 101 Online Video Program

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