White Clover – Trifolium repens

White Clover
White Clover

I’m looking over a four leaf clover
That I over-looked before.
One leaf is sunshine, the second is rain,
Third is the roses that grows in the lane.
No need explaining the one remaining
Is somebody I adore.
I’m looking over a four leaf clover
That I over-looked before!

 

 

In ancient Ireland St Patrick was credited with claiming the clover as the symbol of the Trinity…the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. The three leaves in one cluster represented the unity of the three as one. It was thought to give anyone who carried its leaves the ability to detect witches, sorcerers, and good fairies in his presence. 

These cluster flowers (they are actually clusters of small flowers in a round head) are native to the Eastern Mediterranean and Asia. It is used as a green manure, and was imported into North America for that reason.

White clover blossoms were used in folk medicine against gout, rheumatism, and leucorrhea.  It was also believed that the texture of fingernails and toenails would improve after drinking clover blossom tea. White clover is thought to clean the system, decreasing irritation and muscular activity of the gastrointestinal tract.  It is also used to decrease the activity of the central nervous system. White Clover was used for medicinal purposes by the Cherokee, Iroquois, and Mohegan Indians among others.

Native Americans used whole clover plants in salads, and made a white clover leaf tea for coughs and colds.  Leaves of white clover are edible, raw or cooked. The young leaves are best harvested before the plant flowers, and can be used in salads, soups etc. They can be used as a vegetable, cooked like spinach.

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