Saturday, 10 September 2016

Red Clover by Unity

Red Clover by Unity

Trifolium pratense

Magical properties: Luck, money, protection, love, fideltiy, exorcism, success
Ruling planet : Mercury
Sign: Aries
Element: Air
Gender: Masculine
Actions: Alterative, expectorant, anti-spasmodic

Red Clover has been an important agricultural, healing and animal fodder plant since ancient times. The Anglo-Saxons called it 'cloeferwort' wort being the mark of a medicinal plant.
Traditionally it is associated with both cleansing and thinning the blood, it can be used internally for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, chronic constipation and as a soothing expectorant for coughs and bronchitis. In the past it was even used as a treatment for some forms of cancer.

It is mainly used nowadays to ease women's problems, such as heavy and painful periods and menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flushes. Its ability to alleviate menopausal symptoms is related to its flavonoid content. Flavonoids are oestrogen-like plant chemicals ( or phyto-oestrogens) that help maintain normal oestrogen levels during menopause, providing relief for hot flushes.

Red Clover is rich in vitamins and nutrients and the flowers and leaves can be added fresh to salads when new. Older leaves can be sauteed or steamed like spinach or kale. It can also be added to soups, stir-frys and pasta sauces, add at the end of cooking so that it's just wilted to retain the nutrients. The flowers can also be battered and fried like elderflowers or used to make wine and tea.

Pick the flowers and top leaves in early summer when the morning dew has dried off. Dry thoroughly, spreading them out on paper or trays in a warm, dry place away from direct sunlight. Store in glass bottles in a dark cool area.

Red clover tea

Use 1 or 2 heaped teaspoons of the dried flowers per cup or mug of boiling water and infuse for 10 minutes. Strain and drink. Dose: 3 cups a day, for chronic problems this tea needs to be taken regularly over a period of 5-6 weeks, as it is has a cumulative effect. It can be drank cold for relief from hot flushes.

Folk Magic

In some folk magic traditions red clover is used in a ritual bath to attract money and prosperity, and as a floor wash to chase out evil and unwanted ghosts.

Finding a two leafed clover is a sign that you will soon find a lover.

It's believed that three leafed clover is associated with the Christian holy trinity, but the association of three leafed plants goes back to pagan times. The ancient Greek and Romans associated them with their triple goddesses. They can also be worn or carried as protective amulets.

A four leafed clover will bring good luck and is said to protect you from evil spirits, witches, disease and the evil eye. It is also said to help you to see fairies and to escape military service, and if kept under your pillow you will dream of your true love. They are also said to protect from madness and to strengthen psychic powers.

Washing your face in red clover in the morning dew is said to prevent freckles.

Clover is said to keep snakes away from your property if grown there.

When placed in the left shoe and forgotten about, it will protect against evil, but placed in the right shoe while saying this rhyme will mean the next person you meet will either be your true love or have the same name as him/her:

' A Clover, a clover of two
put it into your right shoe
The first man/woman that you meet
In the field, street or lane
you'll love him/her or one of his/her name.'

Worn over the right breast it will bring success. Wrap some clover in a piece of blue silk and keep it near your heart to help with heartbreak.

In the past four leafed clovers would be hidden in cattle byres to make the cows thrive and to protect their milk and butter from enchantment.


Sources :
Hedgerow medicine - Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal
Cunninghams Encyclopedia of Magical herbs - Scott Cunningham
A Kitchen Witchs world of magical plants and herbs - Rachel Patterson
The magical properties of plants - Tylluan Penry
The folklore of plants - Margaret Baker

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