Wild Edible Wednesday!
This week's wild edible is Red Clover!
-The flowers, as well as the leaves and stems are edible, although the flower is by far the more sought after part of the plant. It is recommended that you limit how much of this plant you ingest, as some people may experience bloating.
-Red clover can be found in pastures, meadows, grassy areas, roadsides, and unkempt lawns.
-This is the tallest of all the clovers, growing up to two and a half feet tall. It can be identified by it’s pink/purple flower head that is made up of several smaller flowers. The flower head is typically about one inch across. The rest of the plant is very similar to the typical common clover. The leaflets are a dark green oval shape with a lighter “V” shaped pattern on them (also known as a chevron) and can be found usually in a cluster of three right beneath the flower head.
-The plant is said to have many medicinal uses including (but not limited to): cancer prevention, indigestion, lowering cholesterol, coughs, whooping cough, asthma, bronchitis, hot flashes, breast pain/tenderness, PMS, protection from heart diseases, blood-thinning properties (to help with clots). psoriasis, eczema and other rashes, and recent studies show it can have psychological benefits for some people.
-There are no poisonous look-a-likes for this plant.
**When identifying plants you are unfamiliar with, please use as multiple references, as well as help from experts when available. Unless you are 110% sure what a plant is, it is best to avoid it completely.
**If you plan on using any plants for medicinal uses, consult a healthcare professional, as well as botanist familiar in the field of wild plants. And as always, use as many references and expert opinions as possible when identifying a plant.
**Be sure to avoid any plants growing near roads, around chemicals, other poisonous plants, or polluted/contaminated water.
**As always, be sure to use the Universal Edibility Test to ensure the plant is the correct plant and to help identify any unknown allergies you may have.