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Drying and Using Red Clover

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Red clover is one of those weeds that most of us see in our lawns, gardens, and parks. Its purplish flowers stretching up from the ground just begging us to pay attention. These delicate flowering globes are powerhouses of nutrition and medicinal benefits. The flowers are sweetly flavored and perfectly suited for tea. They make skin soothing ointments and more. Drying and using red clover is an easy and worthwhile endeavor for your home.

Red clover blossom

Harvesting Red Clover

Pick blossoms in the spring and summer for a sweeter flavor.  The fall blossoms aren’t usually as sweet.  Like most herbs, harvest red clover blossoms early in the day when the dew has dried. Cut fully open blossoms that are brightly colored, avoid browned flowers. Leave them on stems for drying purposes.

If red clover doesn’t grow in your climate you can buy it. I highly recommend Starwest Botanicals.

Drying Red Clover

Wash the blossoms to get rid of any dirt and bugs. Spread the blossoms out onto dehydration trays or wire racks. Leave these trays sit out of direct sunlight. I usually just leave the trays sit in the dehydrator without turning it on. When the flowers are completely dry and crispy, cut the flowers from the stems, place them in an airtight container and label the jar.

Drying and using red clover for internal and external use is easy and rewarding.

Using Red Clover Internally

Red clover is high in calcium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin C making it good as a bone building tea. The iced tea is often used to soothe menopausal hot flashes. Because it is safe for children, it is also often used to help soothe children’s coughs.

To make red clover tea:

Pour 8 ounces of boiling water over 1 Tablespoon dried red clover blossoms. Let steep for 10 minutes. Strain and enjoy.

Using Red Clover Externally

Make an infused oil with the dried blossoms and then add beeswax to make a basic salve that is good for eczema and psoriasis.

Drying and using red clover for internal and external use is easy and rewarding.

Who Should Avoid Red Clover

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take red clover because of the natural phytoestrogens found in the plant. There are some blood thinning properties to red clover so hemophiliacs and folks on blood thinners should avoid it as well.

As you’re walking around the yard and neighborhood, I hope you’ll considering bringing home some red clover to dry and use later.  It’s a super easy process with multiple benefits and of course tasty tea.

A single red clover blossom

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Terry D Martin

Sunday 25th of October 2020

I think your question/answers are wonderful. Very informative,straight to the point and insightful You do a great job! Sincerely Terry Martin

Trish

Wednesday 6th of March 2019

Hello, I just came across this article on Red Clover on Pinterest. I have some questions, if you don't mind. First, I thought red clover was, well, red. The photo in this article appears to be lavender. I have clover in my yard with red flowers and some with white flowers. If the lavender colored clover is call "red clover," then what is the red colored clover called and what about consuming it? Same question for the clover in my yard with white flowers. I'm being sincere with these questions, not trying to be a smartass. Hope to hear back from you. Thanks!

Kathie Lapcevic

Wednesday 6th of March 2019

The flowers are more purple than red. There is however a 'crimson clover' depending on your location in the world that is more of deep red color. There is also white clover - usually smaller than red clover. The white clover is edible and has some medicinal uses. I don't know as much about the crimson clover other than a lot of folks use it for a cover crop in gardens but maybe knowing that there is a crimson variety can help you find what you need to know.

Becky

Wednesday 12th of September 2018

I can't seem to keep them from turning brown while drying...what am i doing wrong

Kathie Lapcevic

Saturday 15th of September 2018

They definitely lose color. Are you drying away from sunlight? The other thing I've heard but not tested is that handling the blossoms to much with your fingers can cause them to turn brown. I try not to handle the petals at all, just the stems.

Omis

Saturday 25th of August 2018

I finally found a Red Clover tea recipe for anyone wanting to use it , I found it on a website that hopefully will be useful http://wanderingendearments.blogspot.com/2016/09/wildcrafting-red-clover-uses-and-recipes.html?m=1

Sherryl

Thursday 5th of July 2018

I made some fresh red clover tea for jelly, but I haven’t made the jelly yet. How long can the fresh strained tea stay in the refrigerator before you make the jelly. It still looks clear after two full days.

Kathie Lapcevic

Thursday 5th of July 2018

I wouldn't let go much longer than 3 days. You could freeze the tea and then thaw when you're ready to make the jelly.

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