Herbs

MELILOT, Melilotus officinalas

Melilot Herb

Everyone has sees the scraggly, yellow clover growing along the side of the road. It isn’t particularly beautiful, but the bees sure like it. The blossoms of this melilot, or yellow clover, are very sweet with nectar and the bees like it to make yellow clover honey.


Bees aren’t the only ones that like melilot. Some tome ago I was in a meeting and I met a man who was limping and obviously in a lot of pain. He said he had a blood clot on his knee. He was told by someone at the meeting to gather some of the melilot or yellow clover leaves and blossoms which were in bloom at that time. He was to make some tea out of the blossoms and drink a half cup night and morning. He was also told me to make a poultice from the leaves and flowers of the melilot and put this poultice over the area of the blood clot. I saw this man two weeks later and he was all smiles. He said the knee didn’t hurt anymore and his doctor said the blood clot was about gone.


In retrospect, I think of a high school buddy who had a blood clot on his knee. I wish he’d have known about this simple weed, melilot,or yellow or sweet clover. He died before he was twenty years old.


A few years later I worked with another good friend who wore a big bandage on his knee all the time. He was always in the doctors office for the blood clot on his knee. One day, he didn’t come back to work. He had a nice funeral. I wish I could have told him about melilot.


Melilot is a very common plant that we have all seen growing along the roadside. It is a perennial that grows from two to four feet high and blooms from May until November. The stocks and branches are tough and sparse with trifoliate, clover-shaped leaves. Yellow blossoms can be found on the ends of every branch.


The history of melilot goes back as far as ancient Egypt where they used tea from the blossoms and leaves as a digestive aid and as help to get rid of worms. It was also used for earache. Galen, an ancient Greek physician, used the herb in teas and in poultices for inflamed and swollen joints. These, and other practices involving this herb, have been used by many civilizations down through the ages.


Even today, in some areas, melilot is used as an antispasmodic to feed and mellow the nerves, and as a diuretic for the kidneys. It is used as an emollient to be applied externally as a salve, or poultice, for swellings, boils and skin problems, milk knots, arthritis, and aching joints. Internally it helps with colic and digestion. As an expectorant it helps clear out the sinuses and bronchialis, or it can be used as a tea and as a poultice to break up blood clots and thrombosis.


Some old herbals say if a person is suffering from apoplexy or stroke, melilot is used as a mild tea internally and a concentrated tea (or a poultice) on the outside of the head to regain the senses.


Melilot contains a sweet, vanilla-smelling, crystalline substance called coumarin (not the drug coumadin) which thins the blood and dissolves blood clots.


Partial drying or fermenting of melilot causes the substance coumarin to change to the anti-coagulant dicoumarol. Many years ago farmers tried to use melilot as a hay crop for their animals. If it was stacked before it was dried it would ferment. If cattle or horses ate this fermented feed they would sometimes suffer internal hemorrhaging.


Some folks gather the blossoms, dry them thoroughly, then pack them tightly 9no air) in a jar or tin future use. Who knows when you might need a poultice or some melilot tea.
Might as well be prepared.
 

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