Sweet clover, long popular as food for grazing animals, is used medicinally as well. It contains various substances in the coumarin family. These chemicals are thought to help strengthen the walls of blood and lymph vessels. However there is no more than preliminary evidence that sweet clover is effective for any medical condition. In addition, use of sweet clover presents some safety concerns. (See Safety Issues for more information.)
Sweet Clover and Its History
The name Melilotus originates from the Greek word for honey, meli , and a term for clover-like plants, lotos . There are four common species in this genus of Eurasian origins: Melilotus alba , M. indica , M. officinalis , and M. altissimus .
The fresh or dried leaves and flowering stems of sweet clover were traditionally used as a diuretic.
What Is Sweet Clover Used for Today?
The safety of any medicinal use of sweet clover has not been established in humans. Sweet clover contains various substances in the coumarin family. Many (but not all) of these substances thin the blood, and might cause excessive bleeding in some individuals. In particular, sweet clover should not be combined with blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin (Coumadin), heparin or drugs in the aspirin family.
Safety in pregnant or nursing women, young children, or individuals with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
Interactions You Should Know About
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -