Trifolium pratense - red clover

Trifolium pratense

Name

The genus name “Trifolium” means three-leaved grass. The specific name “pratense” is latin for “found in meadows”.

Also Known as

  • red clover
  • beebread
  • broad red
  • cleaver grass
  • cow clover
  • cow grass
  • marl grass
  • meadow clover
  • meadow honeysuckle
  • meadow trefoil
  • purple clover
  • trefoil
  • wild clover

Identification Keys

  • perennial herbaceous
  • usually upright but may also creep on the ground, producing stems and fibrous roots at nodes
  • grows to 20-80 cm tall
  • alternate, palmate-compound leaves
  • leaves arise from a long, slender, branching downy stem
  • leave is trifoliate (with three leaflets)
  • leaflet oval to elliptical
  • leaflet 15–30 mm long and 8–15 mm broad, green with a characteristic pale crescent in the outer half of the leaf
  • leaflet has a V-shaped chevron in the outer half
  • a midrib runs down the leaflet length, creating a seam
  • rounded flower head with up to 60 tiny, bilateral-symmetrical, magenta, pea-like flowers
  • tiny brown seeds

Bloom Time

  • late spring – early fall

Habitat

  • fields
  • disturbed habitats
  • trailsides
  • roadsides
  • parks
  • sunny places
  • meadows
  • pastures
  • open fields
  • lawns

Look-alikes

  • Trifolium repens (white clover) resembles red clover, but it’s smaller with white flowers and leaves arising from separate stems
  • Oxalis spp. (wood sorrel), also edible, is often confused with clover, but it has heart-shaped and completely different flowers

Medicine Uses

Parts Used

flowering top

Actions

alterative, antioxidant, antispasmodic, aperient, diuretic, expectorant, sedative, oestrogenic

Systems

Circulation

  • prevents hypertension

Respiratory system

  • antispasmodic for whooping-cough, dry cough, bronchitis and asthma

Immune system

  • useful as a detoxifying herb for cancer of the breast and lung
  • benefits lymphatic system

Musculoskeletal system

  • protects from osteoporosis
  • used for arthritis and gout

Reproductive system

  • increases follicle-stimulanting hormones
  • useful for menopausal issues such as hot flushes, night sweats and insomnia
  • helpful in mastitis
  • guard against prostate problems

Externally

  • apply poultices to skin problems and cancerous growth

Caution

  • avoid in bleeding disorders, pregnancy and breast-feeding
  • diseased clover can contain toxic alkaloids
  • use with caution with anticoagulants and contraceptives

Food Uses

Parts Used

flowers, leaves

Main Uses

potherb, salad, tea

Nutrition

  • vitamin C
  • vitamin B1, B3
  • vitamin E
  • calcium
  • chromium
  • magnesium
  • phosphorus
  • potassium

Cooking

  • add the raw flowers to salads
  • cook (10-15 min) the flowers in any dish that calls for vegetables. They cook in about 10 to 15 minutes
  • dehydrate flower, grind them into powder. Add to whole-grain flour to use in breads
  • make an infusion with the freshest flower heads and few leaves
  • cook (15 min) the leaves like other greens
  • sprouted seeds are edible in salads


Harvesting

Harvesting Season

  • the leaves are barely edible in early spring but can be used in tea
  • the flowers are at their peak in late spring, but good ones are also available in the summer and fall

Harvesting Methods

  • pick the young leaves and the flower heads by hand
  • collect the most attractive-looking flower heads
  • avoid those that still include some immature, green flowers
  • collect completely brown flowers (contain seeds) and use them to supplement the protein of whole grains in breads

rubus idaeus - raspberry

Rubus idaeus

Name

Rubus is a latin name meaning bramble. Idaues is an adjective and means “of Mount Ida”, a sacred mountain associated with the mother goddess in the deepest layers of pre-Greek myth.

Also Known as

  • raspberry
  • wild raspberry
  • red raspberry

 


 

Identification Keys

  • arching or erect shrub
  • multiple stems up to 1 m
  • purplish-red stems
  • stem has curved prickles
  • leaves are alternated
  • leaf is palmate-compound with 3-5 (sometimes 7) toothed, pointed, oval leaflets
  • leaflet is bright green on  upper side and minty-greenish white underneath
  • leaflet is long 3.5-6.5 cm and about half as wide
  • short, loose raceme
  • white, 5-petaled flower
  • round, downy, red raspberries in summer and fall

Seasons

  • fruits: mid-summer to late summer (sometimes there’s a second season from mid-fall to late fall)
  • leaves: spring to fall

Habitat

  • moist, sunny or partly shady habitats
  • thickets
  • hedges
  • overgrown fields
  • edges or openings of woods
  • trail sides

Poisonous Look-alikes

Poison ivy can resemble raspberry, with which it share territory; raspberry stem almost always has thorns whereas poison ivy stem is smooth. Also, the 3-leaflet pattern of some raspberry leaves changes as the plant grows: leaves produced later in the season have 5/7 leaflets rather than 3. Raspberry leave has many fine teeth along the edge, the top surface is very wrinkled where the veins are, and the bottom of the leaves is light minty-greenish white. Poison ivy leave is all green. The stem of poison ivy is brown and cylindrical, while raspberry stem can be green or purplish red, is squared in cross-section, and has prickles.

  • Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
  • Toxicodendron diversilobum (poison oak) – West Coast of North America
  • Toxicodendron pubescens (poison oak) – Eastern United States

 


 

Medicine Uses

Parts Used

leaf, fruit

Actions

anti-inflammatory, astringent, decongestant, oxytocic, antiemetic, opthalmic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antidiarrheal, diaphoretic, diuretic, choleretic, hypoglycemic

Systems

Digestion

  • protects guts lining from irritation and inflammation
  • relieves nausea and suppress vomiting
  • astringent for diarrhea, especially for children
  • normalizes blood sugar level

Respiratory system

  • beneficial for sore throats, colds, flu and catarrh

Immune system

  • anti-microbial, inhibits pathogens such as Candida albicans

Reproductive system

  • relieves nausea in pregnancy
  • prevents miscarriage
  • tones uterin and pelvic muscles to prepare childbirth (taken as infusion of leaves, in the last 3 months of pregnacy)
  • speeds the healing after the birth
  • stimulates the flow of breast milk
  • fruits are useful to combat anaemia in pregnancy

Externally

  • gargle for sore throats and tonsillitis
  • use as mouthwash for mouth ulcers and inflamed gums
  • apply poultice or lotion on sores, minor cuts and burns
  • useful for conjunctivitis

 


Food Uses

Parts Used

Fruit, leaf

Main Uses

Raw/cooked fruit, Tea

Nutrition

  • source of minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium
  • vitamin A
  • vitamin B1, B2, B6
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin E
  • vitamin K
  • pantothenic acid
  • folate

Cooking

  • eat directly or add in any dessert recipe
  • make jams and jellies
  • milkshake
  • fruit salads
  • pies

 

The right answer?

Many educational systems set a high prize on getting the correct answer the first time. If you give the wrong answer on a test or scrutiny, you get a low mark and that is the only consequence.
If you make a mistake in carving your wooden cup, or in many other situations outside a classroom, it is by no means a catastrophe: you do, however, have to find your error, cope with it and keep going.

rosa-canina-hips

How to make a rosehip syrup

Syrup made from the hips contains a large amount of vitamin C. The hips are ripe at the end of the summer. The hip is not a real fruit but a swelling of that part of the stem that holds the flower; the true fruits, the hairy objects containing one seed, reside inside the hip.

Ingredients

  • Rosa canina hips
  • Water
  • Sugar

Preparation

  • weight the hips
  • open and remove seeds and hairy parts
  • wash the hips
  • boil the water (2x water weight)
  • put the hips in the boiling water, let simmer for 5 minutes
  • remove from fire, leave them to stand, covered, for 15 minutes
  • strain the liquid
  • add the sugar (0.5x liquid volume, ie add half cup of sugar for each cup of liquid)
  • heat again to dissolve the sugar

Take a spoonful a day to keep colds at bay.

Keep the syrup in the fridge, or freeze it into cubes to use when needed.