Herb of the Day
There are several different types of clovers, but the most commonly known ones are the red and white varieties. Typically, they have three leaves, but every once in a while there is a strain that produces four, or even five leaves instead.
Usually, when people use the word “shamrock,” they’re thinking of a three-leafed variety of white clover. Fun fact: the word shamrock comes from the Irish Gaelic seamrog, which means “small clover.” In Ireland, the three-leafed shamrock has become a national symbol, and represents the Holy Trinity of Catholicism.
In European folk medicine, clover has been used for centuries as a diuretic. Clover tea is often brewed up for patients who have issues with digestive organs – constipation, liver problems, and poor appetite have all been treated with clover. In some countries, the flowers are mashed up to produce a syrupy paste, which is then applied to skin disorders such as open sores or athlete’s foot. Typically, the flowers of the white clover plant have been used as a whole-system cleanser.
Clover is edible, as well. Try adding some leaves, stems or flowers the next time you make a green salad! Some strains of clover have a lemony taste to their leaves. Red clover in particular is good for you – it’s known to be full of calcium, potassium, and other vital nutrients.
In many agricultural societies, heavy growth of clover was seen as a sign of fertile farmland – however, this may be because clover is a favorite snack of cows and sheep, which then leave droppings, creating healthy and strong soil.
Magically speaking, clover is typically seen as a symbol of fortune and good luck. In some Scandinavian countries, it is also used to ward off evil spirits and to help a seer develop their psychic abilities. Hang a bundle over your door to keep negative entities away, or plant it in your front yard, around the edge of your property.
Author: Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
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