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Clover (Basibuguk meaning "small leaves" or Trifolium pratense), dried flowers, leaves and combinations with other herbs (roots) was used as a medicine (for heart trouble), but its primary use was as food and as a tea. Dried clover blossoms were put in with soups and stews, where they added vitamins and minerals and a hint of sweetness from their honey.

This hint of honey-sweetness usually doesn't survive in dried clover blossoms, unless sun-dried, and fairly fresh. At my local food co-op (where they're sold for $22.50/lb, emphasizing business opportunities here for reservation youth) they are rather tasteless, whatever small content of vitamins and minerals may remain. A clover-blossom tea made by steeping a handful of such dried blossoms with a big spoonful of dried mint, pouring on about a pint of boiling water, though, is quite nice. I tried stewing the blossoms, and find that they dissolve into the gravy if cooked long (presumably adding vitamins, etc.) I also tried boiling them, and eating with salt and butter, and find this an acceptable vegetable, if you don't have anything lse in the house, and it wasn't something you paid $22.50/lb for. Fresh clover blossoms cooked for a very short time in a small amount of water, with butter and brown sugar, is quite good.

As I was researching for these plant pages I learned that apparently non-Indian herbalist types now are dissing white clover and lavendar clover, in favor of this red clover I got the pic of. As far as native people are concerned, the clovers are all good eating, good teas. The idea that 4-leaf clover, if you find one, is lucky, BTW is Indian, from thd sacred 4 directions. 3 is a sacred number to Christians.

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CREDITS: Photo from Herb Research Foundation image database, taken by Mimi Kamp

Copyright 1995, Paula Giese

Last Updated: Thursday, December 28, 1995 - 4:50:50 PM