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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 Melilotusoriginates 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.
Sweet clover products are standardized to their coumarin content. For treating symptoms of venous insufficiency/ varicose veins, a daily dosage of a sweet clover preparation or extract providing 3 to 30 mg of coumarin is taken internally. 1 (See "Safety Issues," below.)
- Blumenthal M, ed. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council; 1999, P218-P219.