Melilotus (sweet clover).

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 1994 13:36:06 EDT
Sender: "Medicinal and Aromatic Plants discussion list <HERB.TREARN.BITNET>
From: Jtreasure.AOL.COM
Subject: Re Melilotus

> I have discovered a medicinal tea for help during menstrual periods and menopause. It contains three herbal essences: hops, poppy and melilotus (sweet clover). Re: the first two, all is clear. But re: melilotus -- things are not so clear. The explanation is that is can be considered, as I understand from the firm's booklet, somewhat of an "estrogen precurser" that can help the balance of hormones. I have not found anything in any herbal books I can at present lay my hands on.

Melilotus was originally examined closely in the 40's when a Wisconsin farmer noted high mortality in cattle grazing Sweet Clover meadows. The animals had many haematomas and tendency to haemorrhage.

The constituent responsible is coumarin which ferments into dicoumarin and is a potent anticoagulant. Coumarin is regarded as toxic in high doses....(usual studies - give rats their own body weight of herb etc etc) Quantity in commercial tea would be well below "toxic" levels.

The herb is used internally as specific for varicose veins, thrombophlebitis and lymphodoema in European traditions. In USA I believe it was used by the Eclectics for renal colic, and as a general analgesic.

I think it is an interesting an perhaps little studied plant - it would be good to hear if anyone has direct experience...which I don't have.

With respect - I am puzzled by the tea you mention - none of the plants are specific for the menses/menopause - each of which are quite different and cannot be lumped together anyway and present in myriad ways requiring detailed history and remedy selection.

jonathan treasure