Seasonal Herb Crafting­ - Herbal Allies for Summer (Part 1: Red Clover)

by Meadowlark

Its just past the peak of summer, and the plants have begun to turn their attention from growth to production (and reproduction). Instead of focusing efforts on growing leaves and stems, they are flowering, fruiting and producing seeds. One place in nature where this is imminently evident is in the summer fields and meadows, where lush crops of Red Clover are blooming and buzzing with native pollinators, busily gathering and sipping nectar. An energy of abundance, fertility and manifestation is in the air! Red Clover is a sweet herbal ally that can help us leverage this seasonal energy of abundance and assist us in our own manifestation work.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is a low growing, perennial, flowering plant in the legume (or bean) family, and one of the first plants cultivated by man to improve the soil and as forage for cattle. Red Clover is native to Europe, Western Asia and Northwest Africa, but has been planted and naturalised in many regions of the world, including North America, where it is the state flower of Vermont. The plant is rich in folklore and has been used both magically and medicinally since ancient times.

This childhood rhyme for a four-leaf clover actually originates from the Middle Ages:

One leaf for fame,
One leaf for wealth,
One for a faithful lover,

And one to bring glorious health,
Are all in a four-leaf clover

With all of those magical attributes, what better herbal ally to help us manifest our dreams and desires?

Or, are your goals are a little more physical in nature? Red Clover can help you manifest these goals as well. Full of nutrients such as: calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C, and one of the richest sources of isoflavones (water-soluble chemicals that act like estrogens and are found in many plants), Red Clover can help support vibrant health and vitality. Recent studies (and years of use) show the following health benefits:

  • Cancer prevention and resistance: Red Clover contains the compounds: biochanin-A, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, coumarin, formononetin, genistein and isorhamnetin, which have all demonstrated some anti-cancer properties in various published studies. The plant has traditionally been used to increase resistance to cancer and other diseases (although, due to its estrogen-like qualities, red clover isn't recommended for use against breast cancer), and is a primary ingredient in traditional herbal formulas, such as Essiac Tea, Jason Winters Tea, and the Hoxsey Therapy.

  • Reproductive Health: The isoflavones and other phytosterols in Red Clover have been shown to limit the development of benign prostate hyperplasia in men (a common non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland), and in women, lessen symptoms of PMS or menopause and other conditions associated with low or unbalanced estrogen levels. Red clover has also been a traditional herbal remedy for infertility and chronic miscarriage (both of which can be due to insufficient estrogen).

  • Pre and peri-menopausal Health: Red Clover has been shown to reduce hot flashes/flushes, slow bone loss (and may even boost bone mineral density), raise HDL cholesterol levels (the “good” kind), lower LDL cholesterol levels (the “bad” kind), reduce the risk of forming blood clots and arterial plaques, and increase arterial flexibility and strength, in pre and peri-menopausal women.

  • Respiratory Health: Red clover has been used traditionally to treat whooping cough and other respiratory ailments.

  • Skin Health: Red clover contains several anti-inflammatory compounds, including salicylic acid (the pain relieving compound in aspirin) and is often seen as an herbal ingredient in topical salves and linaments. Red Clover has been shown to treat and relieve the pain of both eczema and psoriasis, as well as sores, burns, and as an aid against skin cancer.



Manifesting Physical Health and Vitality: Are you trying to maintain or build strong bones? A healthy heart and circulatory system? Resistance to cancer? Or maybe trying to conceive and successfully carry a much wanted pregnancy to term? Eating and drinking Red Clover can help support you in these goals.

  • Nourishing Infusion: To make a nourishing infusion, place 1 oz dried red clover blossoms* in 1 quart mason jar (to improve the taste, you can also try including a spoonful or two dried peppermint), fill with boiling water, lid tightly, and allow to steep for 4-10 hours (easiest is overnight). Strain well (composting the spent herbs) and drink warm or chilled, as desired. For best results, drink 2-4 cups a day for at least 30 days. It may take several months to reach the full effect of this herb, and if being used for fertility, pregnancy may take up to a year or two (so keep trying!).

*Note-Since the minerals and other phytochemicals in nourishing herbs are made more accessible by drying, dried herbs are considered best for infusions.

  • Healing Food:The raw young leaves and fresh blossoms have the same vital nutrients as the infusion (albeit in smaller quantities per volume) and can be added to salads and soups or cooked with grains, such as rice or millet, to further support your physical health and vitality. Red clover is also delicious fresh from the meadow (as any young child who has sucked the nectar from these sweet blossoms can attest).

Manifesting Luck, Wealth and Prosperity: Finding a four-leaved clover has always been considered a lucky charm, and clovers have traditionally been believed to provide protection from evil spirits and disease, as well as bring good fortune.

  • Magical Amulet: Traditionally, a clover may be worn over the right breast to bring success in all undertakings, and one may be worn in the hat or placed under the pillow to bring good luck and protection. The five leaf clover is said to be powerful for attracting money and is thus worn for that purpose.

  • Magical Baths: As an external body cleanse, Red Clover is said to attract money and prosperity to the bather. To make a clover bath, infuse dried red clover (as above) and add 1 -2 cups of the strained infusion to the bath (or if conserving water, use a ½ cup as a hair or body rinse in the shower or just a hand rinse prior to spellwork).

Manifesting Love: Want to be more "lucky in love"? Red clover is traditionally used in lust potions, love magic, and spell-work to support marital happiness. Folklore and tradition tell us the following love enhancing properties of clover:

  • If you find a two-leaved clover you will soon find a lover <3

  • If you put a four-leaved clover in your shoe before going out, you will increase your chances of meeting a rich new love.

  • If two people eat a four-leaved clover together, mutual love will develop (except...maybe, if you eat the clover that was in your shoe).

Manifesting “Fairy Sight”: Clover is also believed to be a favorite plant of the Fairies. Some traditions state that holding clover in your hand will gain you the ability to see them...others say to gain "The Sight", one should lay seven grains of wheat on a four-leaved clover. Try one or both methods in your magical garden or a local green space this summer! When you see them, don't forget to make an offering of sweets made with clover honey...maybe they will help you find the love, money or treasures you seek!

Happy Herbcrafting!



  • This article is for informational and educational purposes only. Please consult a licensed or certified health care practitioner before medical or internal use, especially with children, or when pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • Red Clover is ot recommended for use in those with breast or ovarian cancer, liver problems, or those struggling with estrogen dominance conditions (e.g. fibroids, endometriosis, etc)

  • Due to its blood thinning effects, Red Clover is not recommended for those with bleeding and clotting disorders or anyone 2 weeks prior to surgery

  • Potential Drug Interactions: Not recommended for use with contraceptive pills or blood thinners

Herbal Allies & Herb Crafting for Spring (Part 1): Nettles

by Meadowlark


Humans and plants have co-evolved together on this planet since the beginning of life as we know it. We live in a symbiotic relationship--literally sharing every breath. By honoring this relationship and getting to know and sense the unique qualities of different plants and herbs and how they interact with our own unique qualities (physically, chemically, energetically, etc), we can cultivate powerful allies for our magical, medicinal and spiritual work. These plant and herbal allies can also assist us in cultivating harmony within ourselves and with the world around us, as we move through the ever changing energies and challenges that tend to manifest during the various seasons of the year.

This past weekend marked the Vernal Equinox--one of two magical times each year when light and dark, day and night, coexist in perfect balance with one another. It is a time of transition and change. While we may still feel the lingering cold winds or the occasional (and much welcomed) rain shower, we also begin to experience the budding of the trees, the singing of the birds, and the sprouting of delicate new leaves of the spring herbs and flowers. Spring has sprung! It's a time to clear away the winter debris and prepare the fields for planting. For a farmer or gardener, this may literally mean “clearing your fields”. But even if we are not farmers, we can still do this metaphorically. It could be about doing a good spring cleaning of our homes; Or it might mean an internal cleanse of our bodies; or it might be about cleansing and re-consecrating our magical tools. Fortunately, for any of these applications, Nettles (or Urtica dioica) can be a powerful herbal ally.

People have been using nettles for magic, food, medicine, fiber, and dyes since the Bronze Age. Nettles' long, fibrous stems were important in Europe for weaving, cloth-making, cordage, and even paper. Native Americans used them for embroidery, fish nets, and other crafts. In ancient Egypt, reports are found of the use of nettle infusion for the relief of arthritis and lumbago pains. Nettles have also been used magically in various cultures to dispel fear and darkness, and to cleanse an object or space of evil and negativity.

Nutritionally, nettles have the highest percentage of protein of any known vegetable (10% protein), and are very high in vitamins (A, C, K, D and most B) and minerals (especially iron, calcium, selenium, sulphur, zinc, chromium and boron). Nettles contain biologically active compounds that reduce inflammation and may help prevent or reduce seasonal allergy symptoms, as well as help the liver build blood proteins to transport nutrients throughout the body and support healthy immune, digestive and reproductive systems. Nettles are also used to help nourish and prepare the female body for pregnancy, increase the strength of the fetus during pregnancy, and promote lactation in humans and animals.

Spring Herbcrafting with Nettles:

  1. Nourishing Infusions: As a spring tonic, drinking nettle infusions will help to nourish the whole body, gently cleanse the body of metabolic wastes, and purify and build the blood and liver, after a winter diet rich in fats and/or sweets. To make an infusion, place ¼ cup to ½ cup dried nettles* in 1 quart mason jar, fill with boiling water, lid tightly, and allow to steep for 4-10 hours. Strain well (composting the spent herbs) and drink warm or chilled, as desired. For best results, drink 2-4 cups a day for at least 30 days.

    *Note: Since the minerals and other phytochemicals in nourishing herbs are made more accessible by drying, dried herbs are considered best for infusions.

  2. Herbal Bathing: As an external body cleanse, bathing with nettles can cleanse the body energetically (washing away negative or dark energies), or physically (nourishing and fortifying the skin and hair). To make a nettle bath, infuse (as above) and add 1 -2 cups to the bath, or use as a hair or body rinse in the shower.

  3. Space Cleansing: To cleanse a space or home of evil and negativity, nettles can be hung, strewn or burnt (as an incense or smudge), alone or in combination with other purifying and/or protective herbs.

  4. Personal protection: To dispel fear and darkness and protect your energetic and personal space, small bags or pouches of nettles (alone or in combination with other purifying and/or protective herbs) can be sewn in a pocket, worn, carried, etc.

  5. Cleansing magical tools or objects: To cleanse magical tools or objects of negative energies and infuse them with protective energies, wash them in a strong infusion of nettles (prepared as above) or hold them over the smoke from burning nettles.