Sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis L.)

Sweet clover is a 2-year-old herbaceous plant from the Moth family (Papilionaceae). Other names: medicinal barkun


Tall, up to 1m tall, biennial herbaceous plant with erect, strongly branched stem. The leaves are trifoliate, on long petioles, equipped with entire, lanceolate, subulate-pointed stipules. Leaflets are oblong-oval, obtuse at the apex, narrowed towards the base, with teeth along the edges, the middle one on a longer petiole, the lateral ones are almost sessile. The flowers are small, irregular, yellow, drooping, on short pedicels, collected in many-flowered axillary racemes on long peduncles. The fruit is very small, oval, blunt at the top, wrinkled brown bean across, at the top with a remaining column, sitting on a short peduncle; seed one, rarely two, greenish-yellow. It blooms in May-June. The sweet clover grows in fallow fields, deserts, along roads, forms thickets along railways or highways,


In medicine, the herb of sweet clover is used – Herba meliloti. At the beginning of flowering, the upper parts of the stem and side shoots are collected. You can also collect the entire ground part, which is subsequently threshed after drying, and the stems are discarded. Dried in the shade. The raw material consists of a mixture of flowers, leaves, a small number of fruits and thin stems of the described standing. The smell of sweet clover is strong coumarin (fresh hay), the taste is salty-bitter.

Contains active substances:

Grass unlike other fragrant herbs does not contain essential oil. Its smell is due to lactone coumarin, which appears when the oil is dried. In addition, there is coumaric acid, melilotin, melilotic acid and the glycoside melitoside. There are indications of the formation in the seeds of sweet clover under certain storage conditions of dicoumarin, which prevents blood clotting.

Medicinal use:

Sweet clover is used externally as an irritant and distraction in the form of a sweet clover (melilot) patch, which was previously produced by industry, and is now prepared in pharmacies. It is also important in the tobacco industry. In folk medicine, the use of sweet clover is very diverse: they drink a decoction of herbs for painful periods, as a diuretic, for headaches, drink a decoction and fumigate with smoke for myasitis, fumigate unhealthy babies, make poultices for purulent wounds, ulcers, make baths with diseased ovaries.

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