Red Clover is a beautiful herb, and it grows wild all across North America, so this is an herb that is easy to wildcraft, and it can be easily grown in the yard.
Unfortunately, it is hard to source quality red Clover commercially. Most commercially available red clover is full of brown flowers and leaves, and that can be a problem.
First, only the flower heads and just the two small leaves right next to the flower head should be used. No other leaves. When gathering, only gather flower heads that look healthy and at the peak of their bloom – never those that are wilted, damaged or sickly looking. When the flowers start to wither and brown, there is a risk of slaframine contamination, a mycotoxin that is produced by a fungal pathogen common in red clover. Never include red clover in anything meant to ferment, as that will also risk slaframine contamination.
If red clover is gathered and dried correctly, it won't have much if any brown. Unfortunately most commercially available red clover comes looking brown and battered, which isn’t worth ingesting – it’s certainly not worth the risk of potential toxins.
I encourage you to plant your own Red Clover, because not only is it a deeply nourishing herb, it is considered one of the premier cancer preventative herbs in North America. It helps the body remove metabolic waste and it helps prohibit the attachment and the development of abnormal cells. It promotes youthfulness, and it can help normalize blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
A couple of caveats with red clover -- you want to use with extreme caution if you're on blood thinners, and it can interact with estrogen, so you want to again use extreme caution if you're pregnant or have been diagnosed with estrogen-dependent cancer.
Truman Woodford's story
The following letter was written by Truman Woodford of West Hartford, Connecticut. It was re-published in the New York Evening Post and originally printed in the Phrenological Journal of December 1867.
When about fifty years of age there appeared near the outer corner of my left eye a small scab, which slowly enlarged and soon became painful, attended with a constant itching, or rather a twitching sensation. Feeling anxious about it I applied to a physician in Hartford who said it was a cancerous affection but advised me to let it alone and give it no medical treatment. As the affected place continued to enlarge and the irritation increased I applied to another physician who attempted to cure it by applying caustic, which treatment proved an injury instead of a benefit.
The sore increased in size, spreading over the temple, eating off both lids of the eye, discharging matter constantly, destroying the sight of the eye and causing almost insufferable pain. Thus matters stood at the end of 20 years affliction, and I had reached the age of 70. I had up to that time consulted 6 physicians, from none of whom did I receive any relief. The cancer now assailed the substance of the eyeball, eating it out entirely. The sore spread over the temple to the size of the palm of my hand and below the eye and three quarters of an inch.
I then applied to an eminent physician in New York (Dr. Blake) and remained under his treatment without any benefit, but rather grew worse. I now gave up all hope of recovery, ceased taking medicines, and merely washed the affected part often in cold water. During the summer of 1865 it had become so painful that I slept but little, was very weak and nervous, was confined to my bed most of the time, and expected soon to die; my friends thinking i could not live until the following spring.
In the month of August 1865 I heard of a remarkable cure of cancer by use of the tea made from common field red clover. Thinking it was at least harmless I used it as a common beverage, making it very strong, and also washed the eye with the same. In less than two months, to my utter astonishment, the pain entirely ceased, and the sore began to heal at the inner corner of my eye. The healing process went on rapidly until the eye socket healed over, forming a skin as smooth as that on my cheek, and the redness is now gone.
There is not over my eye even the semblance of a scar, and but a few scars remain on the temple. My sleep is now sweet, my appetite good, am more fleshy than ever before, my general health is never better and I think I have as few infirmities and am as hale and hearty as any man of my age, which is now 80 years.
Use CAUTION! Do not eat/use a wild plant unless you have 100% certainty it has been identified correctly. If you have a health condition, are taking pharma meds, or are pregnant/breastfeeding, be sure to research contraindications.
Disclaimer: Every body is different, and any plant can cause an unpleasant reaction depending on the person. Start small and listen to your body – it is the ULTIMATE AUTHORITY. This information has been compiled from reputable herbalists and natural care professionals. It is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.This information is not intended as medical advice, nor is it intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Seek professional medical care for health concerns.