Melilotus officinalis*


Biocyclopedia. (1864). Melilotus altissimus (as M. officinalis) and M. albus. Retrieved from:

Botanical Name: Melilotus officinalis
Common name: Sweet clover (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 95)
Family: Leguminoaceae (Grieve, n.d.)
Parts used: Whole Herb (Grieve, n.d.)

Constituents: Coumarin (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 95)


  • Anti-inflammatory (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 95)
  • Vascular tonic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 95)
  • Anticoagulant (De Smet, Kelle, Hansel & Chandler, 1992, p.15)
  • Aromatic (Grieve, n.d.)
  • Emollient (Grieve, n.d.)
  • Carminative (Grieve, n.d.)


*Traditional Indications

  • Oedema (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 95)
  • Clearing eyesight (Grieve, n.d.)
  • Ear aches (Grieve, n.d.)
  • Headaches (Grieve, n.d.)
  • Ulcers (Grieve, n.d.)

Preparation & Dosage:

The following recipe is from the Fairfax Still-room book (published 1651):

‘To make a bath for Melancholy. Take Mallowes, pellitory of the wall, of each three handfulls; Camomell Flowers, Mellilot flowers, of each one handfull, senerick seed one ounce, and boil them in nine gallons of Water untill they come to three, then put in a quart of new milke and go into it bloud warme or something warmer.’ (Grieve, n.d.)


Cautions& Contraindications

*This herb is not administered in contemporary herbal medicine due to toxicological risk (De Smit et al., 1992, p. 15)

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