Botanical Name: Melilotus officinalis
- English: Angipars, Casse Lunettes, Common Melilot, Couronne Royale, Field Melilot, Hart's Tree, Hay Flower, Clover. Yellow Clover, Sweet Clover
- Also, known as: Herbe aux Puces, King's Clover, Luzerne Bâtarde, Melilot, Mélilot, Mélilot des Champs, Mélilot Commun, Mélilot Jaune, Mélilot Officinal, Mélilot Vulgaire, Meliloti Herba, Meliloto, Melilotus, Melilotus altissimus, Melilotus arvensis, Melilotus macrorrhizus, Melilotus officinalis, Melilotus vulgaris, Petit-Trèfle Jaune, Pratelle, Sweet Lucerne, Sweet Melilot, Tall Melilot, Thé de Jardin, Trébol de Olor, Trèfle des Mouches, Trifolium macrorrhizum, Trifolium officinale, Wild Laburnum, Yellow Melilot, Yellow Sweet,Yellow Melilot. White Melilot. Corn Melilot. King's Clover, Sweet Clover, Plaster Clover, Wild Laburnum.
Parts Used: Whole plant
The Meliots are perennial herbs, 2 to 4 feet high, found in dry fields and along roadsides, in waste places and chalky banks, especially along railway banks and near lime kilns. The smooth, erect stems are much branched, the leaves placed on alternate sides of the stems are smooth and trifoliate, the leaflets oval. The plants bear long racemes of small, sweet-scented, yellow or white, papilionaceous flowers in the yellow species, the keel of the flower much shorter than the other parts and containing much honey. They are succeeded by broad, black, one-seeded pods, transversely wrinkled.
All species of Melilot, when in flower, have a peculiar sweet odour, which by drying be comes stronger and more agreeable, somewhat like that of the Tonka bean, this similarity being accounted for by the fact that they both contain the same chemical principle, Coumarin, which is also present in new-mown hay and woodruff, which have the identical fragrance.
The name of this genus comes from the words Mel (honey) and lotus (meaning honeylotus), the plants being great favourites of the bees. Popular and local English names are Sweet Clover, King's Clover, Hart's Tree or Plaster Clover, Sweet Lucerne and Wild Laburnum.
The tender foliage makes the plant acceptable to horses and other animals, and it is said that deer browse on it, hence its name 'Hart's Clover. ' Galen used to prescribe Melilot plaster to his Imperial and aristocratic patients when they suffered from inflammatory tumours or swelled joints, and the plant is so used even in the present day in some parts of the Continent.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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