Melilot or sweet yellow clover, as it is also know, has some intriguing medicinal properties on deeper study. Casual reading will easily allow it to be overlooked. This herb should be of value in both external and internal veterinary preparations. Its extract may be formulated into liniments, leg paints, poultices, etc. Coumarin seems to be the major active compound. Coumarin is transformed to dicoumarol (anticoagulant) in moldy Meliotus hay and is toxic to livestock when so consumed, sweet clover disease.
Description: Melilot will grow up to 5 feet high and flowers May to October. Yellow flowers grows in clusters (up to 6") on end. It has a three-leave configuration with axil (stem). Leaflets are pinnately trifoliolate and toothed. It is famous for its new mown hay smell when crushed.
Parts Used: The fresh or dried leaves and flowers. If used in dried state be careful to avoid moldy plant parts as they are toxic.
Location: Found in waste places and pastures most everywhere in USA Most common in the East and Midwest.
Medicinal Uses: Used traditionally by the Eclectic Herbalists for pain associated with lack of circulation in the extremities with tenderness, lameness, soreness to the touch. Used for headaches derived from gastric disorders. Found of value in menstrual and intestinal colic. It may be beneficial in rheumatoid lameness or soreness. Modern studies tend to suggest that yellow clover may also be indicated in lymphoedema, elephantiasis, cancer, venous insufficiency, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, post-traumatic inflammation. Simon Mills in his text Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy suggests it may be of use in thrombophlebitis, and all high protein edemas such as burns. It is anti-edematous, anti-inflammatory, possibly anti-tumor, and possibly immune enhancing. It reduces inflammation and swellings by breaking down accumulated protein, plus by increasing venous return and lymph flow.