Sweet Clover

Other Name(s):

Casse Lunettes, Common Melilot, Couronne Royale, Field Melilot, Hart's Tree, Hay Flower, 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 Clover.


Sweet clover is an herb. The flowering branches and leaves are used to make medicine. Be careful not to confuse sweet clover with red clover.

Sweet clover is used to increase the loss of water from the body through the urine (as a diuretic). It is also used for varicose veins and to relieve symptoms of poor blood circulation (chronic venous insufficiency) including leg pain and heaviness, night cramps, itchiness, and fluid retention (edema).

Sweet clover is sometimes used along with regular medicines for treatment of blood clots in the veins.

Other uses include treatment of hemorrhoids and blockage of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system drains fluid from tissues.

Some people apply sweet clover directly to the skin for bruises.

How does it work?

Sweet clover contains ingredients that can thin the blood and help wounds heal.

Uses & Effectiveness

Possibly Effective for...

  • Problems with circulation including leg cramps and swelling.
  • Varicose veins.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Water retention (edema).
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Bruises, when applied to the skin.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of sweet clover for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Ringworm is caused by a fungus. See Answer

Side Effects

Sweet clover seems to be safe for most people when used appropriately. But, it can cause liver damage and bleeding problems when used in large amounts.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of sweet clover during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Even though one small study found no harmful effects when used during the last 6 months of pregnancy, stay on the safe side and avoid use until more is known.

Liver disease: There is some concern that sweet clover might make liver disease worse. If you have liver problems, get medical advice before starting sweet clover. Also, be sure to have liver function tests done.

Surgery: Sweet clover might slow blood clotting. Some physicians worry that it might increase bleeding during or after surgery. Stop using sweet clover at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


Medications that can harm the liver (Hepatotoxic drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Large amounts of sweet clover might harm the liver. Taking sweet clover along with medication that can harm the liver can increase the risk of liver damage. Do not take sweet clover if you are taking medications that can harm the liver.

Some medications that can harm the liver include acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), amiodarone (Cordarone), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), methyldopa (Aldomet), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), erythromycin (Erythrocin, Ilosone, others), phenytoin (Dilantin), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and many others.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Sweet clover might slow blood clotting. Taking sweet clover along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.


The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For poor circulation (chronic venous insufficiency): 2-3 cups of sweet clover tea daily. A cup is made by steeping 1-2 teaspoons finely chopped sweet clover in 150 mL boiling water for 5-10 minutes and then straining. If you use sweet clover, be sure to have liver tests done, especially if you have a liver disease or existing liver damage.


Hogan RP III. Hemorrhagic diathesis caused by drinking an herbal tea. JAMA 1983;249:2679-80.

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