Bitter Clover : Uses, medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Bitter Clover : Uses, medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Bitter Clover is native to the wetter areas of northern temperate climates (North America, Asia, Europe). The drug is mainly imported from Eastern European countries. The dried leaves collected during the flowering period are used in herbal medicine.

Bitter Clover: characteristics and profile

Buckbean is a perennial plant up to 30 cm high that grows primarily in swamps, moors and on lake shores. Like shamrocks, the bitter Clover owes its name to its large, tripartite leaves. The plant produces white flowers with bearded and hairy petals on the inside.

Chemically, the bitter Clover resembles the gentian plants.


Bitter Clover as a remedy: Appearance

The drug consists of the threefold clover leaves, which sit on a leaf stalk about 10 cm long. The individual leaflets are smooth-edged, hairless and about 5-10 cm long. The leaf pieces of the cut drug turn grey-green, while the leaf veins turn brown.

smell and taste

Bitter Clover does not emit a characteristic odour. The taste of the leaves is very bitter.

Bitter Clover – Application


Bitter Clover for the gastrointestinal tract

Bitter clover leaves, like gentian root and centaury, are used for acute and chronic digestive problems (dyspeptic symptoms) and loss of appetite. For example, the plant can relieve flatulence and a feeling of fullness and promote digestion.

The appetite is also stimulated by stimulating saliva production. Traditionally, bitter Clover is generally suitable for supporting the function of the gastrointestinal tract.


Application in folk medicine

In folk medicine in the 19th century, buckbean was described as a strengthening, anthelmintic, diuretic and sweat-promoting agent. The plant was used in folk medicine only later to stimulate appetite and promote digestion.

It was also thought that the plant had an antipyretic effect in the past, but this has now been disproved.

Bitter Clover as a homoeopathic remedy

In homoeopathy, the fresh, whole plant, collected at the beginning of the flowering period, is used for diseases of the central nervous system, headaches, muscle pain, fever and influenza infections.

Ingredients of Bitter Clover

The essential ingredients of bitter Clover are dimeric glycosidic iridoid bitter substances with dehydromenthiafolin as the main active ingredient and coumarins such as scopoletin. It also contains tannins, phenolic acids, flavonoids, triterpenes, traces of alkaloids and essential oils.

Bitter Clover – for which indication?

These are typical use cases for Bitter Clover:

  • indigestion
  • dyspeptic complaints
  • gas
  • bloating
  • loss of appetite

Bitter Clover – dosage


Bitter Clover: the proper dosage

Bitter Clover can be taken as tea – the leaves are contained in a concentration of up to 3 g/100 g in tea blends in the gastrointestinal teas group. Furthermore, trefoil leaves are offered in drops, capsules, coated tablets or other preparation forms.

Unless otherwise prescribed, the average daily dose is 1.5-3 g of the drug.

Preparation of bitter Clover

To prepare tea from buckbean, 0.5-1 g of the finely chopped leaves (1 teaspoon corresponds to about 0.9 g) is poured over with boiling water and passed through a tea strainer after 5-10 minutes. It can also be prepared with cold water and then briefly boiled up.

Cold preparations are usually more effective because the bitter substances they contain are relatively temperature-sensitive.

A cup of unsweetened tea should be drunk half an hour before meals throughout the day.

What is to be considered?

For the reflex effect to develop fully via the taste buds in the mouth, the tea should be left in the mouth for a short time before eating and only then swallowed.

The leaves should be stored dry and protected from light.

Bitter Clover: When not to use?

Bitter clover preparations should not be taken if you have a known ulcer of the stomach or duodenum, as the stimulation of gastric acid production can aggravate these diseases.

Bitter Clover – Synonyms

German plant name: Bittersweet

German synonyms of the plant: Buckbean, Trefoil Trefoil, Trefoil, Beaver Clover, Gallweed, Stomach Clover, Month Flower, Marsh Bitter Clover, Marsh Clover, Water Clover, Shagwort, Scallop

Latin plant name: Menyanthes trifoliata L.

Latin synonyms of the plant: Menyanthes palustris

German drug name: bitter shamrocks

German synonyms of the drug: shamrocks

Latin drug name: Menyanthidis trifoliata leaf

Latin synonyms of the drug: Menyanthis leaves

English name: Bogbean leaf, Buckbean leaf March trefoil leaf (Droge); Menyanthes, Bogbean, Common bog bean, Beckbean, Buchbean, Buckbean, Bog Myrtle, March Trefoil, Marsh Clover, Marsh trefoil, Water Shamrock (Pflanze)

Plant family Latin: Menyanthaceae

Plant family German: buckbean family


Bitter Clover – effect

Bitter Clover and its effects

Buckbean is a close relative of gentian and other gentian plants and, like them, is used as a bitter tonic. The bitter substances it contains promote the secretion of saliva, gastric juices and bile, accelerate gastric emptying and stimulate the pancreas. This leads to appetite stimulation, improved digestion quality, and food utilization.

Scopoletin also has an antispasmodic effect. The tannins, iridoids and terpenes are also said to have antimicrobial properties.


Bitter Clover: without exchange and side effects

There are currently no known side effects or interactions with other drugs.



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