Melilot Herb: Health Benefits, Uses, Facts

Sweet Clover (USA)

FR: Melilot

GER: Honigklee, Steinklee IT: Meliloto

SP: Mililoto, Trebol dulce

BOT: Melilotus officinalis and other species

FAM: Leguminosea

This common plant is tall, rather straggly, with yellow flowers arranged somewhat like a lupin and saw-edged leaves arranged in threes. The plant grows wild in North America and in Europe including Britain where it was probably introduced for making poultices. It is common in fields and waste places, and may be grown as forage.

Melilot Herb: Health Benefits, Uses, Facts Photo Gallery

Melilot, when dried, develops a smell of new mown hay and it was once used in herb beers.

Today it is used for stuffing or wrapping the meat of rabbits, or in marinades to impart its sweet haylike flavour to the meat. It may also be used in stews. Unlike most herbs, it is better used dried. This herb has something in common with fenugreek (q.v.) and belongs to the same family.

Another melilot (Melilotus coerules) has a blue flower. It is grown in the Swiss district of Glarus, around Lachen at the eastern end of Lake Zurich, and is not permitted to be sold to the public. It was brought to Europe from Asia Minor in the fourteenth century, and has ever since been used to flavour the local Schabzeiger (sap sago, USA) cheese. The herb is gathered before it flowers, and is combined with other herbs in flavouring the cheese, which is itself often grated as a flavouring.

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