Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The last few days we have ventured into more hands-on science for school! We have gone out into the world to explore and have discovered some pretty cool stuff! :)
Oh and we did stop for a picnic while we read up on our edible plants!:)
On our hike yesterday, we picked quite a bit of red clover...I thought it would be all gone, but we found a whole meadow of it! No, it's not a red flower, as you can see in the picture above, it's quite purple! And that's exactly what it looks like...you will also recognize the clover leaf pattern of three leaves growing around the red clover...low to the ground,but you will definitely spot it! We also found lots of white clover...and it is white. :)
For science we are researching and learning about edible plants..and we have a whole list to uncover:) This is my kinda teaching! I love hands-on classroom and so do the kids:) I take red clover capsules from time to time, but we were wanting to experiment with picking the flowers for tea!
It makes a delicious hot tea with honey and a wonderful, yummy summer iced tea! You just pluck the flower blooms off and steep a cup of them for 10 minutes...then serve with honey hot or iced! DO NOT pick if the flower heads are BROWN or turning BROWN they will be bitter. The brighter the color the better!
I suppose we were lucky to find so many this late in the summer up north.
The kids LOVED the tea. We dried the rest of the flower buds to save for winter when we will be warming up with our red clover hot tea!
Oh my! There are so many wonderful benefits to drinking this tea!
Red Clover has long been used as a blood purifier! It is used for symptoms of high cholesterol, menopause, menstrual cramps,ostioporosis, cardiovascular blood flow(blood thinner),and diabetes. Because it contains high levels of insoflavones (estrogen-like qualities) it is said to be excellent for menopausal women. Insoflavones reduce bone less and increase bone density. Because these insoflavones help good cholesterol, it is said to be good for cardiovascular health. Red Clover may help reduce plaque in the arteries, reduce the risk of blood clots, and prevent gout!
Women with breast cancer or in remission should NOT take red clover because of it's estrogen-like qualities. Likewise if you are pregnant, nursing, or have been diagnosed with endiometriosis, or taking birth control pills as they contains hormones. Because Red Clover is a natural blood thinner, you should NOT take this if you are already on a blood thinner medication.
We are heading out tomorrow to pick some more of these beautiful flowers for drying! Oh! and in case you didn't know you can throw these flower heads raw in your salad for a S-W-E-E-T addition! :)
Please note this information as not been approved by the Food and Drug administration (nor do I care)...;)