Annual Yellow Sweetclover (Melilotus indicus)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Annual Yellow Sweetclover
Melilotus indicus

The leaves repel insects. They have been placed in beds to repel bedbugs[257].

  • Medicinal Use

    The seed is made into a gruel and used in the treatment of bowel complaints and infantile diarrhoea[218, 240].

    The plant is discutient, emollient, astringent, strongly laxative and narcotic[218, 240, 257]. It is used externally as a poultice or plaster on swellings[218, 240].

    The plant contains coumarin, which is an anticoagulant[218].

    The plant also contains dicumarol, which is a broad spectrum bactericide[218].

  • Edible Use

    Leaves – cooked[105].

  • Cautionary Notes

    The dried leaves can be toxic, though the fresh leaves are quite safe[76, 218]. This is due to the presence of coumarin, the substance that gives some dried plants the smell of new mown hay. If taken internally it can prevent the blood from clotting.

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring to mid-summer in situ[87]. Pre-soaking the seed for 12 hours in warm water will speed up the germination process, particularly in dry weather[K]. Germination will usually take place within 2 weeks.
Dislikes shade. This species is often cultivated as a fodder crop and cultivars low in coumarin have been developed[218]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200]. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.
Europe – Mediterranean to E. Asia. Naturalized in Britain.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.