It’s my first summer in our new home outside of the city, and our land is teeming with lush, organic plant life. It seems every week there is something new in bloom, from the tubers on wild hazelnut trees, to the sunburst of flaming tiger lilies.
Foraging has always been innate in my family, and there is something exceptionally grounding about harvesting something from the earth’s wild belly, and savoring it in the comfort of the home.
I first heard of the health benefits of red clover when I began having irregular periods as a young adult, and it was touted to relieve PMS symptoms. But red clover is such a rich source of estrogen-like chemicals called isoflavones, that it not only soothes some of the irritations during your monthly cycle, but menopause as well.
Isoflavones are a plant-derived chemical that is easily recognized by the body, helping the body to purify the blood and acting like a diuretic to detoxify and balance the immune system while equalizing estrogen. Since it’s relatively easy to find, it makes a great partner for a light and earthy tea.
Whenever ingesting any form of wild harvest, always be sure that there are no chemicals or toxins near by, such as exhaust from vehicles or harmful pesticides. Red clover is not for everyone, particularly those struggling with certain cancers. *Always consult your doctor to be safe when trying something new.
Purifying Red Clover and Mint Tea
1 handful of red clover, stems removed
5-7 large mint leaves
3-4 cups of water
1. Wash and dry your harvested red clover blooms, ensuring they are free of insects and dirt. Wash your mint leaves and clap the leaves between your hands, gently bruising the leaves to ignite their flavor.
2. Boil your desired amount of water and add your fresh red clover and mint leaves, letting them steep for five-to-seven minutes. The water will be a light amber, greenish tint when it is ready.
3. Serve hot, and add a few blooms to your cup, and honey to sweeten if desired. The red clover has an earthy flavor that is cut nicely by the sharpness of the mint leaves. If the flavor is too strong for you, add more mint leaves to cut it further.
VANESSA KUNDERMAN is a fiction author, poet, and avid crystal collector. She has published stories alongside Stephen King, Alice Munro, and Anais Nin, in “Woman, an anthology” a collection of works celebrating strong female dynamics. As a student of core shamanism, Vanessa advocates adapting traditions to create new modern sacred studies. She has a background in motivational speaking and teaches workshops grounded in her self-care and spiritual wellness website, Rogue Wood Supply. She is a mother, cancer survivor, and a lover of the True North, and believes smudging can fix almost every sour mood. She hails from the prairie woodlands of Canada.