LATIN NAME: Melilotus officinalis

FAMILY: Fabaceae

GENUS: Melilotus

COMMON NAMES: yellow sweet clover, yellow melilot, ribbed melilot and common melilot

ORIGIN AND DISTRIBUTION AREA: native to Eurasia and introduced in North America, Africa and Australia

HABITAT: grows in calcareous loamy and clay soils

BOTANICAL INFORMATION: an annual or biennial plant of 1.2–1.8 m high. Leaves are alternate and possess three leaflets. The flowers are yellow, produce fruit in pods (containing one seed). They blossom in spring-summer. The color of the pollen is yellow.


Coumarin gives a plant a sweet pleasant aroma, which is strengthened while drying. The maximum amount of coumarin is in yellow flowers. In addition to coumarin, there are essential oils, proteins, slime. Moreover, there are a number of vitamins: A, beta-carotene, C, B vitamins (such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12). This curative plant contains a number of valuable minerals: manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium, selenium. Melilot also includes bioflavonoids and flavonoids.


All components of the chemical composition of the melilot herb give it good therapeutic properties, such as:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • diuretic
  • carminative
  • antiedematous
  • hypotensive
  • expectorant
  • diaphoretic
  • wound healing
  • painkiller
  • anti-varicose
  • calming

Due to the calming effect, the melilot relaxes the nervous system and can be used as an antidepressant, but it should be used in moderate doses, since it can cause addiction.

Melilot, as a medicinal plant, is valued because of the presence of coumarin in it. It provides the most part of its medicinal properties. It acts soothingly on the nervous system and prevents spasms.

As studies have shown, coumarin can:

  • increase pressure
  • improve cerebral circulation in the abdominal cavity and myocardium
  • increase the strength of contractions of the heart muscle

Melilot tea can be used instead of sleeping pills; this will improve the quality of sleep, and reduce the level of fatigue and anxiety. It is better to mix the melilot with other herbs that have similar properties: with chamomile, thyme, linden or mint. It is enough to drink one glass of herbal tea before going to bed.

Melilot is a wonderful natural antibiotic, which gently combats inflammation in the body.

Decoction of the leaves and flowers of this plant can be used for colds and flu. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and expectorant.

Melilot treats prostate adenoma in men, increases libido, and also normalizes the menstrual cycle in women, it is recommended for problems with the ovaries. It helps to relieve the period of menopause, PMS, but it is contraindicated in pregnancy. Internal use of the melilot is recommended for abdominal distention, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins.

Baths with concentrated melilot infusion are usually used with external skin lesions, as well as with convulsions, spasms, pain in the muscles and joints. Swelling of the legs can also be removed by taking a foot bath with melilot before bed.

It is recommended to make a compress from the melilot infusion when there are painful cracks on the nipples, as well as with the first signs of mastitis for nursing mothers. In folk medicine, the medicinal melilot is used for the treatment for flatulence, constipation, certain female diseases, rheumatism.

Melilot ointments are applied for ulcers and boils. In ancient times popular healers used melilot as a diuretic, they treated people having varicose veins. This herb improves blood circulation in the extremities, relieves puffiness, pain, and cramps.


Massage with melilot honey helps well when having joint diseases, such as arthrosis and arthritis.

It is recommended as well for diseases of the respiratory system, such as colds, headache, insomnia.

Melilot honey is useful for heart diseases: it promotes the expansion of coronary vessels, improves blood supply, reduces edema of cardiac origin, and stabilizes the pressure.

It has strong antiseptic properties; it is used as fomentation for compresses when having purulent wounds and boils.

Melilot honey has soothing, diuretic, expectorant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic effects and stimulates the secretion of milk in nursing mothers.

Melilot honey has also a resolving effect on inflammation of the mammary glands, tumors of the joints with rheumatism. In folk medicine, melilot honey is used for bronchitis, dropsy, flatulence, the presence of abdominal pain, pain in the bladder and kidneys, migraines, and hypertension.


Melilot is a plant with a high concentration of active substances, so there are contraindications and side effects. It is extremely important to comply with dosage and application regulations.

Possible side effects with exceeded dosage:

  • Digestive system: pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.
  • Vessels and heart system: increased heart rate, increased blood pressure.
  • Central nervous system: depression, dizziness, apathy, drowsiness.
  • Probable symptoms of general poisoning or intoxication.
  • There may be bleeding or subcutaneous hemorrhage.
  • Allergic reactions in the form of rash, burning and itching (with external use).


  • Pregnancy, as it can provoke bleeding.
  • Reduced blood clotting.
  • Tachycardia, stenocardia and other diseases of the cardiovascular system.
  • Propensity to bleeding.
  • Liver disease.
  • Surgery.


Moderate Interaction with Medications that can harm the liver (Hepatotoxic drugs):

Huge doses of melilot can damage the liver. Simultaneous consumption of melilot medication that can damage the liver such as  acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), amiodarone (Cordarone), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), methyldopa (Aldomet), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), erythromycin (Erythrocin, Ilosone, others), phenytoin (Dilantin), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and many others, can intensify the chance of liver damage. Do not take melilot across with medications that can harm the liver.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs):

Melilot can decelerate blood clotting. Simultaneous taking of melilot and antiplatelet medications such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others can strengthen the risks of bruising and bleeding. Before using, consult a doctor.


Add 100 g of dry melilot herb to 500 ml of vodka or diluted alcohol (40%). Infuse for two weeks, after strain and take 10-15 drops by mouth, 3 times a day before meals. Use tincture when having infertility and hormonal imbalance, endometriosis, migraine, etc. Keep it in the refrigerator.

“Use plants to bring life”

Douglas Wilson

 *This article is for informational purposes only. We suggest consulting with a physician before using these or any other herbal supplements.