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The Wonder Pill

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Coincidental Cures

Photo of cloverRemedy: Red Clover
Athlete's Foot

Farmers have long relied on this common weed to replace the nitrogen in soil and to feed livestock. People have also ascribed a variety of medicinal properties to red clovers. Tea made from boiled flowers were alleged to treat asthma and bronchitis as well as muscle spasms or cramps.

Red clovers has also been used as a sedative, an expectorant, a blood "purifier," and as a "cancer wash." Clover is also thought to cure a number of skin conditions, both when taken internally and applied topically. The journal of Etha Parsons Yohe (1875 - ??) of Parsonsburg, Maryland, includes evidence that people would obtain topical clover compounds in some surprising ways: "For toe itch--they call it athlete's foot now--watch the cow eliminate and stick your sick foot in it for a while. A healthy cow does not have odor but a perfume of clover and new mowed hay." Even today, clover teas and poultices are widely recommended for cancer and athlete's foot. Researchers are investigating how some compounds found in clover may inhibit cancer or ease the symptoms of menopause. So far, not much real science backs up these claims; however, the plant is rich in calcium, potassium and magnesium and can therefore be a healthy addition to salads.

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