Essential oils when used correctly serve as wonderful and affordable natural remedies. Also called quintessential oils or volatile oils, essential oils are used extensively in traditional herbal medicines and as an alternative to expensive drugs and medications. Essential oils offer a natural and organic way to treat common and even severe health problems and that’s why they’re popularly used all over the world. One of the effective essential oils that is definitely underrated is Melilotus oil.
Latin Name: Melilotus Officinalis
Alternative Name: yellow melilot, yellow common melilot, corn melilot,, kokulu yonca
Forms Available: root, leaf, flower, seedpod
This essential oil comes from Melilotus, an herb that is botanically known as Melilotus Officialis and is commonly called as Melilot or Sweet Clover. In fact, the name of the herb is derived from the following two words – mel (honey) and lotus. Melilotus can grow up to a height of four feet and has yellow and white colored flowers. The herb has a sweet smell that intensifies through the drying process. The herb smells sweet as it contains the chemical coumarin.
The tender plant is a native of Europe and has been naturalized across North America, brought to the United States in the late 1600s, and still used today as a valuable forage crop for animals, and soil enhancer predominantly in the Great Plains and Upper Midwest.
Melilot may be found on roadsides and in fields; waste places and chalky banks in well-drained-to-dry, neutral-to-alkaline soil in sun and is drought tolerant.
The popularity of sweet clover as a natural remedy dates back several centuries. In ancient Egypt, people prepared a tea with sweet clover to cure earaches as well as eliminate parasitic intestinal worms. Ancient Greek physician Aelius Galen recommended employing an infusion similar to the herbal tea prepared with sweet clover in the form of a poultice to treat swollen joints and inflammation.
In England during the Anglo-Saxon era, sweet clover had earned the repute of being an effective remedy to preserve eyesight. In addition, sweet clover was also employed to prepare a balm for treating sores and wounds – this practice is still continued in England where a section of pharmacists market ‘melilot plasters’. The leaves and flowers of sweet clover are also used to prepare a pleasing tea with vanilla flavour and this tea may be drunk just like a beverage or in the form of a medicine to alleviate persistent flatulence.
Melilotus oil is rich in coumarin. Coumarin or cumarin is also found in vanilla and cinnamon. Some say that the scent of sweet clovers is similar to those spices, although vanilla is a member of the orchid family and cinnamon the laurel family. This fragrant similarity led to the use of sweet clovers as an herb flavoring and substitute for vanilla, and also Tonka beans. Sweet clover flowers are dried and added to closets and dresser drawers to impart their sweet scent; they also act as moth repellent.
Perfume Note: Base, Deep Middle
Melilotus oil when used in perfumery gives off a rich, deep, sweet, floral, tobacco, tonka bean aroma. The oil has very complex odor profile.
Melilotus Officinalis Medicinal Uses
Most people don’t know that there is a wide array of benefits that you can get from Melilotus Oil. Melilotus oil is not only used in perfumery, but also in alternative health, cooking and in manufacturing different products.
Some of its health benefits are the following:
Melilotus oil is widely used to treat venous issues such as – varicose veins, blood clots in the veins, hemorrhoids and lymphatic conditions. It helps in reducing the symptoms of poor blood circulation, a condition which is popularly referred to as chronic venous insufficiency. It also helps in relieving leg pains and cramps, and solves the problems of inflammatory and congestive edema. Melilotus is approved by the German Commission E for treating hemorrhoids and venous conditions.
Melilotus Oil Infusion
To prepare an infusion, pour boiling water over 1-2 tsp of Melilotus oil. Mix well for 5-10 minutes. Use this to treat your varicose veins.
Melilotus oil has been used to treat nerve pain, specifically when spinal nerve injuries cause rather dreadful headaches. Upper Peninsula herbalist Andrea Corpolongo has used it and found it to be especially effective for headaches & migraines, taken immediately upon sensing their onset. King’s American Dispensatory states, “Many observers have found it peculiarly effective in certain painful disorders, particularly neuralgias of long standing and associated with debility.” Harvey Wickes Felter adds, “Melilotus is a remedy for pain associated with a sensation of coldness of the extremities and marked tenderness, lameness, or soreness to the touch.”
It is used as an emollient to be applied externally as a salve, or poultice, for inflammation, swellings, milk knots, arthritis, and aching joints. It is also believed to be effective in drawing out toxins and is therefore useful for boils and other skin problems.
Melilotus Oil Hot Compress
Mix a small amount of boiling water with a few drops of the essential oil. Spread the mixture on a soft cloth. Using the cloth, apply a warm compress on your knees, legs, joints and other affected areas to relieve swelling, arthritis, rheumatism and joint and muscle aches.
As a mild astringent, Melilot oil has been used to clear congestion. When taken internally, it is said to relieve congestion of the lymph glands and painful congestive menstruation.
Melilotus oil is helpful where there is weakness of tone of the penis and partial impotence.
This essential oil is mildly sedative and antispasmodic. It is given to treat insomnia (especially among children) as well as to relieve anxiety.
Melilotus oil has been used as a soothing digestive aid and has been thought to be particularly effective in cases of flatulence. Supporting healthy digestive system, Melilot is also said to relieve colic, indigestion and stomach problems.
As a diuretic, Melilotus oil helps promote the flow of urine, and as such, it helps to relieve excess fluid retention and edema (the accumulation of fluid in tissues that results in swelling).
Use of Melilotus oil helps to reduce the risk of phlebitis and thrombosis. This essential oil contains coumarins, and as the plant dries or spoils, these become converted to dicoumarol, a powerful anticoagulant. Thus, the plant should be used with some caution, and it should not be prescribed to patients with a history of poor blood clotting or who are taking warfarin medication.
- Melilotus oil as an insect repellent.
Melilotus oil can be used as an insect repellent and is thought to be especially good for repelling moths. You can add a drop or two of Melilotus oil on your pillows and mattresses as well to help get rid of bedbugs, mosquitoes and other insects.
Melilotus oil is used as a soothing, cooling and detoxifying agent to the blood, purifying it of excess heat and choler, as well as purulent toxins. Melilotus oil has also traditionally been used in putrefaction and septic conditions of the blood, and to avert gangrene.
- Melilotus oil for healthy gums.
Melilotus oil can help heal gingivitis and periodontitis and prevent gum infections and diseases. You can do this by using Melilotus oil as a mouthwash or gargle. Just mix 5-6 drops of this essential oil to half a liter of water, then gargle daily to help treat gum inflammation and tonsillitis.
Some old herbalists say that if a person is suffering from apoplexy or stroke, Melilotus oil is used as a mild tea or added to regular tea internally and a concentrated tea (or a poultice) on the outside of the head to regain the senses.
The root of Melilotus was consumed as a food by the Kalmuks. Young shoots can be cooked and used like asparagus. Young leaves can be eaten in salads and the leaves and seedpods cooked as a vegetable. They have also been used as a flavoring. Only fresh leaves should be used since the dried leaves can be toxic. This is possibly due to the presence of coumarin, the substance that gives some dried plants the smell of new mown hay. The flowers, raw or cooked, are edible. The flowers and seeds can be used as a flavoring. The flowers also give an aromatic quality to some tisanes.
Other uses of Melilotus
In Switzerland, Melilot abounds in the pastures and is an ingredient in the green Swiss cheese called Schabzieger. The Schabzieger cheese is made by the curd being pressed in boxes with holes to let the whey run out; and when a considerable quantity has been collected and putrefaction begins, it is worked into a paste with a large proportion of the dried herb Melilotus, reduced to a powder. The herb is called in the country dialect “Zieger kraut,” or curd herb. The paste thus produced is pressed into moulds of the shape of a common flowerpot and, with the putrefaction being stopped by the aromatic herb, it dries into a solid mass and stays unchanged for any length of time. When used, it is rasped or grated and the powder mixed with fresh butter is spread upon bread.
In addition, the extracted essential oil from flowers and seeds of Melilotus can be used as flavoring. For instance, the French have used it as flavoring for rabbit stuffing for centuries. Throughout Europe and other regions, Melilotus oil has been used for flavoring soups, stews, and marinades.
A few drops of Melilotus oil can be added to your tea. When used as such, it is diffusive and diaphoretic and helps move energy out from the core to the surface of the skin by both improving blood flow and relaxing tension.
As an ingredient of skin care products Melilotus is used as a component of skin care products because it is believed to:
- Treat rosacea
- Soothe irritated skin
- Improve redness and inflammation
- Hydrate dry skin
- Balance skin tone
- Heal pustules
- Remove scabs
Melilot is also a good choice for massage oil. Melilot oil has refreshing, revitalizing and relaxing effects. Many people believe that it helps keep skin looking young. For better results, mix Melilot oil with Marigold oil. Marigold is already known as a strong antiseptic and fungicidal material since the time of our ancestors. It contains a large amount of the provitamin Vitamin A. The two oils when combined are more effective for a relaxing massage and for treating of dermatological problems.
If you are pregnant, nursing or taking any medications, consult your doctor before use. Consult your healthcare provider before beginning use of any herb.
Do a skin test before using essential oils topically.
In case of skin irritation, stop using the oil. If you’re using it neat, try diluting it before using it again.
Keep the oil and parts that have come in contact with it away from your eyes.
Use only high quality oils that you know are pure.
If in doubt, dilute.
Listen to your body. If you don’t feel right after using an essential oil, stop using it, or if you feel like you need to use a certain one, try it. Your body is a great guide.
You can buy Melilotus Oil or Melilotus extract from any of the following: