Melilotus officinalis
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Rachel Cassidy
Posted on: January 30, 2003

I have recently purchased some of the above as the dried herb from your company, for my uncle who has melanoma. It is difficult to eat straight, as it is quite "woody." We were wondering if it can be cooked into a stew or porridge, or will doing so destroy the active compounds. Should he just soak it overnight or something like that?

I am not aware that melilot (Melilotus officinalis) is used for the treatment of melanoma. Typically, its internal uses are for the treatment of colic, stomach problems and chronic bronchitis. For internal use it can be taken as a tea. John Lust, in his "The Herb Book", says the tea is made by steeping 1 teaspoon of dried herb per cup of water, and he gives a dose of 1 to 1-1/2 cups per day. But be warned: melilot contains coumarin, a potent blood anticoagulant, and large doses or long term use can be dangerous. Large doses can cause vomiting and other symptoms of poisoning.

A poultice is also used, for such problems as swellings and boils, and it can be prepared by placing a half ounce of dried herb in a cloth bag, boiling in water briefly, and applied to the affect area as hot as can be tolerated.

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