Melilotus officinalis

Plant Name

Melilotus officinalis (L.) Pall.

Botanical Info

Annual/Biennial,120 cm heigh


Continental Europe, Western and Central Asia, the Caucasus. Grows on grassy fields and roadsides avoiding acid soils.

Chemical Content

Herba Meliloti grass is used as a medicinal plant. It contains 0.4-0.9% coumarin, coumaric acid, dicumarol, melilotin, essential oil, mucilage.

Traditional Use and Activity

Melilot, used either externally or internally, can help to treat varicose veins and haemorrhoids; though it requires a long-term treatment for the effect to show. The plant also helps to reduce the risk of phlebitis and thrombosis. Melilot contains coumarins and, as the plant dries or decomposes, these become converted to dicoumarol, a powerful anticoagulant. The flowering plant is antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diuretic, emollient, mildly expectorant, mildly sedative and vulnerary. An infusion is used in the treatment of sleeplessness, nervous tension, neuralgia, palpitations, varicose veins, painful congestive menstruation, in the prevention of thrombosis, flatulence and intestinal disorders. Externally, it is used to treat eye inflammations, rheumatic pains, swollen joints, severe bruising, boils and erysipelas with decoction added to the bath-water. The leaves contain coumarin and they release the pleasant smell of newly mown hay when they are drying. The leaves are dried and used as an insect repellent. Dicoumarol is used in rat poisons.