Family: Fabaceae

Synonyms: Amoria repens, Lotodes repens, Trifolium biasolettii, Trifolium Limonium, Trifolium macrorrhizum, Trifolium nevadense, Trifolium occidentale, Trifolium orbelicum, Trifolium orphanideum, Trifolium stipitatum.

Common Name: White Clover

Local Name: Jangali parseen (जंगली परसीन)

Jangali parseen is an evergreen perennial herb of Western Himalaya, very frequent in grasses meadows up to an altitude of 2500-3000 meters. It grows well in a moist sunny habitat and can be propagated by seeds.

Jangali parseen growing wild

jangali parseen is used as a pot herb and young leaves of this plant are eaten both raw or cooked. Flowers, leaves and seed pods are dried and ground into flour and eaten. Edible plant parts can be used fresh are dried for later use. Leaves are best harvested before the plant comes into flower and can be used in salads and soups etc. Being rich protein in content, it is considered as one of best forage for cattle.  

Jangali parseen in natural habitat

Local people harvest this plant for their local use as a source of food, fodder and medicine from wild habitat. Being a member of family Fabaceae, it is able to fix atmospheric nitrogen and considered an excellent green manure for lawns and gardens. So, plant is sometime grown as an ornamental plant in lawns and gardens.

Jangali parseen Plant:

Plant is prostate, creeping, glabrous to sparsely pubescent, perennial herb upto 10 – 50cm tall. is with creeping stems that develop form roots at the nodes and can form dense mats.

Leaflets obovate, rounded or retuse at the apex. Entire or toothed; stipules broad at the base, sheathing.

Close up of mature flowers of Jangali parseen

Flowers in globose heads. Calyx pilose; teeth lanceolate. Corolla white, tinged with pink at maturity.

Fruits linear, 4-6 mm long, 3-4 –seeded, covered by persistent calyx.

Edible leaves of this Jangali parseen are best harvested in pre- spring to pre-summer season just before plant start flowering. Flowers of this plant are available from spring to autumn season of the year. Roots are best to harvest in winters after flowering and fruiting. Plant show luxuriant growth but even then, flowers and roots of this plant need to be harvested in sustainable manner like collection from different habitat for ensuring sustainable development.   

Edible Uses:

All the parts of this plant young leaves, flower. seed pods and roots are edible. Fresh young leaves and immature flowers can be eaten raw in salads or cooked as leafy vegetable most preferably with other available greens. Leaves and flowers can be dried for later use. Both fresh and dried leaves can be added to soups. Dried leaves impart a vanilla flavor to cakes etc.1 and dried flower head are used in making herbal tea. Flowers and seed pods of jangali parseen are ground into flour which can be added to flour of other cereals for harnessing its nutritive and medicinal values.

Those under the medication of blood clots or hypertension, having surgery the for next two weeks and who areallergic to jangali parseen should avoid eating this wild green because it possesses blood thinning substances 5.

Saag;

Ingredients:

Chopped leaves of jangali parseen and other potherbs, 1 kg; mustard oil, 2 table spoons; coriander powder 1 table spoon; fenugreek powder, ½ table spoon; cumin seed ¼ table spoon; turmeric powder, 1/4 table spoon; red chilies, 2-3; chopped onions 2-4; garlic, 4-5 cloves; ginger paste ½ table spoon and salt according to taste.

jangali parseen leaves collected for cooking

Method:

Boil chopped leaves they become soft.  Then mesh manually or in a mixer. Then sauté with hot mustard oil and the spices listed before in sequence. This sauted saag is then ready and can be served as such or can be mixed with 2 or 3 chopped onion or boiled potato and cooked for another 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Saag of jangali parseen young leaves ready to serve

Food Value:

Jangali parseen is a nutritious herb, rich in protein, minerals (especially Ca, P and Mg) and soluble carbohydrates6.

Medicinal Uses:

The plant is antirheumatic, antiscrophulatic, depurative, detergent and tonic 2 . An infusion has been used in the treatment of coughs, colds, fevers and leucorrhoea 3. A tincture of the leaves is applied as an ointment to gout2. An infusion of the flowers has been used as an eyewash3.

Other Uses:

Local people of Western Himalaya mainly use Jangali parseen as fodder for its rich protein content. Plant is grown as an ornamental plant in lawns and garden for its ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. Grown for pasture and soil improvement, forage, hay, silage, and cover 7. The plant makes a good green manure, it is useful for over-wintering, especially in a mixture with Lolium perenne 4. It can be under sown with cereals or with tomatoes in a greenhouse (sow the seed before planting the tomatoes) 4.

  References:

  1. Schofield, J. J. (1989). Discovering Wild Plants-Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest.
  2. Duke, J. A., & Ayensu, E. S. (1985). Medicinal plants of China (Vol. 2). Reference Publications.
  3.  Moerman, D. E. (1998). Native american ethnobotany. Timber press.
  4. Woodward, L., & Burge, P. (Eds.). (1982). Green Manures. Elm Farm Research Centre.
  5. https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/clover.
  6. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/245.
  7. http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home.

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