St. Patrick’s Day is traditionally a day of luck. Hundreds of years ago in Ireland, the four-leaf clover became a symbol of luck with the four leaves representing faith, hope, love, and success.
The Druids (Celtic priests), in the early days of Ireland, believed that when they carried a three-leaf clover or shamrock, they could see evil spirits coming and have a chance to escape in time. Four-leaf clovers were Celtic charms, presumed to offer magical protection and ward off bad luck. Children in the Middle Ages believed if they carried a four-leaf clover, they would be able to see fairies, and the first literary reference to suggest their good fortune was made in 1620 by Sir John Melton.
Fast Facts About Four-Leaf Clovers from Better Homes and Gardens
There are approximately 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every “lucky” four-leaf clover.
There are no clover plants that naturally produce four leaves, which is why four-leaf clovers are so rare.
The leaves of four-leaf clovers are said to stand for faith, hope, love, and luck.
It’s often said that Ireland is home to more four-leaf clovers than any other place, giving meaning to the phrase “the luck of the Irish.”
If you’re lucky enough to find a four-leaf clover, look for more! If a clover plant produces a four-leaf clover, it’s more likely to produce another four-leaf lucky charm than plants that only produce three-leaf clovers.
The fourth leaf can be smaller or a different shade of green than the other three leaves Shamrocks and four-leaf clovers are not the same thing; the word ‘shamrock’ refers only to a clover with three leaves.
So what’s the DEAL? Clover is also widely used as a traditional medicine to treat osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis, skin disorders, cancer, respiratory problems like asthma, and women’s health issues, such as menstrual and menopausal symptoms. That’s quite a mouthful! We’ll be serving up Red Clover tea at the winter market…and I’m sure I harvested a four leaf in one of the batches. Try a cup and see if you feel a difference!