This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Melilotus officinarum germaniae: C. B. Lotus silvestris. 'Trifolium odoratum. Trifolium Melilotus officinalis Linn. Melilot: a plant with smooth oval striated leaves, standing three together, on slender pedicles; and round, striated, branched stalks, terminated by long spikes of papilionaceous flowers drooping downwards, which are followed by short thick wrinkled pods, containing, each, one or two roundish seeds. It is annual or biennial, and found in flower, in hedges and corn fields, greatest part of the summer.
Melilot has been said to be resolvent, emollient, anodyne, and to participate of the virtues of camomile. In its sensible qualities, it differs
(a) It is preserved, perhaps from inattention, in the Electuarium Tbebaicum Pharm. Edinb, very materially from that plant: its taste is un-pleasant, fubacrid, subsaline, but not bitter: when fresh, it has scarcely any smell; in drying, it acquires a pretty strong one, of the aromatic kind, but not agreeable. Linnaeus observes, in the third volume of the Amaenitates Academicae that distilled water of melilot, of little smell itself, remarkably heightens the fragrance of other substances. The principal use of this plant has been in glysters, fomentations, and other external applications: it formerly gave name to one of the officinal plasters; which received from the melilot a green colour and an unpleasant smell, without any addition to its efficacy.