The flowers of some forms of the plant contain traces of prussic acid & so the plants can become mildly toxic when flowering. They are completely harmless when dried.
In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration & improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer.
Bird's foot trefoil is recommend for the treatment of problems such as heart palpitations, persistent & chronic nervousness, long term depression & sleep disorders such as insomnia.
The flowers are antispasmodic, cardiotonic & sedative.
The root is carminative, febrifuge, restorative & tonic.
The plant is used externally as a local anti-inflammatory compress in all cases of skin inflammation.
The young seedpods are nibbled. Caution is advised.
Be very careful when working with this herb.
In excess it can cause respiratory failure & even death.
believed to be the incarnation of Tom Thumb, as the leaves look like the Devil's fingers of folk tradition. - See more at: http://yorkshirefilmarchive.com/film/plant-magic#sthash.ewu0eBTG.dpuf
Trefoil believed to be the incarnation of Tom Thumb as the leaves look like the Devil's fingers.In English folk tales, Tom Thumb is a tiny man. An old, childless couple wish for a son & are granted a thumb-sized boy. After many adventures he becomes a brave, miniature knight at the court of King Arthur.