The Science Behind Why Four Leaf Clover is Known as a Lucky Charm

Four leaf clovers are an Irish symbol of luck. It is believed that a four leaf clover avoids evil spirits coming on the way and protects from bad happenings.

5 years ago
The Science Behind Why Four Leaf Clover is Known as a Lucky Charm

When you were a kid, did you ever feel that carrying a good luck charm in exams makes you perform better? Every individual has a lucky charm. While some believe that red color is lucky for them, others say it brings bad luck.

If you believe in luck and superstitions, you might have heard about the four leaf clover which brings good luck. Also, if you are lucky, you can find it in the backyard. It is a four-leafed variety of white clover and is also known as Trifolium repens. Not only four-leaf but Oxalis, Water Clover, and Pepperwort are also known to bring luck because of resemblance with four leaf clover.

According to several superstitions, this clover brings good luck, however, psychologists say, it is a matter of fortune that may have been in your head. Superstitions have become an unavoidable part of people’s lives and are followed by every society. But they are majorly followed by Indian society. It is also believed that Indians follow superstitions with utmost sincerity. What do you think do four-leafed clovers bring good luck? Let’s find it out.

When German Psychologists Challenged University Students

Source = Sciencenewsforstudents

It was in 2010 when German psychologists challenged 28 students to a game mini golf. A few participants were informed that they have a lucky ball with them. As a result, they performed 35% better than those who were told to use the ordinary ball.

Another incident happened when the same researchers experienced on 40 students who admitted to having lucky charms. They were told to clear a memory test with or without their lucky charms. As a result, the students who had their lucky charms performed better with high confidence.

The psychologists explain that perceiving yourself as a lucky person gives better results and success, as self prediction is more powerful than horseshoes, or four-leaf clovers and other things which are considered as a lucky charm.

From Where Does This Superstition Come?

Source = Irishcentral

You are walking in the garden, and notice a patch of clover. Instead of three leaves, it has four; it is a lucky four leaf clover. Just like crossing fingers is considered good luck, the four-leaf clover is believed to represent love, luck, and faith. Nobody knows from where and how does this superstition begin. But according to Christian mythology, Eve brought this leaf when expelled from paradise. Therefore, it is believed that anyone who has for leaf clovers has a piece/part of the blessed paradise.

Earlier, it was mentioned that purple grasses and flower leaves were kept in gardens because they were “good for the purples in children or others.” Another description from 1869 says that these clovers were gathered at night-time during the full moon by sorceresses, who mixed it with vervain and other ingredients, while young girls in search of a token of perfect happiness made a quest of the plant by day.

Others say that these clovers give the power to see fairies. It is also possible that four-leafed clovers are considered to be lucky because the chances of finding a four-leaf clover are one in 10,000. This may sound difficult, but, according to the Minitab Blog, a four-leafed clover can be found in a rectangular area covering 3-4 feet.

So, if you find one, feel happy that you are lucky. Another reason why it is believed to be lucky is there are no clover plants that produce four leaves.

Today, these clovers are a St. Patrick’s Day tradition. The Celtic priests believed, when they carried a clover or shamrock, they could see evil spirits coming and get a chance to run away. There’s an interesting story about Abraham Lincoln’s death. It was published that he carried this leaf with him everywhere for good luck, unfortunately, on the day he was killed by the notorious assassin John Wilkes Booth, he was not carrying it.

But do you know shamrocks are not the same as four-leaf clovers? They are three-leafed clovers and are associated with Ireland because St. Patrick used shamrocks to describe the Holy Trinity to those he converted. No matter what, but shamrocks are not four-leafed, but three-leaf clover. It is home to Ireland and gives meaning to the phrase “ the luck of the Irish.”  Tiny shamrocks fold up their leaves at night and produce a yellow flower after two months of germination.

What Do These Clovers Stand for?

Source = Freepik

Every leaf or a plant possesses a different power. But this power varies depending on the traditions the people follow. A four-leafed clover is identified as a plant that holds something special and magical.

Do you know each leaf of the clover has a different meaning? In the Christian tradition, the four clovers refer to hope, faith, charity, and luck. While, in the Anglo-Saxon tradition, it refers to fame, wealth, love, and health.

How to Find That You Have a Real Four-Leafed Clover?

Source = Themystica

Not all four-leafed clovers are lucky. One way to check if you have found the real four-leafed clovers is to check the size of the leaves. If the size is the same, then you didn’t have good luck. A real lucky clover is the one having three leaves of the same size and one slightly smaller. It may also happen that a different sized leaf has a new green shade.

Can You Grow Your Lucky Charm Clovers?

Source = Steemitimages

You are wrong if you think that growing lucky clovers is easier than finding in a field. Even though the kits for growing lucky clovers are available on different websites, in most cases, you pay for white clover seeds. It may happen that the plants that grow from those seeds do not grow in four-leafed clovers. This may sound good to try, but keep in mind that you may end up getting a white clover in a pot.

Scientists discovered that gene mutation that causes clovers to grow is due to warm weather. So, if you want to try your luck in finding these lucky clovers, plan your trip in summers or warm climates. Do you know that these lucky clovers love staying together with their friends, means if you find one leaf clover, you may find it more in the same area? It is a social plant, and if its stem has produced four-leaf clovers, more of its stems might produce the same.

The mutation that causes leaves to grow usually results in four-leaf clovers. But sometimes, it may end up in producing more than five leaves which are believed to be even luckier. Six leafed clovers bring faith, love, money, luck, good fortune, and hope. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the clover with most leaves was found by Shigeo Obara of Japan.

Not only this, Edward Martin Sr. Martin has claimed to have the largest clover collection in 2007. Since 1999, he has been collecting the leaves and has gathered over 111,000 leaves.

Final Words

You might have heard or read about the four-leaf clover superstition in books, but here are some Roman superstitions that your teacher wouldn’t tell you. Several people find the superstition as a tradition; others find them silly.

While some believe right foot itching is related to positive vibes, others say it gives a hint that a person will soon embark on a journey. Read more itchy feet superstitions and know how it is also linked with a wardrobe change.

If you find a four leaf clover, search for more, because only the lucky ones get the luck of the Irish. It is also said that if you give someone this leaf, your luck doubles. So, you can also gift four-leaf clovers when your friends or family are taking a life-changing decision.

Tell us, do you believe in the four leaf clover superstition? Do you find any theory or explanation behind this superstition to be true? Drop your comments below.


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