Red Clover and Its Health Benefits

Biological Description
Red clover (Trifolium pratense), a herbaceous perennial plant, is a species of clover, often found abundant on meadow land. The plant is native to Europe, western Asia and northwest Africa. The red clover species are variably in size – they grow from 20 to 80 cm in height. Several stems of the herb arise from one root. The green leaves are ternate, with ovate leaflets. Red clover flowers are dark pink or red purple, a base being slightly paler; they are usually about 15mm long and grouped in a dense inflorescence.
You will find red clover growing in open forests, field borders, paths and dry meadows. It prefers well-drained loam soil with medium and high fertility. Wide range of climatic conditions is favorable for the red clover, but it would grow best in the areas with cool to warm summer temperatures and abundant soil moisture throughout the year.
Parts Used
In traditional herbal medicine red clover flowering tops is the source for various preparations and extracts. Other parts of the plant are not that commonly used.
The variety of preparations based on red clover include tinctures, teas, dried extracts, capsules, tablets, liquid extract and extracts standardized to specific isoflavone contents. Ointments aimed at topical application are also prepared from the red clover flowering tops.
Isoflavones and phytoestrogens, estrogen-like chemicals, are the active components found in red clover. They are similar to female hormone estrogen and are believed to be effective for various related conditions – menopause, hot flashes, osteoporosis and cardiovascular health. Isoflavones are also theoretically believed to help prevent some types of cancer, such as breast and prostate cancer. The herb is a source of a variety of valuable nutrients (calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, coumarin, and vitamin C) and possesses antispasmodic, blood-purifying, liver-cleansing, diuretic and expectorant (helping clear lungs of mucous) properties. Be careful taking red clover with blood-thinning medication since it possesses similar properties and may make the blood too thin.
Health Benefits
Red clover is a potential protection against heart disease. It works by increasing “good” cholesterol levels, strengthening the arteries, improving blood flow, and keeping blood from clothing by thinning it. Hot flashes and some other menopausal symptoms are also proved to be effectively handled with the red clover’s help. Osteoporosis (bone loss) is the condition associated with menopause. Researches show that red clover isoflavones may slow bone loss by boosting mineral density in menopausal women. Estrogen-like actions of the herb has been showed to be effective against cancer cells growth. But there is also a possibility that these chemicals, just like estrogen, might contribute to the growth of some cancers. The herb is also effective against skin disorders. Applied topically, red clover ointments are used to treat eczema, acne, psoriasis, and sores. Diseases of the respiratory system, such as coughs and bronchitis, are also treated with red clover’s therapeutic effects.
2011-12-01 14:58:22
My son has eczema under his eyes and I have started giving him a liquid extract of red clover but after reading this I am concerned about the estrogen like-chemicals. Will this have a negative effect on my growing son?
2011-08-02 10:00:37
how long do I take Golden Seal for Bronchitis/URTI AND IMMUNE SYSTEM LOW
2010-11-12 13:45:25
where i can buy this RED CLOVER in the PHILIPPINES??
tee -tee
2009-09-15 05:12:46
I have only been using red clover for only a few weeks and my eczema is gone and i have not had a asthma attacked. Thank U Red Clover
2009-07-13 20:26:39
I have been taking red clover for seven years. Your article was very informative. I do however wonder how much and for how long can you take red clover without any side effects. I take it because I had a hysterectomy seven years ago and did not want to take harmone replacement.
2008-11-19 02:57:24
This is a fantastic supplement. Does wonders for the immune system when you’ve caught a seasonal cold in Autumn or Winter. This article is also very informative. Red Clover definetly helps with many things.
2008-10-09 12:04:53
Very well informed.. now I understand what happend to me by taking this. I have started taking red clover suppliment daily and my hand eczema condition for last 13 yrs dramatically improved just after two weeks. as well as my allergy. no more sneezing and nose blowing.. no more rashes on hands – I always had to hide my hands for ages and people asked me what happend to it which was pretty embarassing, not to mention the itchness. Wonderful suppliments. The bad skin condition is totally gone and I haven\\\’t seen my hands this pretty in ages. I highly recommed this suppliments for eczema and allergy. they are inter-connected in fact.
2007-09-18 15:21:07
This article was very informative. It answered all of the questions I had. Thank You