Red Clover Benefits

Red Clover
Latin Name

Trifolium pretense

Also Known As

Red Clover, Wild Clover, Cleaver Grass, Marl Grass, Cow Grass, Meadow Trefoil, Purple Clover

Origin

Native to Europe, Western Asia and Northwest Africa, but planted and naturalised in many other regions.

Parts Used

Flowerheads

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Herbalists have long prized Red Clover for its traditional use as a blood purifier, using it to eliminate toxins from the bloodstream. Whilst native to Europe it has been widely cultivated all over the world as an important herb for women’s health, used to remedy menstrual and menopausal symptoms.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine it was used as a diuretic, cough suppressant and an “alterative”. Alterative plants were considered beneficial for chronic conditions – especially those affecting the skin.

Red Clover Benefits

Menopause

Red Clover has been found to contain estrogen mimicking flavonoids, known as phytoestrogens these substances can contribute to maintaining normal estrogen levels during the menopause. This is especially helpful in reducing hot flashes and night sweats – two of the most common symptoms experienced by women in this change of life.

Studies have shown that it also improves cardiovascular health and lowers the bone density loss of menopausal women. Red Clover’s estrogen-like properties exert a positive effect on the arterial walls, making them more flexible, thus easing any strain on the heart and making it harder for blood clots to form.

Other research shows that Red Clover’s isoflavones may slow down bone loss and even increase mineral density in menopausal women, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

It has also been found that the isoflavones found in Red Clover can reduce the risk of depression and anxiety in post-menopausal women. Researchers recruited more than 100 post-menopausal women over the age of 40 and randomly assigned them to receive either the Red Clover isoflavones or a placebo. Measures of depressive and anxiety symptoms showed that anxiety was reduced by 76 percent and depression by 78 percent.

Respiratory Health

Red Clover promotes the drainage of mucus from the lungs by thinning the mucus and lubricating an irritated respiratory tract. It also promotes the secretion of sputum (phlegm), from the lower airways in a process known as expectoration. An agent that promotes the discharge or expulsion of mucus from the respiratory tract is known as an “expectorant” or an antitussive agent, which is a cough suppressant.

It is commonly prescribed by herbal practitioners for respiratory conditions such as; whooping cough, bronchitis, asthma and colds. Because of its ability to calm bronchial spasms and improved sleep quality it is an excellent herb to take before bedtime to alleviate coughing in ones sleep.

Skin Health

Red Clover has long been used to treat irritating skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and rashes. It boosts circulation which in turn speeds up the body’s natural elimination process which helps to clear skin conditions by moving the waste that builds up beneath the skin’s surface. This herb can also be applied externally to bring relief from these skin conditions.

There is research showing that Red Clover can retard the process of skin aging due to its estrogen-like effects, helping to maintain youthful and vibrant skin. It also ensures appropriate skin thickness and the healthy keratinisation and vascularity of the skin.

Typical Use

Red Clover Tincture
Take 2-5ml up three times a day
or as directed by a herbalist.

Folklore and History

A native of England, Red Clover is one of the first plants cultivated by man to improve the soil and as forage for cattle and has been highly regarded since ancient times.

This (mostly) three leafed plant was considered sacred by the Ancient Greeks and Romans who associated it with their triple goddesses. The Ancient Celts considered it a symbol of the sun, but it has achieved the most fame in Ireland where it is the national symbol, forever associated with St Patrick and the luck of the Irish!

Red Clover
Constituents

Isoflavones, including biochanin A, daidzein, formononnetin, genistein, pratensein,trifoside. Other flavonoids, including pectolinarin and trifoliin.Volatile oil, Clovamides, L-Dopa-caffeic acid conjugates. Coumarins, coumestrol, medicagol and coumarin, resins, minerals vitamins, phytoalexins.

Precautions

Do not take Red Clover if you are taking blood thinning medication. Due to its blood thinning effects, drinking Red Clover is not recommended before surgery as it may exacerbate surgical bleeding. 

Red Clover is contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation because it contains phytosterols, with estrogenic and abortifacient properties. 

Not recommended for those taking birth control pills or anyone at high risk of breast cancer.