Red Clover was originally known as “The herb of Hippocrates” as it was an important ingredient in many of his formulas. Red Clover (trifolium pratense) has an attractive pinkish, purple flower. It is a common plant found growing wild in our fields and meadows is actually a legume belonging to the bean family.
Red clover is a source of many nutrients including calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C.
● In many countries, red clover flowers, stems, and leaves have been combined with other herbs to make compound remedies for asthma, eczema, psoriasis, respiratory problems, cardiovascular disease, kidney stones, and, more recently, for hormone-related cancers like breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer.
● Blood purifying and diuretic (helping to rid the body of excess fluid).
● Anti-inflammatory (due to its volatile oils)
● Anti-catarrhal (due to compounds that reduce airway congestion)
● Antispasmodic, helping to relieve painful cough spasms.
● It contains natural tocopherol (Vit E) which reduces the risk of a heart attack.
● The Anti-oestrogen – One of the important ingredients in Red Clover is the Isoflavones typically containing biochanin A, formononetin, genistein, and daidzein. Isoflavones are plant phytoestrogens.
Red clover isoflavones increase “good” HDL cholesterol, keep arteries more flexible, and have blood-thinning properties, which prevents clots from forming and improves blood flow.
Isoflavones found in red clover might reduce symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, Osteoporosis, and night sweats.
Evidence suggests that isoflavones may stop cancer cells from growing or kill cancer cells in test tubes. Researchers advise that red clover may help prevent some forms of cancer, such as prostate and endometrial cancer, because of the herb’s estrogen-like effects.
Traditionally, red clover ointments have been applied to the skin to treat psoriasis, eczema, and other rashes. Red clover also has a history of use as a cough remedy for children.
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
Red clover is available in a variety of preparations, including teas, tinctures, tablets, capsules, liquid extract, and extracts standardized to specific isoflavone contents. It can also be prepared as an ointment for topical (skin) application. Red Clover combines well with some other beneficial herbs like goldenseal, echinacea, and astragalus. General guidelines are as follows:
● Dried herb (used for tea): 1 – 2 Tsp dried flowers or flowering tops steeped in 8 oz. hot water for 1/2 hour; drink 2 – 3 cups daily
● Powdered herb (available in capsules): 40 – 160 mg per day, or 28 – 85 mg of red clover isoflavones
● Tincture (1:5, 30% alcohol): 60 – 100 drops (3 – 5 ml) 3 times per day; may add to hot water as a tea
INTERACTIONS AND CONTRA-INDICATIONS
As Red clover contains salicylates, which thin the blood, it should not be taken when patients are also on blood thinners like warfarin (coumadins), or during pregnancy or whilst breastfeeding.