Red Clover, scientific name Trifolium pratense, is native to Europe, Asia and Africa and is naturalized in many other parts of the world. Herbalists use the flower heads, dried or fresh, to create herbal compounds. Use of the herb in the recommended dosages causes no known health hazards or side effects.
Red clover extract contains calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin c. It also contains vitamin A, zinc, iron, B-complex, selenium, cobalt, nickel, manganese, tin and sodium. Red clover provides a rich source of plant-based estrogens known as isoflavones, and most extracts are standardized to contain specific isoflavone amounts. A standard dose of the fresh or dried herb is 1 to 2 teaspoons of flower tops steeped in 8 ounces of water. Manufacturers provide standard dosage amounts for tinctures, capsules, powders or extracts on the package label.
The isoflavones may alleviate menopausal hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats and mood changes, although the University of Maryland Medical Center reports that studies are inconclusive. More independent research is needed to confirm that red clover can reduce bone loss due to estrogen levels. Researchers must also conduct more studies to determine how effective red clover isoflavones are at reducing some cancer cells.
Red clover ointment treats chronic skin ailments such as boils, psoriasis, eczema and slow-to-heal sores. The "PDR for Herbal Medicines" notes that it promotes dermatological healing. The Native Americans used red clover salve for sore eyes and burns.
The study of red clover's ability to raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol has produced mixed results in pre- and post-menopausal women, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Researchers have noted that red clover may have blood-thinning properties that could reduce blood clots. They do not recommend that patients taking blood thinners use red clover.
The Native Americans used red clover for coughs, upper respiratory infections, wheezing and bronchitis. Herbalists recommend red clover for whooping cough because of its antispasmodic and expectorant qualities. They mix red clover, honey and water to create an effective cough syrup.
Herbalists have used red clover as a diuretic for centuries. It stimulates the kidney and supports the liver, removing toxins from the body.
- "PDR for Herbal Medicines;" Physicians Desk Reference Inc.; 2007
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Red Clover
- "Today's Herbal Health;" Louise Tenney, MH; 1992 .
- "Herbal Remedies: A Quick and Easy Guide to Common Disorders;" A. Hershorr and A. Rotelli; 2001.
- More Than Alive: Red Clover Blossoms -- Whole
- Nutritional Supplement Guides: Benefits of Red Clover
- Photo Credit Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images
Red Clover Extract Information
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