Red clover contains an impressive array of vitamins and trace minerals
in synergy with many active medical compounds, including a strong
concentration of isoflavones. Isoflavones are a type of flavonoids found
in plants that
act like estrogen in mammals. These isoflavones are also found in
many plants in the (FABACEAE) or pea family like soybeans, red clover, alfalfa,
garden peas, beans, licorice and kudzu. These phytoestrogens exert
a weak estrogenic effect due to their ability to bind estrogen receptors.
This is of special interest to women in
relieving the symptoms of menopause and
providing protection against osteoporosis by
helping to maintain bone density. These compounds have shown promise
in studies for their protective effects against cancer
of the breast. 1
Red clover maintains a strong following among traditional herbalists as a blood
purifying depurative that
has been used safely and effectively for hundreds, if not thousands of years
in clinical practice. Red clover has been used traditionally to treat respiratory
and skin problems such as cases of childhood eczema,
and can be effective for other chronic skin conditions as well. 2
Preparation Methods & Dosage :Red clover makes an excellent tea, especially sweetened with clover honey. You can also take red clover as an extract, or in capsule form. Red clover is often combined with black cohosh in herbal formulas for menopause. Externally a cooled tea or poultice can be applied to dry, itching skin.
Red clover tea
Red clover in a good tonic for women of any age. The taste isn't really much, sort of mild and grassy, but it blends well with other herbs in tea blends, add citrusy or minty herbs to improve flavor.
Flowers:Magenta, pink, or rarely whitish, sweet-scented the tubular corollas set in dense round, oval, or egg-shaped heads about 1 in. long, and seated in a sparingly hairy calyx.
Stem: 6 in. to 2 ft. high, branching, reclining, or erect, more or less hairy
Leaves: On long petioles, commonly compounded of 3, but sometimes of 4 to 11 oval or oblong leaflets, marked with white crescent, often dark-spotted near centre; stipules egg-shaped, sharply pointed, strongly veined, more than 1/2 in. long.
Preferred Habitat:Fields, meadows, roadsides
Flowering Season: April - November.
Distribution: Common throughout Canada and United States
Meadows bright with clover-heads among the grasses, daisies, and buttercups in June resound with the murmur of unwearying industry and rapturous enjoyment. Bumblebees by the tens of thousands buzzing above acres of the farmer's clover blossoms should be happy in a knowledge of their benefactions, which doubtless concern them not at all. They have never heard the story of the Australians who imported quantities of clover for fodder, and had glorious fields of it that season, but not a seed to plant next year's crops, simply because the farmers had failed to import the bumblebee. After her immigration the clovers multiplied prodigiously.
No, the bee's happiness rests on her knowledge that only the butterflies' long tongues can honestly share with her the brimming wells of nectar in each tiny floret. Children who have sucked them too appreciate her rapture. If we examine a little flower under the magnifying glass, we shall see why its structure places it in the pea family. Bumblebees so depress the keel either when they sip, or feed on pollen, that their heads and tongues get well dusted with the yellow powder, which they transfer to the stigmas of other flowers; whereas the butterflies are of doubtful value, if not injurious, since their long, slender tongues easily drain the nectar without depressing the keel.
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History and Traditions & Folklore
Once used to ward off witches and other evil forces, finding a four leaved clover has always been considered a lucky charm. Tradition holds that clover is the favorite plant of the fairies. Holding clover in your hand is thought to gain you "fairy sight" (the ability to see the fairies.)
"The effect of red clover isoflavones on menopausal symptoms, lipids and vaginal cytology in menopausal women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Hidalgo LA, Chedraui PA, Morocho N, Ross S, San Miguel G.
Foundation for Health and Well Being in the Climacteric FUCLIM, Guayaquil, Ecuador. PMID: 16373244
Hoffmann, David (2010-12-15). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine (Kindle Locations 28873-28874). Healing Arts Press. Kindle Edition.
November 08, 1997 HC# 110875-123
** Information on the traditional uses and properties of herbs are provided on this site is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Many traditional uses and properties of herbs have not been validated by the FDA. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs. **