6 Health Benefits and Uses for Red Clover

As a child I would spend hours on the lawn looking for four-leaved clovers, lucky charms that would make my dreams come true. Although I occasionally found a four-leafed and even one time a five-leafed clover, I canít say what role, if any, these had in shaping the life I currently lead. But if clover brings luck, one way it may do so is through its health-giving properties.

Breast Cancer Fighter

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) contains a natural compound known as formononetin that helps combat breast cancer. According to research published in the medical journal Hormone and Metabolic Research, formononetin helps prevent cancer cell migration and invasion of healthy cells so that the disease is less likely to spread. This research is significant not only for the promise of healing breast cancer but also because it challenges earlier recommendations against the use of clover. Previously, the herb was assumed to have effects similar to those of estrogen drugs, and people suffering from estrogen-aggravated cancers were advised to avoid this herb altogether. The new findings are controversial, however, so you should draw your own conclusions.

Cancer Answer

Not just for breast cancer, according to herbalist Michael Castleman, author of The New Healing Herbs, 33 different cultures worldwide have used red clover as a general cancer treatment. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) confirms that red clover contains at least four anti-tumor compounds.

Heart Disease Aid

Multiple studies show that red clover may help in the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Castleman indicates that red clover improves arterial elasticity, while a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutritionfound that it also reduced high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Although the importance of blood cholesterol levels is debated, excessive amounts can still contribute to heart disease.

Menopausal Marvel

While there is controversy over whether red clover alleviates menopausal symptoms, the herb seems to help women whose symptoms are linked to estrogen imbalances, as opposed to progesterone or testosterone imbalances. Many health practitioners seem to believe that all the symptoms of menopause can be addressed by a single type of treatment, but in my experience women experience difficult menopausal symptoms for different reasons, depending on which hormones are implicated, and red clover can be effective for who suffer from insufficient estrogen, especially those who experience hot flashes.

Red clover contains natural estrogenic substances known as isoflavones that can help boost low levels of estrogen in the body. Isoflavones can also attach to estrogen receptor sites in the body to help reduce estrogen levels when necessary, since they are much gentler than human estrogen or estrogens found in the foods we eat. A typical dose is two to three cups of red clover tea daily.

Osteoporosis Option

Research published in the medical journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that the formononetin found in red clover helped prevent the development of osteoporosis in animals.

Lung Health Remedy

It has also been used in Chinese medicine to expel mucus from the lungs.

The flowers can be plucked and dried for use in teas. Use 1 teaspoon of dried red clover flowers to one cup of boiled water and let steep for at least ten minutes. Drink three cups daily. When I lay out the flowers on a baking sheet, I find they air-dry quite quickly. Once they are completely dry, store in an airtight container for up to one year. Both the flowers and the leaves can be added to salads. Red clover sprouts make an excellent addition to sandwiches or salads. Red clover is also available in tincture form; a typical dose is 30 drops three times daily.

Related:
Donít Believe in Herbal Medicine? 10 Things to Change Your Mind
The 5 Best Herbs to Soothe Your Nerves
Should You Actually Starve a Fever?

 

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news Worldís Healthiest News, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include the upcoming book: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty & Cooking.

84 comments

Twila H
Twila H1 months ago

Noted.

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bob P
bob Petermann2 months ago

Good article thank you

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C H
C Holmes2 months ago

Clover is great for grazing animals on, too. As for "weeds", industries associated with AgriBiz and chemical companies, have promoted laws to get rid of many "weeds", calling them "noxious"...which is egregious malfeasance. Milkweed for instance, has Silymarin in it, one of the very few substances known to heal the liver, and protect it against hepatitis, as well as protecting against poisons because it protects the liver! The leaves [once sticker edges are removed] make great salad greens. Fiber in it could be made into cloth, similarly as Flax fibers are.
Yet, WA state, for instance, lists this on it's Noxious weed eradication program, and anyone caught with it growing, is subject to fines. Never mind it resists being cultivated, and can be hard to get to grow, in WA.
Years ago, Fed. Gov't, at behest of Pharma companies, tried an all-out eradication of Chaparral shrubs...these grow in desert environs, but are very medicinal to stop cancers growing, when used daily as tea [very bitter].
Point is, when any herb/plant becomes well-known as healing ills, industries that have market share to lose, try to get these eradicated.
Luckily, red clover is not normally on this list. Seeds can be bought in bulk, can be sprouted indoors, or sprinkled in the yard to take over instead of grasses.

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Ingrid H
Ingrid H2 months ago

Thanks

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Carl R
Carl R2 months ago

Thanks!!!

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Nicole Heindryckx
Nicole Heindryckx2 months ago

To Lisa Merrill : You can NOT imagine HOW HAPPY I AM NOW, thanks to your highly appreciated comments. HURAH, I now finally know that it should be a FOUR LEAF clover, and not leafed or leaved. If you really have a terrible need to teach us decent, correct English or American (because there is a big difference between those languages as well as you certainly will know) I suggest you open a special site, giving us a list of 20 or 30 words each day or each week, so that by the end of next year, we ALL will be perfect writers. MY GOD WOMAN !!! Join the club of your President. He doesn't know how to speak, so he certainly will appreciate your lessons.
I DO KNOW that in my comments there are certainly errors. But can you blame me to do my utmost to write in American / English when my mother tongue is NETHERLANDS. Would you consider writing an article in Spanish, or French or Dutch ?? I don't think so. 95 % of the Americans only know 1 language : American. So I would recommend you : FIRST THINK and THEN WRITE !! RACIST !!!

The purpose of this website is to INFORM people about HEALTH !! About the specific qualities of plants, what herbs are toxic and what herbs or plants are useful for our health. I am not a 100 % believer in the qualities of herbs and plants, but I have experienced myself that a number of them really help a lot against certain inconveniences. So, once I have tried them out, and had to conclude they som

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ERIKA S
ERIKA S2 months ago

very good....thank you for sharing

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Camilla V
Camilla Vaga2 months ago

thanks

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Edgar Z
Edgar Zuim2 months ago

Apparently they are weeds. However it has been scientifically proven that many herbs considered to be weedy are beneficial to health.

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Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper2 months ago

NOTED!!!!!!

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