Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense) Overview

Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense) other names: Beebread, Clovone, Cow Clover, Daidzein, Genistein, Isoflavone, Meadow Clover, Miel des Prés, Phytoestrogen, Purple Clover, Trebol Rojo, Trèfle Commun, Trèfle des Prés, Trèfle Pourpre, Trèfle Rouge, Trèfle Rougeâtre, Trèfle Violet, Trefoil, Trifolium, Trifolium pratense, Wild Clover.

Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense) picture

The plant called the red clover is a species of old world plant originally found native in parts of Europe, in some areas of northern Africa, as well as in some areas of central Asia. It is a familiar plant species in these parts. Nowadays, the red clover is also cultivated in the Americas and in Australia for pasturage and as a rotation crop.

The red clover is in a symbiotic relationship with bacteria present in the root nodules, thus the plant is capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen into the soil, and this enhances the quality of the soil in which it is grown - the primary reason for its use as a rotation crop. Traditionally, a rare four leaf red clover specimen is believed to bring good luck and children in America love hunting through a patch of red clover for such rare four leaf specimens of the plant. 

Folk and herbal medicine makes use of the dried red clover flowers in the treatment of different disorders. An expectorant action is attributed to the blossoms of the red clover; disorders such as bronchitis and asthma are treated using the dried flowers. A topical herbal remedy is also made using the red clover, this remedy is believed to speed up the process of healing in wounds and other external injuries, red clover is also used in the treatment of skin diseases such as psoriasis and other external conditions. The traditional use of the red clover in gaining relief from menopausal symptoms what is generating current interest in the plant. The red clover has high phytoestrogen content, and browsing animals such as cattle and sheep grazing exclusively or heavily on the red clover often tend to develop fertility problems of all kinds.

The red clover is an old world species, originally growing native only in parts of the European and Asian continents. These days, the red clover has been naturalized in different areas as well and grows widely in North America as well as Australia. Because of its nitrogen fixation ability, the red clover is often used as a rotation crop and the red clover is also widely cultivated as animal feed in pastures. During summer, the floral heads of the red clover open out and the flower heads are collected for use in herbal preparations.

Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense) Health Benefits

Red clover is a plant. The flower tops of red clover are used to make medicine.

All kinds of skin conditions and disorders are also treated using remedies made from the red clover, however, in treating such disorders, the herb is usually combined with other well known purifying herbs like the burdock - botanical name Arctium lappa and the yellow dock herb - botanical name Rumex crispus. The expectorant action of the red clover is also made use of in many herbal preparations, especially in the treatment of spasmodic coughs which are persistent. Certain menopause related disorders and problems can possibly be treated using the estrogenic effect believed to be possessed by the red clover herb.

Red clover is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether red clover is effective for any of them. It doesn’t seem to work, though, for lowering cholesterol or controlling hot flashes in women.

Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense) plant

Red clover is used for cancer prevention, indigestion, high cholesterol, whooping cough, cough, asthma, bronchitis, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Some women use red clover for symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes; for breast pain or tenderness (mastalgia); and for premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Red clover is applied to the skin for skin cancer, skin sores, burns, and chronic skin diseases including eczema and psoriasis.

In foods and beverages, the solid extract of red clover is used as a flavoring ingredient.

Red clover contains hormone-like chemicals called isoflavones that seem to cause reproductive problems in certain animals. Experts think a diet high in isoflavones may have been responsible for reports of reproductive failure and liver disease in cheetahs living in zoos. In large quantities, red clover can cause sterility in livestock.

Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense) Side effects

Red clover is likely safe for most people when used in the amounts found in food. Red clover is possibly safe when used in medicinal amounts by mouth or applied to the skin.

Red clover can cause rash-like reactions, muscle ache, headache, nausea, and vaginal bleeding (spotting) in some women.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Red clover is likely safe when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in food. However, red clover is likely unsafe when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts. Red clover acts like estrogen and might disturb important hormone balances during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Don’t use it. Not enough is known about the safety of red clover when applied to the skin during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and don’t use it.

Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense) flower

Bleeding disorders: Red clover might increase the chance of bleeding. Avoid large amounts and use with caution.

Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Red clover might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t use red clover.

Protein S deficiency: People with protein S deficiency have an increased risk of forming blood clots. There is some concern that red clover might increase the risk of clot formation in these people because it has some of the effects of estrogen. Don’t use red clover if you have protein S deficiency.

Surgery: Red clover might slow blood clotting. Red clover might increase the chance of extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking red clover at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

There isn’t enough information to rate the safety of red clover when applied to the skin.