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Health Benefits of Red Clover
(Trifolium pratense)

Health Benefits of Red Clover

Red clover is a plant that is grown in North America and Europe. It has been used historically in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Western folkloric medicine to treat coughing, chest congestion and as a diuretic. It is also used as a "blood cleanser" and often suggested for treating psoriasis and eczema.

The benefits of red clover seem to come from the substances isoflavones, shown to have estrogen-like properties. This property is one of the reasons why red clover is suggested for treating symptoms of menopause and providing protection to the heart.

One study showed that taking 80 mg of isoflavones reduced hot flashes in 4 weeks in women going through menopause. Some researchers suggest using red clover to improve heart and blood vessel functions but studies do not show this benefit. There is evidence from lab studies, although weak, that red clover possesses anti-tumour effects on prostate cancer cells.

However, there are also many studies that show no benefits of red clover in treating menopause symptoms and experts are now suspecting that red clover may not be very helpful for treating hot flashes. A recently completed well-designed 1 year clinical study showed that taking red clover and black cohosh didn't help at all with reducing hot flashes.

The researchers did show that using red clover and black cohosh is safe. They also suggested that these two herbs can be considered for those women who is unable to or unwilling to take prescription type medications (such as estrogens) for treating menopause symptoms.

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Table of Contents

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Evidence of Benefits (Leaf Rating System)

leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Enlarged Prostate

Animal studies show that mice given extract of red clover had a reduction in their prostate size in 28 days.
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Prostate Cancer

Hot Flashes - Menopause - Probably Not Effective

Earlier studies suggested that red clover can be helpful in treating hot flashes but a recent well-designed clinical trial showed that it was not effective in reducing hot flashes.

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Suggested Benefits and Traditional Uses

Topically (on the skin)
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Cancer
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Side Effects, Toxicity and Warnings

Red clover is considered safe to use in quantities found in foods.

Reported side effects include allergic reactions, headaches and nausea.

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Dosage & How to Take It

Enlarged Prostate Gland - Take 40 to 80 mg daily (of the standardized extract) for up to 3 months.

Tea - Use 10 to 15 mL (2 to 3 teaspoon) of the dried flowers and steep in 250 mL (1 cup) of boiling water for 15 minutes. Drink 1 cup up to three times daily.

Dried flowers - Take 2 to 4 grams up to three times daily.

- Take 2 to 4 mL up to three times daily.

Related Topics to Benefits of Red Clover

Black Cohosh - Does it work for hot flashes?

Enlarged Prostate Glands - What can you use to shrink it?

Menopause - What is it and which herbs can treat the symptoms?

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