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What is red clover? What is it used
Red clover is a perennial herb that grows up to 18 inches
in height. Native to Europe, central Asia and northern Africa,
it is now found in many other parts of the world. The plant
derives its name in part from its flowers, which are fragrant
and can range in color from white to a dark, fleshy red. Both
fresh and dried flower heads can be used medicinally.
Red clover flowers contain a number of substances believed
to facilitate healing, including a volatile oil and isoflavonoids.
In traditional Chinese medicine, red clover is believed to
help clean the blood, clear heat and remove toxins. Internally,
red clover is used as an alternative medicine for skin complaints
such as eczema and psoriasis; cancers of the breast, ovaries
and lymphatic system; chronic degenerative diseases; gout;
whooping cough; and dry coughs.
Research is currently being conducted on slaframine, an alkaloid
found in diseased versions of red clover, which may be used
to fight diabetes. In addition, many of the isoflavones contained
in red clover have demonstrated antitumor activity. However,
this activity does not mean that red clover can treat cancer,
as some have claimed.
How much red clover should I take?
The recommended daily dosage of red clover is four grams
of the flower, taken as an infusion up to three times daily.
Alternatively some practitioners recommend 1.5-3ml of a liquid
extract up to three times per day.
What forms of red clover are available?
Red clover is available in powder and liquid extract forms.
The powder is often used in infusions and elixirs.
What can happen if I take too much
red clover? Are there any interactions I should be aware of?
What precautions should I take?
When taken in the recommended therapeutic dosages, there
are no known side-effects or drug interactions associated
with red clover.
Other Resources :
More You Know About Minerals
More You Know About Nutrition
- Howes JB, Sullivan D, Lai N, et al. The
effects of dietary supplementation with isoflavones from
red clover on the lipoprotein profiles of post-menopausal
women with mild to moderate hypercholesterolaemia. Atherosclerosis
- Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of
Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics,
2nd ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996, pp. 177-8.
- Nestel PJ, Pomeroy S, Kay S, et al. Isoflavones
from red clover improve systemic arterial compliance but
not plasma lipids in menopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol
- Wagner H, Wiesenauer M. Phytotherapie.
Phytopharmaka und Pflanziche Homoopathika. Stuttgart:
- Yanagihara K, Ito A, Toge T, et al. Antiproliferative
effects of isoflavones on human cancer cell lines established
from the gastrointestinal tract. Cancer Res 1993;53:58155821.