Found growing wild in meadows in Europe and Asia, red clover is now a stalwart in North America too. Although a relative of the ordinary clover, it is the flowers of the red clover that are so useful in this herb. They are sweet to eat and can be dried for use.
You can pick and dry the flowers for tea, eat them raw in a salad or make a tincture
Recipe for tincture with alcohol includes:
- 1 cup of red clover flowers
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of 190-proof alcohol
Mixed together this will make a 45% solution tincture.
The recipe for a strong red clover tea
- 1/2 cup of dried flowers
- Add to 3 cups of hot water a pinch of mint
- Steep for 2 hours, reheat and strain.
Red clover is available commercially from health stores or online as teas, tinctures, tablets, capsules, liquid extracts and even extracts standardized to specific isoflavone content. Red clover may also be prepared as an ointment for psoriasis, eczema
and rashes. Whole herb supplements are generally considered to be the most conservative way to supplement.
No serious side effects from red clover have ever been reported in humans
But the health benefits of red clover are many and include:
- Being excellent for skin problems.
- Highly regarded by herbalists as a blood purifier because it helps support the liver as the body’s detox organ.
- A pre-treatment before eating food containing MSG (monosodium glutamate) perhaps when eating out at friends or a restaurant to nullify the potential for damage to your health.
- A valuable source of nutrients including calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C.
- Renowned for isoflavonoids which fight infection, suppress appetite and purify the blood.
- Having expectorant, antispasmodic and relaxing effects makes red clover useful for bacterial infection and inflamed lungs as well as beneficial for inflammatory bowel disorders, kidney problems, liver disease, skin disorders, and a weakened immune system.
- A traditional herbal treatment for cancer due to its ability to stimulate the immune system with recent research finding evidence that it prevents the growth of cancer cells and is highly effective in treatment for prostate and liver health.
- Frequently prescribed by natural healers as a treatment and preventative for breast cancer because of its ability to fit into estrogen receptors in the breast.
- The red clover isoflavones may slow bone loss and even boost bone mineral density in pre- and peri-menopausal women while the herb may protect against heart disease in several ways as one study found menopausal women, who took red clover supplements, had more flexible and stronger arteries.
- Associated with an increase in HDL cholesterol in pre and post-menopausal women.
- The likelihood that red clover may also have blood thinning properties which help prevent blood clots. Red clover also appears to improve blood flow.
According to a new randomised trial
from Austria, post-menopausal women taking supplements of a red clover extract may experience fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety. Symptoms of depression and anxiety were reduced by about 80 per cent following 90 days of supplements containing 80 milligrams of red clover isoflavones,
The value in herbs, including red clover, is that their effectiveness has been proven over and over again, not by double-blind studies, but by generations of human experience.