Veterinarian Reviewed on June 14, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Red Clover (Trifolium pretense)
Red Clover Blossoms (Trifolium pretense) is a species of the clover plant which is native to Europe, Asia and Africa. It is a perennial plant that can grow 20 to 80 cm tall. It has alternate leaves with three leaflets and a unique outer leaf. The flowers of the Red Clover blossoms are dark pink with a white or pale base and are produced in dense bunches. Red Clover blossoms has many therapeutic uses owing to its high content of estrogen- like compounds that can significantly treat the effects of PMS and menopause in women.
History and Origin
The Red Clover’s Latin name means “found in meadows” and was named by Carolus Linnaeus in 1753. It can be compared to the alfalfa because of a similar appearance and also similar nutritional value. It has been used in many folk medicines since it has been known to increase lymph flow and promote overall immune system function.
Ancient use of the Red Clover blossoms was mainly to improve menstrual symptoms and menopausal symptoms in women. It was also thought to be a blood purifier to improve overall health and increase vigor. Traditional uses of the Red Clover blossoms have been attributed to promote good health and relaxation.
In recent years, Red Clover blossoms have been discovered to contain estrogen-like compounds or plant estrogen that is very beneficial in relieving signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and menopause in women. Clinical trials of women who used Red Clover blossoms for menopause have reported less Headaches, night sweats, mood swings and Depression which are very common symptoms in menopause. It was also noted to increase blood flow on the uterine area, to regulate menstrual flow, and to relieve menstrual discomforts such as menstrual pain and water retention.
Aside from its estrogen-like effects, Red Clover blossoms are also beneficial for conditions of the skin like acne, purulent ulcers of the skin, eczema and psoriasis. Red Clover is also used to treat asthma, whooping cough and many upper respiratory illnesses in children and adults. The use of Red Clover blossoms in the treatment of cancer however is not yet determined but many experts believe that with a regular intake of Red Clover you can significantly decrease your chances of developing certain types of cancers.
The Red Clover flowers are the most common part of the plant that is used for medicinal purposes. The fresh flowers of the Red Clover are crushed to treat various skin disorders and also to obtain extracts for its many therapeutic benefits. The tincture of the Red Clover may be used for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The Red Clover may also be used as a compress, a topical ointment, an eyewash and a vaginal douche. Syrups obtained from the extract of the Red Clover flowers can be used to treat coughs and fevers.
It is contraindicated for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding. Red Clover must be advised by your doctor before any treatment is begun. He will give you the appropriate dose and inform you of any adverse drug effects with your current medication, if any. Red Clover is a one of a kind herb and must be stored in a cool dry place to preserve its therapeutic benefits.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan