Red Clover Background and Benefits
Red clover, known scientifically as Trifolium pratense, is a perennial herb that grows to a height of about 2.5 feet. The leaves grow in groups of three on each stem, which is the characteristic trifoliate pattern for clovers. The leaves of red clover can reach a length of one inch, with a width of ½ inch. The inner half of the leaf is dark green, and the outer half is a paler color. The flowers of red clover are a dark pink, with a diameter of up to ½ inch.
Red clover is native to Europe and Western Asia, although it has become naturalized in most temperature areas of the world due to its value as a fodder crop. It also increases soil fertility by fixing nitrogen into the soil. Most of the red clover cultivars used for agricultural purposes.
Red clover is often used by itself to make an herbal tea, and it is also a common ingredient in many types of essiac teas. This herb also has a long history in traditional folk medicine, especially in India. The most significant pharmacological components of red clover are a class of chemicals known as isoflavones, which the human body can convert into phytoestrogens that resemble human estrogen.
Uses of Red Clover
Most of the health benefits of red clover involve the female reproductive system due to the high level of isoflavones in red clover. However, men may also take red clover to support prostate health.
Specific preparations of red clover may help manage the symptoms of menopause, especially severe hot flushes. Other formulas may be useful to help support one’s ability to cope with stress and low moods that often occur during menopause.
Post menopause support
Early studies suggest that red clover may support healthy circulation and a healthy cholesterol profile during post menopause.
Breast health support
Red clover may relieve cyclical breast discomfort and tenderness.
Prostate health support
Red clover may help support the healthy function of the prostate gland and maintain a man’s overall quality of life.
Signs You May Need Red Clover
Hot flushes during menopause are the most common sign that you may benefit from red clover. Additional signs in women who may need red clover include the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) such as breast tenderness. Older men who frequently need to urinate at night may also benefit from red clover.
Other Ingredients That May Be of Interest
Wild Yam - Wild yam, known scientifically as Dioscorea villosa, is a vine native to eastern North America. It’s often used in herbal medicine to supplement the natural hormone levels of both genders.
Soy Isoflavones - Soybeans contain high levels of isoflavones, especially daidzein and genistein.
Chasteberry - The berries of the chasteberry plant, or Vitex agnus-castus , are often used to support the reproductive systems of both genders.