Red Clover (Trifolium pretense, also known as Purple Clover, Wild Clover)
Red clover is native to Europe, western Asia and northern Africa, although it has naturalized in many parts of the world. It is the state flower of Vermont. This tall three-leaved clover is known for its round pink flower head. This plant is used primarily for feeding livestock in the form of hay or fresh plant in their pasture. In fact, the flowers are edible for people and are sweet to the taste. The herb is in the legume family, and fixes nitrogen into the soil.
Key Medicinal Uses
Internally Red clover herbal tea can promote fertility. It is high in absorbable calcium and magnesium, which is relaxing. It is high in trace minerals that are beneficial for the glands and can help balance hormonal function. The herb can stimulate the immune system and is a common ingredient in cancer formulas. It is used to treat coughs and as an expectorant. Clover is showing promise for helping osteoporosis and easing the symptoms of menopause. It is also helping raise levels of HDL, or "good" cholesterol in those at risk for cardiovascular disease.
Externally It can be used for psoriasis or eczema by applying tea or ointment topically.
Other Uses Red clover florets can be pulled from the flower base and added to salads or used to decorate cakes. The florets are also attractive when added to iced tea.
Herbs to Combine/Supplement
Combine red clover with a mint to make a tasty herbal tea that promotes fertility.
Leaves, flowers The leaves and flowers are used to make herbal tea that can be used medicinally.
Some people may experience a little gassiness when taking this herb. Those who are on anticoagulants should use caution. It contains coumarin, which may interact with prescription blood thinners and increase their effectiveness. If you are on hormone therapy or have had breast cancer, it is best to avoid due to its estrogen-like qualities.
Preparation and Dosage
Red clover is available in many different types of preparations, from teas and tinctures to tablets, capsules and ointment.
For tea, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried flowers to 8 ounces of hot water. Let it steep for half an hour. Drink 2 to 3 cups per day.
For capsules, take 2 to 6 500 mg capsules per day.
For tincture, take 60 to 100 drops three times per day. The tincture may be added to hot water or tea.