This week I foraged lots of Red Clover. You know, the kind cows eat.
We are spending most of the summer at the lake where my wild crafting itch is being scratched daily! Everywhere I look I see herbs to forage. It’s so much fun!
All around the lake’s shoreline are big beautiful patches of Red Clover and I’ve been picking it like crazy. So far I’ve ended up with a half gallon jar of blossoms dried in my dehydrator for herbal teas and a quart of tincture for herbal medicines.
Red clover has quite a few amazing health benefits. According to Essential Herbal Magazine’s blog
Red clover, Trifolium pratense, (Trifolium means ‘three-leaved’ and pratense means ‘pasture land’)
Red clover has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including whooping cough, bronchitis and skin inflammations. Traditionally, red clover ointments and lotions have been applied to the skin to treat psoriasis, eczema, abscesses, rashes, cysts, tumors and wounds. It can be used in many forms: capsule, tea, tincture, salve, ointment, wash, poultice, infused oil and lotion.
Red clover is considered a “blood purifier” by acting as a diuretic and expectorant, improving circulation, and helping cleanse the liver. It is a source of many nutrients including calcium, chromium, magnesium, iron, niacin, phosphorus, vitamin C, potassium, and thiamine. Nutritionally, red clover is most well known as a very rich source of isoflavones; compounds that act like estrogens and are found in many plants. These phyto-chemicals, also found in soy, look similar to the hormone, estrogen. Many case studies are currently ongoing regarding the effects of red clover as a supplement for women’s health issues.
Here’s what Biogetica says about the health benefits of red clover:
Red Clover Health Benefits Potentially Include:
- Regulating the female endocrine system
- Detoxifying and flushing toxins from the body
- Enhancing the immune system
- Benefiting the body’s bones and improving joint flexibility
- Improving cardiovascular and arterial health
- Maintaining healthy organ systems including the lungs, digestive organs and blood
Scientific Evidence has Also Thrown Light on the Possible Therapeutic Effects of Red clover
Various clinical studies have been conducted to identify the therapeutic proficiency of Red clover and growing research has opened the possibility of using red clover in managing several medical conditions affecting the skin, respiratory organs, immune system, female reproductive system, bones and heart.
Some of the studies conducted on Red Clover for clinical conditions are:
Heart health: A clinical assessment indicated that red clover may improve arterial compliance and cardiovascular health. 3
Bone strength: An In vivo study showed that red clover may help strengthen the bone structure of the body. 4
Skin: A Clinical evaluation of lab subjects treated with red clover isoflavones for 14 weeks reported that the plant extract improved skin cell structure. The amount of collagen was also significantly increased. Thus, the results indicated that red clover may possess natural anti-ageing and skin rejuventating properties. 5
Immune system: Research suggest that red clover possesses natural anti-oxidants that help in scavenging free radicals, eliminating toxins and boosting the immune system. 9
Red Clover is an Alterative herb which can over time help with improved organ health and function which in turn improves overall health. That is an extremely simplified definition of an Alterative herb. To learn more about Alterative herbs visit one of my favorite herbal teachers Heidi Villegas over at The Healing Homestead
Zoe over at One Beet Wellness shows you how to make a very simple medicinal Red Cover tincture and has some really good info on Red Clover too. Zoe says:
Red clover (Latin name: Trifolium Pratense) has a mild sweet taste and cooling and moistening energetics in the body. My favorite way to use red clover is as a lymphatic mover to boost immune function. I often add 1/2 a dropper of red clover tincture to my tea when I feel like I’m fighting something, or have been exposed to lots of germs.
So Red Clover is a pretty good herb to have on hand, don’tcha think?
Always research herbs before using, due diligence and a little common sense go a long way for the home herbalist. This blog post was written for informational purposes only. I am not a doctor and don’t play one on TV, so if you are sick or injured, seek medical treatment.