The benefits of red clover have been utilized in conventional medicine since old times. Due to its powerful and effective compounds, it is recognized as an adjunct to limit and improve the symptoms of some ailments. Though the proof regarding its characteristics is still limited and its use should be circumspect.
Also recognized as wild clover, it is a plant with dark pink flowers, in the shape of a bell, which is used in some cultures medicinally. As mentioned in an article published in Scientific Reports, it favors growing in soils in North Africa, Europe, Asia, and South America. What are the properties, benefits, contraindications of red clover, and how to prepare remedies with it? We will detail it below.
Properties and characteristics of red clover
The red clover is described by its accelerated growth since in a short time it reaches between 20 and 80 centimeters high. Its traditional name is due to its remarkable trifoliate green leaves, which have a width between 2 and 4 centimeters, and on which the flower rests.
Due to its exceptional nutritional composition, the plant has been used in natural medicine as a supplement to diminish the risk of infections and improve several symptoms. And while it should not be a first-line treatment, its outcomes have been interesting.
An article published in the journal Molecules highlights that the oils obtained from the flower of the plant have bactericidal, antiseptic, virucidal, antioxidant, and fungicidal characteristics. Besides, it also has unions with antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulating activity.
Red clover benefits
Many of the benefits of red clover have yet to be confirmed by research. Studies that have been done on the plant are insufficient and uncertain. For this reason, the plant should be used with care, only as a supplement and not as a sole treatment for diseases.
In fact, if you have a severe illness, it is best to discuss your doctor before using these types of options. It should not be neglected that it is contraindicated for some people and that it can communicate with other medications. After making this clear, let’s see what its benefits are.
Benefits in the treatment of skin pigmentation diseases
Melanin produces the color of the skin. An increment or reduction in this substance causes pigmentation disorders such as psoriasis or vitiligo. Biochanin A, one of the vital ingredients that is derived from red clover and that can be utilized in ointments, has shown impressive effects against these problems.
In particular, it shows that it contributes to significantly inhibit the increase of melanin in some cells, which values the treatment of pigmentary diseases. In turn, the plant is used to reduce pain and diminish inflammation in the case of external wounds on the skin.
Benefits of red clover to control the symptoms of menopause
During menopause, women encounter a decrease in the concentration of female hormones such as estrogens. As a result, painful symptoms are formed, described by sudden hot flashes, body aches, and mood swings.
Due to its isoflavone content, red clover infusions are useful to improve the relief of this symptomatology. These substances have behavior related to human estrogens in the body, so they prevent their decrease at this stage.
A recent study also shows that red clover-based medications have certain impacts on the depression and anxiety encountered by women in the transition from menopause to post-menopause.
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Red clover benefits for heart health
Another of the outstanding benefits of red clover is its strength to improve heart health. This is possible due to the phytoestrogens in the plant, which are associated with a decrease in total cholesterol and LDL or “bad cholesterol.”
It is also considered that it can lower the danger of cardiovascular or heart diseases due to the impacts of its antioxidants. In any case, the evidence is still insufficient and uncertain. In a modern study, researchers concluded that red clover did not enhance the lipid profile.
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Red clover benefits to support bone health
The isoflavones included in red clover extracts are also associated with a lower risk of diseases such as osteoporosis. The reason? These elements help to overcome the negative effects of the decrease in estrogens in menopause, which is relevant to the loss of bone density.
In research published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, women who took a red clover extract supplement confirmed less loss of bone density in the lumbar spine and neck compared to the placebo group. However, more researches are required.
It is useful to treat respiratory problems
In modern literature, red clover has been a supplement to heal the symptoms of bronchitis, asthma, and other diseases of the respiratory tract. Still, to date, there is insufficient data on these effects. Still, some recommend that it endorses the relief of congestion, sore throat, and other symptoms of these diseases.
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How to prepare a red clover infusion?
Red clover is packed with health benefits and now we will tell you how to prepare it. Red clover extracts are accessible through creams, ointments, and lozenges. If you choose these choices, their use should be done according to the manufacturer’s directions. On the other hand, it is reasonable to prepare a mixture from the plant, to take it sporadically.
- 3 teaspoons of red clover flowers (20 g)
- 1 cup of water (250 ml)
- Drop the red clover flowers in a container of boiling water.
- Then, cover the container and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
- After this time, strain the infusion.
- It can be ingested twice a day.
Red clover contraindications
With a lot of benefits, red clover also has some contraindications. It is always prudent to ask your doctor before taking red clover to know potential contraindications. Each organism is different and can respond in unusual ways to the elements of this plant. Some contraindications are the following:
- Due to the phytoestrogens in red clover, its consumption is counterproductive for people with hormone-sensitive cancers.
- Red clover has anticoagulant features, so its consumption should be evaded if taking medicines that slow down clot formation.
- It is not advised for pregnant and lactating women. We recommend you to read another article at healthfuller.com which is about Obesity During Pregnancy: Difficulties and Risks.
- It can produce toxic effects by responding with some contraceptive drugs and drugs for the treatment of psoriasis, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Use red clover with caution
Despite the reputation it has grown as a natural remedy, red clover is a plant that must be used with care. While there are studies to confirm some of its positive health outcomes, the evidence is still confined for now. Therefore, it should never be utilized as a replacement for medical treatments.
In most healthy adults, the plant does not produce undesired results when utilized sparingly. However, it is advisable to discuss with your doctor before practicing it regularly. Keep that in mind!