A common flowering herb that has traditionally been used to treat coughs and skin problems.
The flowering tops of red clover (Trifolium pratense) have made their way into herbal medicine as an alternative.
Used in various formulas around the turn of the century, red clover became known as a blood purifier, a cure for venereal diseases and whooping cough, and even as a cure for various forms of cancer. Whether or not red clover is helpful in these areas is unknown, but extensive research has not been done to confirm any of these popular claims.
Estrogenic activity has been found in red clover, as it has in many similar species. Historically, red clover blossoms are thought to "move the lymphatics". This, in turn, should help to purify the blood and improve overall immune functions. Red clover also has diuretic properties.
The recommended dosage is 1 to 3 cups of tea, twice daily.
There are no contraindications.
Red clover blossom may act as a female fertility enhancer. It contains several estrogen-like compounds which may promote fertility in estrogen-deficient women. [Duke, J. A. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs: 489. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985]
Red clover extract (80mg per day of isoflavones for a 12-month period) reduced the number of hot flashes in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 30 women who had not had a period for over 12 months and were experiencing more than five hot flashes per day. [North American Menopause Society 12th Annual Meeting, Oct 4-6, 2001, New Orleans, LA.]