Red Clover is indigenous to Europe and Asia. It grows wild in meadows and is a main part of the diet for grazing animals. It has become naturalized to grow in North America and is considered to be one of the best sources for isoflavones. Isoflavones are a plant chemical that acts like an estrogen.
How to use Red Clover
Red Clover has a distinct red flower that grows on a branched stem. The Red Clover flower is edible and often used in salads or as decoration on cakes or other food items. When used medicinally the flower is dried and crushed; it is then used in teas, tinctures, topical treatment or made into capsules for oral consumption.
Red Clover as Natural Remedy
Clover has been used for the treatment of osteoporosis, cancer, respiratory ailments like whooping cough and skin problems like eczema or psoriasis. Symptoms related to PMS and menopause is the most common target for this herb. Because of its estrogen like qualities it is effective in battling hot flashes and other symptoms.
As research continues into the benefits of this herb findings have shown that Red Clover may prove to be a benefit to cardiovascular health. It has some indication of being a natural blood thinner and helps to increase the “good” cholesterol known as HDL.
Cancer researchers are currently studying the effect that Red Clover has on some cancers. There has been some evidence that Red Clover may help prevent some cancers like prostate and endometrial cancer, but because of the estrogen qualities of this herb it may promote other types of cancer. Until more studies can be conducted Red Clover is not recommended for the treatment of cancer.
Red Clover has been used routinely in the short term treatment of children with minor coughs but due to the nature of the herb it is strongly advised that parents should consult with their physician prior to using it. Processing of the herb into commercialized form changes its properties and is not recommended for use in children.
Surprisingly the Red Clover is a member of the legume family so it is also a great source for other nutrients. It is rich in calcium, chromium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, thiamin and vitamin C.
Scientific studies are mixed on the actual benefits of Red Clover in the relief of PMS and menopausal symptoms and studies still continue on the effects it may have on certain types of cancer, but those that use the herb have stated that it has been very beneficial in treating their discomforts.
Red Clover side effects
There have not been any adverse side effects reported from the short term use of Red Clover. Scientist are not sure if the estrogen qualities in Red Clover can have the same effects on the uterus as regular estrogen so they do not recommend using Red Clover for long periods of time.
From treatment of menopausal symptoms to even smoking cessation Red Clover has gained some followers. It is suggested that whenever adding any medication, even homeopathic ones to your routine, you should consult your physician. Even herbs can have adverse and even dangerous interaction with prescribed medications.
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