6 Health Benefits and Uses for Red Clover

6 Health Benefits and Uses for Red Clover

By: Michelle Schoffro Cook, June 3, 2017, http://www.care2.com/greenlivi...-for-red-clover.html

As a child I would spend hours on the lawn looking for four-leaved clovers, lucky charms that would make my dreams come true. Although I occasionally found a four-leafed and even one time a five-leafed clover, I can’t say what role, if any, these had in shaping the life I currently lead. But if clover brings luck, one way it may do so is through its health-giving properties.

Breast Cancer Fighter

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) contains a natural compound known as formononetin that helps combat breast cancer. According to research published in the medical journal Hormone and Metabolic Research, formononetin helps prevent cancer cell migration and invasion of healthy cells so that the disease is less likely to spread. This research is significant not only for the promise of healing breast cancer but also because it challenges earlier recommendations against the use of clover. Previously, the herb was assumed to have effects similar to those of estrogen drugs, and people suffering from estrogen-aggravated cancers were advised to avoid this herb altogether. The new findings are controversial, however, so you should draw your own conclusions.

Cancer Answer

Not just for breast cancer, according to herbalist Michael Castleman, author of The New Healing Herbs, 33 different cultures worldwide have used red clover as a general cancer treatment. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) confirms that red clover contains at least four anti-tumor compounds.

Heart Disease Aid

Multiple studies show that red clover may help in the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Castleman indicates that red clover improves arterial elasticity, while a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that it also reduced high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Although the importance of blood cholesterol levels is debated, excessive amounts can still contribute to heart disease.

Menopausal Marvel

While there is controversy over whether red clover alleviates menopausal symptoms, the herb seems to help women whose symptoms are linked to estrogen imbalances, as opposed to progesterone or testosterone imbalances. Many health practitioners seem to believe that all the symptoms of menopause can be addressed by a single type of treatment, but in my experience women experience difficult menopausal symptoms for different reasons, depending on which hormones are implicated, and red clover can be effective for who suffer from insufficient estrogen, especially those who experience hot flashes.

Red clover contains natural estrogenic substances known as isoflavones that can help boost low levels of estrogen in the body. Isoflavones can also attach to estrogen receptor sites in the body to help reduce estrogen levels when necessary, since they are much gentler than human estrogen or estrogens found in the foods we eat. A typical dose is two to three cups of red clover tea daily.

 Lung Health Remedy

It has also been used in Chinese medicine to expel mucus from the lungs.

The flowers can be plucked and dried for use in teas. Use 1 teaspoon of dried red clover flowers to one cup of boiled water and let steep for at least ten minutes. Drink three cups daily. When I lay out the flowers on a baking sheet, I find they air-dry quite quickly. Once they are completely dry, store in an airtight container for up to one year. Both the flowers and the leaves can be added to salads. Red clover sprouts make an excellent addition to sandwiches or salads. Red clover is also available in tincture form; a typical dose is 30 drops three times daily.

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