How does it feel?
Red clover is a perennial plant that grows to heights of between 5-40cm. It has branching stems and the leaves are typical of the clover species. The flowers are a distinctive pinky red and consist of oval bunches of tiny individual trumpet-shaped flowers. It is native to Europe, Asia and Africa, but grows naturally throughout the UK. Red clover is widely distributed and common in meadows from May through to October.
All around the world the actions of traditional medicines were understood by their immediate sensory impacts. Click on each of red clover’s key qualities below to learn more:
What can I use it for?
Red clover contains a constituent known as isoflavone which has a similar structure to oestrogen. These constituents are classed as phyto-oestrogens and can be used to balance oestrogen levels in women. Despite common perceptions about phyto-oestrogens, they have a balancing effect upon endogenous oestrogen, to which their structure is very similar. Where endogenous oestrogen is low, phyto-oestrogens mimic oestrogen and take up vacant receptor sites in the body influencing a low-oestrogenic effect. Where oestrogen levels are high, phyto-oestrogens block receptor sites, lowering the effect of endogenous oestrogen on the body.
Into the heart of red clover
A large proportion of research into the medicinal effects of red clover are centered around its phyto-oestrogenic properties and its benefits for treating hormone based conditions and supporting women through the hormonal changes that take place during adolescence, the menstrual cycle and also the menopause.
In addition to its hormone balancing effects, red clover is also classed as a blood tonic with a cleansing action upon the skin; it is of particular use where skin conditions are influenced by hormonal imbalance.
Red clover has also demonstrated expectorant and anti-spasmodic properties which has made it effective in the treatment of spasmodic coughs and excessive mucous congestion within the respiratory tract.
Indicated in female hormonal imbalance, particularly associated with oestrogen levels. Supportive for women during adolescence, the menstrual cycle and menopause.
Indicated in hormonal based skin conditions, including teenage acne. Also indicated in eczema, psoriasis and adult acne.
Red clover has an expectorant and anti-spasmodic effect, indicating it in spasmodic coughs, whooping cough and conditions where there is excessive mucous congestion within the respiratory tract.
Did you know?
The blossoms were traditionally eaten to help with the symptoms of hayfever. If you pluck the blossom from the plant, when chewed, it produces a sweet nectar that was also often added to wine to impart a sweet flavor and pink colour.
Caution with anticoagulants, salicylates & Warfarin.
Traditional Ayurvedic characteristics are
- Bhedaiya Breaks down accumulations.
- Brmhana Nourishing tonic, anabolic.
- Chedana Clears toxins from the tissues.
- Garbhasayavisuddhi Clears toxins from the uterus.
- Granthi Reduces tumours.
- Gulmaghana Reduces swollen glands & lumps.
- Kasasvasahara Relieves coughs & breathing problems.
- Kusthaghna Alleviates skin problems.
- Mutrala diuretic.
- Raktadhara Enhances circulation.
- Raktashodhana Purifies the blood.
- Ayurvedic Indications: Has affinity withrasa & rakta dhatu; clears kapha type lymphatic congestion & swollen glands as well as chronic inflammatory skin problems that characterise high pitta. Thins the blood & improves micro circulation, bringing nutrients & clearing toxins from the skin. Cooling & strengthening; useful during menopause to prevent hot flushes & osteoporosis. Good cleansing remedy for cysts & nodules; also nourishing & strengthening when nervously depleted.
Tincture: 2-4ml three times daily (1:5. 40%).
Dried: 1-3 teaspoons of dried herb per cup of boiling water.
External Uses: Apply fresh crushed flowers to bites & stings; diluted tincture as eyewash for conjunctivitis. Infusion as douche for vaginal infections, lotion for sore, inflamed skin & nipples, gargle for sore throats.