When it comes to dabbling in ancient healing traditions, there’s quite a bit to learn before jumping in. For instance, have you ever heard of red clover?
This flowering plant is widely used in many ancient traditions including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurvedic healing, and even in North American medicines. It’s used to treat a wide variety of ailments from osteoporosis to heart disease to skin disorders. Yet, this herb is specifically known as an aid for menopausal symptoms and irregular menstruation.
Read further to learn all about this plant, how it’s used, and how to use it!
What is Red Clover?
By now, we’ve designated red clover as a flowering plant, yet there’s much more to this vibrant, purple beauty!
Turns out that red clover is actually part of the legume family and is rife in those plant-based compounds that make it so good for your body. Red clover is rich in isoflavones — a “type of phytoestrogen … [which has a] similar chemical makeup to estrogen, the female hormone that declines with menopause.”
Red clover is found and grown in a variety of places around the world including the “northern Atlantic and central Europe, the Mediterranean region, [the] Balkans, Asian Minor, Iran, India, [the] Himalayas, Russia from [the] Arctic south to east Siberia, [the] Caucasus, and the Far East.” Surprisingly, you can also find red clover grown in the Americas as it was brought overseas by British colonists.
While research is still in its infancy regarding the scientific proof of red clover’s health benefits, there’s a long line of history showing it’s efficacy.
The Tradition of Red Clover
Red clover is one of those herbs that has quite a bit of history. While a beautiful flower, it’s also known to be a wonderful natural medicinal aid with “health-supporting properties … celebrated in many herbal traditions around the world.”
Even though red clover is native to “Europe, North Africa, and central Asia,” many cultures outside of these realms have used the herb in traditional medicines including “Russian herbalists, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, and indigenous North American healers.” Even the Greeks and Romans believed this herb invoked the “triad goddesses,” Celtic priests associated it with their “three-lobed symbol of the sun,” Druids used it to “ward off nasty spells and evil spirits,” and even Christians saw the reminiscence of the Christian trinity within its three-leafed design.
Health Benefits of Red Clover
While red clover is an ancient herb, it’s also used in our modern times as a natural remedy. First and foremost, red clover is known to help “menstrual irregularity and menopause.” Yet, this herb goes far beyond this one use.
1. Heart Health
Red clover may be a boon for your cardiovascular health! Due to the isoflavones — which are “associated with an increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol in pre and postmenopausal women” — red clover may help “protect against heart disease.” Plus, via studies, red clover has also improved the strength and flexibility of arteries, which “can help prevent heart disease.” Lastly, this herb has also been found to have blood-thinning properties. This means that red clover may be beneficial in keeping “blood clots from forming.”
2. Cancer Prevention and Protection
We’re going to talk about the isoflavones again!
Cancer research is all about the isoflavones lately. It turns out that the isoflavones found in red clover may help with cancer prevention and treatment. How so? Isoflavones in general “may stop cancer cells from growing or kill cancer cells in test tubes.” While it’s still a theory, researchers believe that “red clover may help prevent some forms of cancer” including prostate and endometrial.
Yet, there is a caveat!
Red clover also has estrogen-like effects — which is why it’s great for aging skin and menopause symptoms — which may also “contribute to the growth of some cancers.” Therefore, more research is necessary to truly understand how red clover is related to cancer.
3. Healthy Skin
If you’ve been suffering from skin conditions such as “eczema, psoriasis, and rashes,” then you may want to consider taking a second look at red clover.
Red clover has been found to boost “circulation which in turn speeds up the body’s natural elimination process.” This rapid elimination, in turn, helps to “clear skin conditions by moving the waste that builds up beneath the skin’s surface.”
Yet, that’s not the end to red clover’s skin benefits.
This herb may also be able to help reduce the signs of aging. Studies have discovered that red clover may “retard the process of skin aging due to its estrogen-like effects,” in particular those isoflavones! Therefore, red clover helps to “maintain youthful and vibrant skin,” as well as boosts the “appropriate skin thickness and the healthy keratinization and vascularity of the skin.”
4. Reduces Menopause Symptoms
It’s all about those isoflavones!
Due to the “estrogen-like effects” of these isoflavones, researchers have found that red clove reduces “hot flashes and night sweats.” While more research is necessary to pin down the actual effects of red clover on menopause symptoms, the current research is incredibly inspiring for those seeking a natural remedy!
Red Clover Supplements
The best way to use red clover is via supplements. There are potential risks to ingesting red clover, therefore it’s incredibly important to speak with your doctor first. This is also why supplements are the safest way to go! A reputable and trustworthy supplement brand will make sure to follow dosage guidelines, providing safe sourcing, processing, and quantity. Here are a few to check out!
1. Nature’s Answer Red Clover
Nature’s Answer is a great brand offering vegan and vegetarian options. This Nature’s Answer Red Clover promises to offer premium quality red clover using a standardized extraction process. What does this mean? Each capsule contains those isoflavones that you desire! This product is gluten-free, kosher certified, non-GMO, and is magnesium stearate free. On top of that, this supplement is free of dairy, gluten, nuts, soy, wheat, yeast, sugar, artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors. A 90-capsule bottle costs $7.49.
2. Vitanica Red Clover Extract Plus
This Vitanica Red Clover Extract Plus is not only vegan, but it’s also formulated by a doctor. This formula is not only meant to support women through menopause but also seeks to promote cardiovascular health. Vitanica uses the most trusted form of red clover that contains four isoflavones — formononetin, daidzein, biochanin, and genistein. A 60-capsule bottle costs $22.28.
3. Herb Pharm Certified Organic Red Clover Liquid Extract
If you haven’t tried Herb Pharm supplements or extracts yet then it’s time to get on board! Herb Pharm not only provides vegan and vegetarian supplements and extracts, but they also have certified organic products. This Herb Pharm Certified Organic Red Clover Liquid Extract is gluten-free, non-GMO, and provides a rapidly absorbed liquid extract sourced from the blossom and leaf of Trifolium pratense plants. A 1-ounce bottle costs $10.79.
4. NOW Supplements Red Clover
Another trusted brand that has all the good stuff without any of the bad stuff. This NOW Supplements Red Clover sources its red clover from a variety of places including Europe, North America, and Asia to find the highest-quality product. Along with offering a high-quality product, NOW is vegan-friendly, GMP certified, and, as always with NOW products, is free of chemicals, toxins, preservatives, and artificial ingredients! A 100-capsule bottle costs $30.45.
5. Hekma Center Pure Red Clover Flowers
A smaller company that offers a vegan red clover option! This Hekma Center Pure Red Clover Flowers supplement is part of Hekma Center’s Tilt line offering “natural products certified by the Local Ministry of Health.” On top of that, Tilt holds a GMP certification, so you can feel secure that the product was made in a safe and clean environment! A 100-capsule bottle costs $35.00.
While red clover has a few health benefits, we’ve learned that it’s most effective — and most studied — as a way to manage menopause symptoms. For a bit more information regarding managing menopause, as well as more info about your hormones, take a look at some of these awesome One Green Planet articles!
- Black Cohosh: Treating Menopause Symptoms with this Natural Herbal Remedy
- 7 Natural Remedies to Lower Hot Flashes
- 15 Plant-Based Estrogen Boosting Recipes
- This is How Dairy Affects Your Hormones. Get Ready to #DitchDairy Today!
- How Your Food Choices Impact Your Hormones
- Understanding the Gut-Hormone Connection
- 7 Foods That Can Help Balance Your Hormones and Alleviate PMS
- Tips for Taking Care of Your Endocrine System
- 15 Plant-Based Recipes to Help With Hormonal Balance
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
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