Red Clover Benefits
The many red clover benefits make this little flower something worth using and even collecting and drying yourself. I have been doing that but never seem to get enough to last very long into the fall.
Red clover is a perennial legume that has been used as a forage crop but also has traditional medicinal uses. The red flowers found in meadows and roadsides in Europe, Asia and North America (introduced) are dried for use and are sweet to eat. It is considered a blood cleanser and has been used traditionally for cancer, whooping cough, respiratory problems and for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and rashes.
Red clover is a source of many nutrients including:
- vitamin C
Here is a summary of the major benefits of this common herb.
Red clover benefits bone health. Research suggests that red clover may slow the rate of bone loss and improve bone mineral density. Its estrogen-like effect may be involved, and it may also prevent the breakdown of existing bone.
Red clover may help protect against prostate cancer. It has been shown to limit the development of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), which is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland that most men experience to some degree. Red clover tea has phytochemicals which inhibit angiogenesis which enables dormant tumors to become malignant.
Red clover is often used by natural healers to treat and prevent breast cancer because its affinity for estrogen receptors in breast tissue may block the effects of estrogen.
Although results from human studies are not definite, it is believed that red clover may help prevent heart disease. There is evidence that taking red clover may lower the levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and raise the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) the good form of cholesterol. The action may be through its promoting an increase in bile secretion which uses cholesterol in its production thus lower levels in the body. Red clover also contains coumarins, which help to reduce the formation of blood clots and arterial plaques this reducing the possibility of blockages to blood flow. And there is evidence that it improves blood flow.
Protects from MSG
Researchers found (June 5, 2008, Phytomedicine) that the phytoestrogenic isoflavones found in red clover could protect the brain from glutamate toxicity thus mitigating the effects of MSG, a known and potent excitotoxin. This suggests the possibility of a person pre-treating themselves with red clover before being exposed to MSG such as before going out to eat where MSG is or is suspected of being used.
Red Clover Benefits - Hormonal Effects
Red clover benefits the hormonal system as it is a very good source of isoflavones. These phyto (plant-derived) estrogens are similar to the female hormone estrogen. They can fit into estrogen receptors and thus displace some natural estrogen. It is often used to relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) It can also lower cholesterol, improve urine production and circulation of the blood. This estrogen-like feature may also reduce the possibility of developing estrogen-dependent cancer of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus).
Supplementing With Red Clover
There are no serious side effects from red clover reported in humans. Grazing animals that consume large quantities sometimes have infertility problems. Recommended daily adult doses are generally the equivalent of 1 - 2 tsp of the dried flowering herb steeped in 1 cup boiling water for 15 to 30 minutes, taken up to three times per day.
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