Do you know the benefits of red clover?

What are the beneficial properties of the plant? The red clover , in botany Trifolium pratense , is part of the Fabaceae family : commonly known as meadow clover, it is a perennial widespread plant , once used in the crop rotation cycle as it is able to fix atmospheric nitrogen, the which, dissolved in the earth, constitutes an essential source for the growth of plants. The old farmers still call the red clover milk grass today : it has always been used as a forage grass in feeding cows .

The stem is thin; it has small green leaves and flowers with bright shades of red to purple. Thanks to the presence of flavonoids, red clover has an important antioxidant action . It is considered a natural remedy capable of contributing to hormonal balance, frequently recommended in menopause .

Traditionally, the infusion of red clover was prepared in case of hyperchlorhydria , excess of hydrochloric acid in the gastric juice; it was also used to relieve skin and stomach pain . Here are the beneficial properties of red clover and tips for use.

In which cases is red clover recommended?

The use of red clover in phytotherapy can be foreseen in the following cases:

Bronchitis, cough and respiratory diseases . The infusion of the plant, according to popular tradition, was used to counteract the accumulation of mucus in the eye and oropharyngeal cavities.

– Menopause symptoms and cycle regulation . Red clover contains valuable phytoestrogens during the menopause period , when the physiological drop in estrogen can increase the symptoms related to hot flashes, nervousness, insomnia. The plant, considered a natural aid for women with premenstrual syndrome, helps hormonal rebalancing and regulates ovulation.

– Headache . Red clover contrasts vasoconstriction in relation to headache by improving oxygenation.

– Gastritis and stomach pain . Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties it can mitigate gastritis problems and relieve the walls of the gastric mucosa.

– High cholesterol . The isoflavones present in red clover have cholesterol lowering properties: they help reduce cholesterol levels.

– Skin diseases . Eczema and psoriasis can be areas where the use of red clover is recommended, which can help the healing of the epidermis and stimulate the production of collagen . Thanks to the anti-inflammatory power it calms the skin and protects from UV rays. 

Prevention with red clover

Red clover is believed to help prevent atherosclerosis and osteoporosis by  contributing to bone mineralization.

The use of red clover was already known in ancient Rome  because of its healing properties and, even earlier, among the Greeks: since the 1950s the plant has returned to great interest as it investigates its possible use as a natural source of phytoestrogenic compounds . Red clover is thought to have a positive effect on sleep and prevent cardiovascular disorders.

How is red clover used?

Red clover is available in dry form , to be used for an infusion-type drink. Alternatively, the powdered plant can be taken in capsule form . In phytotherapy it is indicated in cases of affection to the respiratory tract. The infusion of red clover can soothe the symptoms of cough, hoarseness and bronchitis. Its use is capable of relieving diarrhea and gastritis , as well as combating lack of appetite.

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, red clover, in the form of  compresses for external use , contributes to the healing of the epidermis, relieving acne symptoms, eczema and psoriasis . In popular tradition, red clover packs were used for the treatment of wounds, together with lavender, a plant with a very high healing power . Washing the inflamed parts with the infusion or placing wet gauze tablets several times a day will give great relief to the epidermis.

The dry clover extract is precious during menopause and to calm the disorders related to premenstrual syndrome . In particular, it helps to counter hot flashes, sudden sweats and mood instability thanks to its natural properties; it also performs a cardioprotective and control action of osteoporosis, reducing the possible bone degradation typical of menopause.  

In addition, red clover fights the aging process of the mucous membranes. Valuable in case of high cholesterol and hypertension, it helps to counteract the action of free radicals and contributes positively to the purification of the blood .

Contraindications

The adequate dose of red clover depends on specific characteristics in relation to age, the type of problem and the physical state. Do it yourself : only the specialist will be able to recommend the most correct indications for hiring.

In case of overdose of red clover, the following could occur: headache, nausea, muscle pain, rash, vaginal bleeding.

The red clover supplement should not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding . In addition, the use of red clover is not recommended in the presence of bleeding disorders, endometriosis, breast cancer, uterine cancer, uterine fibroid, protein S deficiency, surgical interventions (suspension recommended two weeks before).

Although there are currently no tests able to prove the various cases, the fear is that the red clover phytoestrogens may increase the risk of developing blood clots and the probability of bleeding, worsening the condition of the cases mentioned. 

Finally, be careful if you use :

– Pill or contraceptives based on estrogen (estradiol, ethinylestradiol, etc)

– Anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc)

– Drugs modified by the liver against cytochromes P450 1A2, etc

– Antitumor drugs (tamoxifen, for example)

The active ingredients of red clover can interact with the content present in these drugs . Although these are natural remedies, it should be remembered that the supervision of a professional expert is always necessary , who will be able to advise the best by evaluating the problem and the conditions of the subject.

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