7 Surprising Red Clover Benefits

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The most interesting health benefits of red clover include its ability to treat estrogen imbalances, lower cholesterol levels, stimulate urination, boost circulation, strengthen bones, protect the immune system, reduce hypertension, and protect the cardiovascular system.

What is Red Clover?

Bearing the scientific name Trifolium pratense, red clover is a small, short-lived perennial herbaceous plant that flowers across Europe and western Asia, as well as some parts of Africa. The flowers of this plant are small and pinkish-purple, and due to their rapid growth rate and high nutritional value, they are often used as fodder for animals. The plant has traditionally been used in parts of Europe and Asia for the treatment of many health conditions. Usually, the herb is consumed in the form of a tea and ever since the health benefits of red clover have been discovered, it has become quite popular. [1]

You can create a potent herbal extract from red clover as it is rich in phytosterols, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds. However, it is important to keep in mind that consuming small amounts of this herb is safe as too much of it can be toxic. You can use the dried leaves to brew a delicious, sweet tea, which can have a number of powerful effects on the body. The raw greens of the plant can also be consumed, and are packed with nutritious elements. [2]

Health Benefits of Red Clover

Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of this wonderful herb.

Reduces Hypertension

The unique properties of red clover include its ability to reduce inflammation throughout the body, particularly in the cardiovascular system. Various studies have shown that consuming its tea can significantly reduce the tension in the arteries and blood vessels, thereby helping reduce the blood pressure levels. This can help prevent coronary heart diseases and keep cardiovascular issues at bay. [3] [4]

Close-up image of a red clover flower in a grass field

A beautiful red clover flower standing atop Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Boosts Immune System

If you consume the greens of red clover, you are more likely to get a high dose of vitamin C than by consuming the tea. Vitamin C is a powerful immune system booster and can help stimulate the production of white blood cells. [5]

Prevents Infections

If you consume the leaves in the form of tea, you can get a healthy dose of antioxidants. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals, which cause degenerative diseases and cell mutation. The overall immune boost of red clover includes preventing infections, both viral and bacterial.

Eases Menstruation

The impacts of red clover are significant, particularly in women. The isoflavones found in red clover mimic estrogen, so for women who may struggle to maintain estrogen levels, red clover can help balance their hormonal shifts and prevent mood swings, as well as reduce breast pain. This applies to women undergoing PMS as well as menopause, as both of the conditions can cause dangerous or unpredictable fluctuations in hormonal levels. [6]

Lowers Cholesterol Levels

If you struggle to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, you significantly increase your chances of heart attacks and strokes as a result of atherosclerosis. Therefore, anything that can lower cholesterol levels is valuable, and research has shown that LDL cholesterol levels can be reduced by adding red clover to the diet. [7]

Improves Blood Circulation

Coumarins found in red clover keep the blood flowing smoothly and stimulate healthy circulation, further preventing high blood pressure and cardiovascular distress.

Detoxifies the Body

If you want to find a quick way to detoxify your body and clear your system of excess toxins and salts, nothing works better than a diuretic. Red clover has been connected to increased urination, thereby helping release excess water, toxins, and even fat from the body. [8]

Word of Caution: Although the majority of reports concerning red clover are positive, some people do experience certain side effects, including nausea, muscle aches, headaches, and heavy periods in women. Also, if you are on medication for any hormone-related conditions, be sure to speak with a medical professional before adding red clover to your health regimen. [9]

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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