by Faye Sakellaridis
Red clover is a perennial flower native to northwest Africa, Europe, and Western Asia with an assortment of healing applications. It also makes for a pretty tasty tea.
Red clover leaf is often associated with blood-purifying properties. It’s said to cleanse the blood of toxins and demonstrate anti-cancer properties. On his blog Medicine Hunter, Chris Kilham explains that although red clover formulas are declared of no use for cancer treatment by the FDA, various studies do indicate that the compounds found in red clover blossoms have “some anti-cancer properties.”
At any rate, red clover is definitely a blood thinner. He writes:
One thing is certain: Red clover is a blood thinner. This is due to the concentration of coumarin found in the blossoms. For cases of thrombosis and other conditions in which thick blood obstructs vessels, red clover tea may be of benefit. However, for those who are taking blood-thinning medications, adding red clover to the mix can be a bad idea. Prior to surgery, drinking red clover is not recommended, as doing so may exacerbate surgical bleeding.
Red clover is also rich in isoflavones, which are chemicals that act like estrogens. For this reason, it’s used to alleviate symptoms in women experiencing symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
As Herb Wisdom explains, isoflavones can also reduce the possibility of developing a cancer of the endometrium, the lining of the uterus, by attaching estrogen receptors throughout the body:
Isoflavones are similar in shape to the female hormone, estrogen. Therefore, they may attach to estrogen receptors throughout the body particularly in the bladder, blood vessels, bones, and heart. This effect may also reduce the possibility of developing estrogen-dependent cancer of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus). In addition, results from a review of nearly 1000 women suggest that red clover may interfere with an enzyme known to promote the progression of endometrial cancer.
They also tout its cardiovascular benefits, saying that although studies are not definite, some show that it can lower levels of “bad” low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and raise levels of the “good” high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. And because it contains chemicals could comourins, which keep blood from becoming thick, it may lessen the chance of blood clots and arterial plaques.
The Herbal Academy also states that red clover has a long use for “skin conditions, fever, colds, and lung issues especially in children.”
Here is a suggestion from Herbal Academy for an effective way to brew Red Clover:
Hot water post boil
- Add the dry red clover flowers into the hot water in a heat safe vessel.
- Steep for 15 minutes.
- Drink 3 times a day.
In addition to that, they provide a recipe for concocting a Red Clover Tincture.