Proven Health Benefits of Red Clover & How to Make Red Clover Tea

Proven Health Benefits of Red Clover & How to Make Red Clover Tea

Red clover comes as an herbal tea or supplement that can help manage many symptoms of the menopause. However the benefits of taking red clover supplements extend to more than just relieving hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, and other menopausal symptoms. Red clover extracts can help strengthen bones, soothe coughing, and keep your skin looking healthy.

Taking red clover is good for both women and men. Scientific research on the benefits of red clover has found that red clover flower extracts can help to prevent hair loss in men. Red clover tea may benefit men because isoflavones in the extract also promote good prostate health.

In this article, you will find out about the many scientifically-proven benefits of taking red clover. You will also learn why taking red clover supplements is good if you are going through the menopause.

What Is Red Clover?

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is a flowering plant that grows in Europe, parts of Africa, and Western Asia. Many of the health benefits of red clover are found in the blossoms of red clover.

Researchers from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health report that red clover blossoms contain isoflavones. These substances are phytoestrogens and they have a similar effect to the hormone estrogen. (1)

Studies into isoflavones extracted from red clover flowers have found that they can help relieve many menopausal symptoms. (2)

Red clover extracts are found in the form of supplements, pills, or capsules. You can also buy dried red clover flower if you want to make your own red clover tea at home.

What Is Red Clover Tea?

Red clover tea is a caffeine-free herbal infusion made by putting fresh or dried red clover flowers in a cup of hot water. Red clover tea has a mild fruity taste to it.

Drinking red clover tea can be especially useful if you have a cold or a persistent cough. Most women consume red clover tea to help alleviate many symptoms connected with the menopause.

At the end of the article you will find a recipe for making your own red clover tea.

Red Clover Nutrition

Red clover contains a number of beneficial compounds such as isoflavones and flavonoids.

Research into the nutritional value of red clover has revealed that it contains the phenolic compounds clovamide, flavanols, and quercetin. (3)

These compounds act as antioxidants in the body and are also known to have an anti-inflammatory effect. (4, 5)

The reason why red clover supplements are popular with menopausal women is that they are a rich source of phytoestrogens called isoflavones. These anti-inflammatory compounds can have an estrogenic effect. (6)

Some researchers recommend taking 40 mg isoflavones per day to improve some menopause-related symptoms. (6)

Benefits of Red Clover and Red Clover Tea

Let’s look in more detail at why taking red clover herb supplements could be good for you.

Red Clover Tea Is Good for Managing Symptoms of the Menopause

As already mentioned in this article, taking red clover for reducing menopausal symptoms is one of its most popular uses.

A randomized study published in the journal Gynecological Endocrinology found that red clover isoflavones decrease menopause-related symptoms. In the study, 53 women aged over 50 took 80 mg a day of red clover supplements daily and experienced a significant reduction in their menopausal symptoms. (7)

Other studies found that phytoestrogens in red clover can help to control symptoms of the menopause. (8)

There are also many scientific studies showing how red clover blossom extracts help prevent osteoporosis, hot flashes, depression, and other menopause symptoms.

Learn about other supplements that can also help deal with complications associated with the menopause.

Red clover supplements can help relieve hot flashes

Taking red clover tea or supplements in the menopause can alleviate night sweats and hot flashes.

One study found that taking red clover pills for 12 weeks helped to significantly reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes. (9)

A review of 11 randomly controlled trials found that women taking red clover for the menopause had fewer hot flashes than the control groups. (10)

Another study found that combining probiotics and red clover extracts helped to relieve hot flashes in peri-menopausal women. (11)

Red clover is one of my 8 natural remedies for hot flashes.

Red clover extracts help promote good bone health in menopause

Regularly taking red clover flower extracts can help to prevent symptoms of osteoporosis if you are over 50 years old.

Scientists found that taking 150 ml red clover extracts helped to increase bone density in menopausal women. The women took the supplements for a 12-week period to improve their bone health. (12)

Red clover herb helps lower cholesterol in postmenopausal women

Red clover isoflavones may also prevent cardiovascular complications in the menopause that are the result of high cholesterol.

A study involving 40 women over the age of 56 found that taking red clover isoflavone supplements helped to significantly lower LDL cholesterol. There was also a reduction in triglyceride levels – a type of fat in the blood. (13)

Find out about certain lifestyle changes that can also help lower cholesterol in older age.

Red clover improves mood and reduces anxiety after the menopause

Another benefit of taking red clover blossom after the menopause is that the supplement can help prevent depression and anxiety.

One trial involving 109 postmenopausal women found that taking red clover capsules daily lowered symptoms of anxiety and depression. In the trial, women took red clover supplements with 80 mg isoflavones. (14)

If you are suffering from mood changes during the menopause, find out what essential oils are great for coping with anxiety and depression.

Red clover isoflavones improve quality of life after the menopause

Many studies have shown that red clover can greatly improve many of the symptoms associated with the menopause. So, it should be no surprise that many menopausal women who take red clover experience a greater quality of life.

A study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology International reported that red clover extracts also improve scalp health, sleep patterns, the appearance of skin, and reduce tiredness. This resulted in a greater overall quality of life and feelings of well-being. (15)

Red Clover Herbal Supplements May Prevent Osteoporosis

Taking red clover tincture or blossom extracts may also help prevent brittle bones in people who aren’t going through the menopause.

Osteoporosis is often connected with a drop in estrogen levels during the menopause. Scientists have identified that red clover contains the isoflavones formononetin and biochanin A. Many studies have shown that high red clover supplement doses can help to increase bone mineral density. (16)

Can red clover supplements benefit men with osteoporosis? The journal Drug Design, Development and Therapy reports that there is a high probability that red clover herb for osteoporosis would also be beneficial to men. (17)

Learn about ways you can naturally combat osteoporosis and help prevent bone fractures. If you are lactose intolerant, you can find other sources of calcium than dairy products.

Red Clover Supplements Promote Good Heart Health

Helping to improve your cardiovascular health is another reason why drinking red clover tea is good for you.

Various studies have shown that extracts from red clover leaf or red clover blossoms containing isoflavones help to protect against heart disease. (18)

Another study found that red clover supplements can have a beneficial effect in preventing cardiovascular disease. (19)

Let’s look in more detail at why red clover flower extracts are good for your heart.

Red clover is good for lowering cholesterol

Taking red clover for its medicinal purposes could also be good for you if you have high cholesterol.

A small study involving 23 healthy pre and postmenopausal women found that taking red clover isoflavones for a month had a positive effect on cholesterol. (20)

Learn about other natural ingredients like flaxseeds which contain omega-3 that can help improve your cardio health.

Red clover supplements may help lower blood pressure

There is also some evidence that red clover herb has a positive effect on your vascular system if you suffer from hypertension.

High blood pressure is sometimes a complication in older women with diabetes. A small study involving 16 postmenopausal women found that taking 50 mg of red clover supplements daily helped to lower blood pressure. (21)

Please see this article for more ways on controlling high blood pressure without medication.

Red clover may prevent plaque buildup in the arteries (atherosclerosis)

Another of the ways that fresh or dried red clover flowers are good for your heart health is that they help prevent clogged arteries.

Researchers have found that the anti-inflammatory effect of red clover isoflavones can lower your risk of a dangerous build-up of artery plaque. Isoflavones in red clover activate certain compounds that help to prevent atherosclerosis and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. (22)

Find out about other heart-healthy foods that can prevent atherosclerosis.

Red Clover May Help Deal with Pain Better

One of the interesting health benefits of extracts from red clover blossoms is that they help increase your pain threshold.

Hormonal imbalances can cause your perception of pain to change and result in feeling more pain. Scientists found that supplementing the diet with red clover phytoestrogens help to bring the pain threshold up to normal levels. (23)

Some red clover herbal extracts also have opiate activity. Your opioid system helps to regulate your mood, hormones, temperature, and perception of pain. (24, 25)

Learn about some of the best essential oils you can use to help soothe pain and reduce inflammation.

Red Clover Tea May Help Alleviate Asthma Symptoms

Drinking red clover tea has a soothing effect on your respiratory system and can help manage chronic coughing.

The isoflavone biochanin A in red clover has an antispasmodic effect and can help alleviate the symptoms of allergic coughing and asthma.

One study involving guinea pigs found that that red clover extracts helped to reduce symptoms associated with allergic asthma and other pulmonary diseases. (26)

Red Clover Supplement Pills Help Improve Skin’s Appearance

Red clover extracts help to make your skin look better because isoflavones have a positive effect on your skin’s health.

Various studies have shown that red clover supplementation in the menopause helps the skin feel better, be more hydrated, and have a better appearance. (15)

Red clover may help wounds heal quicker

Extracts from red clover plants also have wound-healing activities.

One study found that applying red clover extracts helped to reduce the time that wounds take to heal. Scientists theorized that the benefits to the skin were due to the synergistic effect of various clover isoflavones. (27)

Red clover may protect against effects of UV radiation

The inflammation-reducing effect of red clover herbal extracts can also give some UV protection to your skin.

Researchers have discovered that red clover blossoms contain compounds such as genistein and equol that offer protection of UV radiation. These antioxidants can help to prevent skin cell damage. In fact, gels containing equol protect the immune system after a sunburn. (28)

Red Clover Blossoms Can Prevent Hair Loss in Men

Men can also benefit from red clover herb extracts because compounds in red clover have been linked to preventing male pattern baldness.

One study involving 30 men with receding hairlines found that applying a red clover flower extract enriched with biochanin A helped to increase the number of hairs. Applying the formula daily for 4 months resulted in a reduction of baldness. (29)

Red clover helped to inhibit 5-alpha reductase enzymes which are sometimes the cause of alopecia. (29)

Red Clover Can Benefit Male Prostate Health

Taking red clover supplements containing isoflavones can help to improve prostate health and lower the risk of prostate cancer.

In one study, 20 men over the age of 60 took 60 mg of red clover isoflavone extract for a year. At the end of 12 months, it was found that their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were reduced by 30% and prostate volume was slightly reduced. (30)

Red Clover Extracts May Have Anticancer Properties

There appears to be conflicting evidence on the use of red clover extracts because of their estrogen-like activity.

The American Association for Cancer Research published a study showing that red clover extracts can help to slow down or halt the progression of prostate cancer in men. (31)

The journal PLoS One published a systematic review of randomized controlled trials on the effects of red clover on breast cancer. They did not find any evidence that isoflavones from red clover or soy increased the risk of breast cancer. (32)

However, researchers are not fully aware of all the risks that red clover has on hormone-related cancers. Some studies also point to the fact that phytoestrogens can increase the risk of breast cancer. (32)

If you are at risk of breast or ovarian cancer, you should avoid taking red clover in high doses for medicinal purposes.

Red Clover and Fertility

Red clover may affect male fertility and also female fertility and could affect your chances of conceiving a child.

Studies have shown that a high intake of isoflavones such as from red clover could affect male fertility because it can decrease sperm concentration. (33)

Similarly, the results of various clinical trials suggest that women who have a high isoflavone intake may find it more difficult to get pregnant. (34)

Learn how you can increase your chances of becoming pregnant by knowing how to spot signs of ovulation. There is also much that men can do to increase the health of their sperm.

How to Make a Red Clover Tea

1 cup boiling water
1 tbsp. dry red clover flowers (if you use fresh flowers, triple the amount)
Ginger slice (optional)
Honey and lemon to taste

Simmer all the ingredients (except the honey and lemon) in 1 cup of water for a few minutes with a covered lid. Strain and add juice of a lemon and honey once the tea has cooled somewhat and is nicely warm (rather than boiling hot). Drink this tea 2 to 3 times a day.

How to Make a Red Clover Tincture

To get the many health benefits of red clover, you can make your own tincture at home. This helps to preserve the isoflavones and other beneficial compounds in red clover flower extracts.

How to make your own tincture from red clover blossoms:

For this, you will need 100-proof vodka or brandy (50% alcohol), dried red clover flowers, and a pint jar. You can also use 80-proof alcohol (40% alcohol) if you can’t find a stronger spirit.

  1. Fill a jar halfway up with dried red clover flowers.
  2. Pour in the alcohol until it is about 2 cm from the top.
  3. Screw the lid on tightly and store in a dark cupboard.
  4. Every week, swish the alcohol around the jar to help extract the red clover compounds.
  5. After 6 weeks, strain the red clover tincture through a muslin or cheesecloth into a clean measuring jug. Squeeze as much as you can to extract all the liquid.
  6. Transfer into small, dark brown bottles, and label for future reference.

There is no official recommended dosage, but some people suggest a dose of 2-5 ml three times a day.

Side Effects

For many women, red clover supplements are good for alleviating many symptoms associated with the menopause.

There is no evidence that consuming red clover for medicinal purposes causes breast cancer. However, the journal Menopause advises that women who are at risk of estrogen-sensitive breast cancer should avoid red clover. (35) Women with other hormone-sensitive conditions such as uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids should also avoid red clover. (38)

Some people who take red clover long-term may experience skin rashes, nausea, light vaginal spotting, or headaches. (36)

You should stop taking red clover if you have to go for planned surgery because red clover can affect blood clotting. (37)

Pregnant women should avoid taking large quantities of red clover. (38)

Some medications may also interact with red clover, such as some birth control pills. (38)

Where to Buy Red Clover

You can purchase red clover tea bags and dry red clover flowers at your local health store. But you can also buy them online: for example this page in amazon sells organic dry red clover blossoms, and this page in amazon sells red clover tea bags.

You can find more useful information about other herbs in my e-book Herbal Remedies Guide. This guide will teach you how to treat common ailments using herbs.

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