Every year, a beautiful crop of red clover blooms in the meadow where I walk Jinks every day. Of course, I take advantage of the bumper crop by picking some and drying it for herbal tea.
Red clover is cultivated for animal feed, but its use of red clover as an herbal remedy goes back centuries, and the plant enjoys a history of both topical and internal applications. It is often an ingredient in liniments and balms and is said to relieve the pain of both eczema and psoriasis. The pain-relieving properties of red clover are likely due to the presence of the anti-inflammatory compounds in the flowers.
Red clover has long been used as a “blood purifier,” specifically for the potential treatment of cancer, though the evidence for its effectiveness is minimal. However, it does appear to work as a blood thinner. However, if you are taking blood-thinning medications, adding red clover to the mix may not be a good idea or taking it before surgery either. On the other hand drinking a cup or two before a long haul flight could help protect against thrombosis.
Red Clover’s main use, though, because of its concentration of the phytoestrogens, which mimic the activity of estrogen, is alleviating the discomfort of menopause. It has been shown to be effective in the alleviation of hot flashes.
Though the same presence of phytoestrogens, which mimic estrogen, has led many doctors to warn against using red clover preparations if women have had reproductive health disorders including endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or breast and uterine cancers.
However, as herbal cleansing tea, red clover appears to offer many benefits to health. High in natural protective antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds – and pleasant in flavor – red clover is good for general health, and is a tasty beverage. Rather than buying red clover tea, which is very expensive, just harvest a little from your lawn. Dry it on some newspaper for a few days, or pop it in the dehumidifier, and you have red clover herbal tea, ready to go.