Trifolium pratense

Red Clover

Trifolium pratense

Red Clover

Native to; the northern Atlantic and central Europe; the Mediterranean region; Balkans, Asia Minor, Iran, India, Himalayas; Russia from Arctic south to east Siberia; Caucasus, and the Far East. It spread to England ca 1650 and was carried to America by British colonists (Taylor and Smith, 1981). Widely introduced and cultivated. It is grown primarily for its value as a nutritionally dense food for grazing livestock. In Russian and Chinese traditional use the floral tea is used to support bronchial-respiratory health. It has also been used as a wash, and internally both as a tea and an extract. Because of it’s nutritional complexity it has been recommended for convalescence, brewed as a tea from the freshly dried flowers. If you are selecting dried flowers to make tea, it is best to avoid the material if it is brown. This indicates that the material has oxidized probably due to improper drying, and storage.

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Traditional Health Benefits of Red Clover

Immune Support, Liver & Cleanse Support, Women

What is Red Clover Used for?

Red Clover is primarily nutritive, but also used to support proper lymphatic function (alterative), immune support, healthy skin, and proper endocrine function. It does contain genistein, daidzein, and biochannin-A among other isoflavones and concentrated standardized remedies made from this plant deliver these chemicals in an isolated state. Since the plant is so nutritionally complex, it is probably best to use it in its unadulterated form as an extract or tea. Supplements high in these types of flavonoids are generally useful as a tonic for menstrual irregularity and menopause.

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Active Constituents of Red Clover

Isolfavones (Daidzein, Genestein, Biochannin-A, Formonentin), flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin), phenolic acids, minerals, and saponins

Parts Used

Flowering tops

Additional Resources

1.) Howes J, Waring M, Huang L, Howes LG. Long-term pharmacokinetics of an extract of isoflavones from red clover (Trifolium pratense). J Altern Complement Med 2002;8:135-42. 2.) Kolodziejczyk-Czepas, J. Trifolium species-derived substances and extracts--biological activity and prospects for medicinal applications. J.Ethnopharmacol. 8-30-2012;143(1):14-23.

Important Precautions

Not for use during pregnancy or lactation. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.


This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

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