More About Red Clover Benefits - Includes External or Topical Uses of Red Clover
Red clover benefits health in many ways, and this article elaborates on some of these properties. The health benefits of red clover are also discussed in another related red clover article.
Red clover is a sweet herb and is considered a blood purifier. It may be used to treat acne, bladder infections, boils, bronchitis, cancer, leukemia, liver disorders, nervous conditions, psoriasis, skin ailments and tumors. It is an excellent blood cleanser.
Herbs are God and nature's gifts to us. While the use of herbs and herb remedies has brought excellent results for many people, do note that their health benefits may be limited when they are used in isolation. However, when combined with some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition, the impact on one's health will be greatly magnified.
In natural health and healing, we believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases. We also believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man’s understanding. It is thus a good idea to apply these fundamental health steps no matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem.
Due to its purifying qualities, red clover is used for purifying the blood and helping the body get rid of excess fluid - it acts as a diuretic and an expectorant by helping to clear the lungs of mucous. Red clover benefits on health include improving blood circulation and cleansing the liver.
Red Clover Isoflavones
Red clover contains, among other things, isoflavones, which are plant based chemicals that simulate the effects of estrogen in the body. This fact has been shown in numerous studies.
Isoflavones are known to be effective in the treatment of menopausal conditions such as hot flashes, osteoporosis and cardiac health. Thus, red clover benefits menopausal symptoms.
As mentioned above, red clover's isoflavone compounds mimic the effects of the female hormone, estrogen. Four different isoflavones have been identified in red clover, namely - genistein, daidzein, biochanin, and formononetin. This is why red clover wins hands down when compared with the similar attributes of soy, since it contains more isoflavones than soy.
Other Constituents and Nutrients of Red Clover
Besides isoflavones, the other key components of red clover are phenolic glycosides (including salicylic acid), flavonoids, salicylates, coumarins, cyanogenic glycosides, mineral acids, volatile oil (including methyl salicylate and benzyl alcohol), sitosterols, starch as well as fatty acids.
Due to its roots running deep into the inner recesses of the earth, red clover is found to be rich in minerals and this fact is obvious from its constituents of caffeic and acids, beta-sitosterol, coumarin, eugenol, flavonoids, salicylic acid, methyl salicylate, calcium, selenium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, molybdenum, beta-carotene and vitamins B, C, and E.
Being power packed with all these nutrients increases red clover benefits on health and makes it perennially in keen demand as a medicinal herb of immense curative powers.
Red Clover and Cancer
Red clover benefits cancer sufferers, too. The National Cancer Institute has validated the fact that red clover, due to its anti-cancer properties, is effective in combating cancer.
Traditionally, red clover has been used as a cancer combatant. Modern studies on isoflavones have further shown initial evidence that they may prevent the growth of cancer cells in a lab environment. Hence, it has been postulated that red clover may prevent some forms of cancer, such as endometrial and prostate cancer.
A note of caution is, however, advised, as red clover mimics the effects of estrogens, and estrogens are sometimes a contributor to cancer.
Red clover benefits against cancer can be harnessed externally, too. It is frequently used externally in poultice form, as a local application for cancerous growths, and found to be effective.
Please note that cancer is a serious and multi-factorial disease. It thus needs to be dealt with using a full-spectrum, holistic approach. Using one or two herbs is unlikely to reverse the situation.
Red Clover and Heart Health
It has also been found that red clover benefits heart health; it may be invaluable in the areas of promoting cardiovascular health and protects against heart diseases in several ways.
The isoflavones, as we all know, that are a major constituent of this wonder herb and its medicinal properties, is associated with an increase in high density lipoproteins (HDL), which is good cholesterol, in pre and post menopausal women.
It is believed that red clover promotes flexible and strong arteries, clinical term for the same being 'arterial compliance', which in turn helps prevent the onset of heart disease.
Also, since red clover is rich in coumarin, this herb is believed to possess blood thinning properties; thus, red clover benefits include improving blood circulation as well as preventing the formation of blood clots.
Red Clover and Menopause
The beneficial healing quality of red clover is also known to significantly lower the symptoms of menopause, including occurrence of hot flashes in menopausal women.
Menopause brings with it increased risks of reduced bone density in menopausal women, with its allayed risks of onset of osteoporosis. Studies on red clover have validated that isoflavones present in this herb slow down bone loss and also boost bone mineralization in menopausal women.
Other Health Benefits of Red Clover
· Red clover is internally taken and found to be effective for serious ailments of the ovaries, breast, stomach, and lymphatic system.
· Used as a gargle, red clover provides effective relief of oesophageal disease.
· Red clover flower heads: The medicinal attributes of red clover flower heads contain coumarins, which are blood-thinning agents, or substances that reduce blood clotting.
· Red clover oils: Have mild anti-inflammatory properties useful in treating skin inflammations like eczema. Also contains compounds that help soothe coughs and bring down airway congestion; red clover has thus been used as a remedy for coughs.
· Red clover herb: The health benefits of red clover have been validated by contemporary Chinese researchers, who have proven that the herb kills certain viral and fungal infections, has an estrogen-like function, and is an antispasmodic and expectorant.
External or Topical Uses of Red Clover
The benefits of red clover can also be reaped externally, where it can be applied topically, usually in combination with other herbs (e.g. burdock), to help treat skin wounds and conditions, including bites, stings and growths.
Amongst its other uses, red clover is also used as an ointment to treat skin infections like eczema, psoriasis, and rashes.
Red clover compresses can also be used to treat the symptoms of arthritis and gout.
When gargled, red clover benefits mouth ulcers.
In addition, it can be used as eyewash to treat conjunctivitis.
In addition, red clover benefits and is externally used for various ailments like leprosy, ulcers and pellagra.
Due to the anti-cancer effects of the herb, red clover poultices are used on cancerous growths which are visible on the surface of the body.
Other uses of Red Clover
The benefits of red clover extend beyond medicinal purposes and human health. Red clover benefits extend to agriculture, too, where it is used to improve soil quality - it is in a symbiotic relationship with bacteria in root nodules, thus enabling the plant to 'transfer' nitrogen from the air into the soil.
Or, to put it another way, the roots of red clover have special nodules that contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These bacteria can 'grab' nitrogen from the air and make it available to the plant.
This makes the growing of red clover an effective measure to increase the fertility of soil and control soil erosion.