Red Clover, Trifolium pratense, in a typical meadow environment near Poolewe, Wester Ross, Highlands of Scotland

I can remember spending hours at the neighbor’s yard sorting through patches of clover searching for that one lucky four leaf variety. On two events I found such a specimen and have one in my pocket now, 35 years after. While that clover could have attracted a countless measure of fortune, it is the blossom that’s deemed lucky in alternative medicine. The red clover or trifolium pratense, is an herb which has compounds known as isoflavones. Isoflavones are a type of estrogen.


Current studies are demonstrating that isoflavones like those in red clover, may aid in prevention of cancer cells forming and might even kill cancer cells in lab tests. But red clover has estrogen-like effects which could help in the expansion of specific estrogen hungry cancers in precisely the exact same manner that human estrogen may.

Phytoestrogens would be the estrogen-like compounds inside red clover. Estrogen can overstimulate the body and cause certain cancers such as uterine cancer which develops in the lining of the uterus. Long term use of herbs using phytoestrogens then could promote cancer, but there’s also contrary evidence to this.

People who have a mainly plant-based diet, like vegetarians or vegans, have a larger lack of notable cancers. Researchers consider that phytoestrogen links with specific cells in the body thus preventing human estrogen from combing with these cells and stimulating the production of cancerous cells.

Red clover may change the effects of any medication containing hormones or derivatives of hormones such as birth control pills for hormone replacement therapy, in addition to the levels of natural hormones in the body.

Research isn’t clear on the usage of red clover phytoestrogens by women that are pregnant or breastfeeding. Nor can it be sure if women with breast cancer or other hormone established cancers should take advantage of red clover teas or supplements. In the field of prostate health, studies are under way in treating prostate enlargement and cancer.

Red clover is presently being used to combat symptoms of premature and peri-menopause, menstrual pain, prostate enlargement, osteoporosis and high cholesterol. The pink flowers of red clover are processed for extracts which may be placed into capsule or pill form. There are also recipes for red clover tea or liquid tinctures.

Isoflavones, Menopause and Osteoporosis

Isoflavones have shown potential in treating a range of conditions associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, cardiovascular health, and osteoporosis.

There isn’t enough reliable scientific evidence to recommend red clover for osteoporosis. Menopause increases a woman’s risk for developing osteoporosis (significant bone loss). Taking red clover has been shown to help delay osteoporosis in women who haven’t hit that point of life.

Red clover can be a source of many nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, niacin and calcium to mention a few. It is now available in many ways as a liquid extract, tea or tincture, and capsule or pill. Red clover can also be called bee-bread, purple clover or cow clover and is used as an alternative medicine treatment for treating the early stages of cervical dysplasia.