What is Red Clover?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2019
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Also known as trifolium pratense, red clover is a perennial plant that can be used as fodder for crops as well as a healing herb. Native to Europe as well as parts of Asian and Africa, the blossoms of this type of clover are rich in several essential nutrients. Red clover is sometimes recommended as a blood cleanser and energy tonic, as well as an excellent source of nutrition for the nervous system.

There are several different ways to make use of red clover as an herbal remedy. One of the more common approaches is to dry the blossoms and steep them in hot water to make a tea. The higher concentrations of calcium and magnesium in the beverage are especially helpful when a cold or cough is present, since they help to ease discomfort in the chest as well as promote restful sleep.

Another approach to utilizing the clover blossoms is as part of a nutritional concentrate or extract. A red clover extract may be infused with lemon balm and similar herbs to help calm jangled nerves. For people suffering with bouts of anxiety or stress, mixing a little of the concentrate into a cup of green tea can help to calm the nerves in as little as a half hour.


It is even possible to use dried red clover blossoms to create a poultice that can be placed over a burn. Some recipes call for using the seeds and leaves in this application as well. The poultice is said to draw heat out of the burned skin, helping to minimize blistering and expediting the healing process.

Along with calcium and magnesium, red clover is rich in a number of vitamins and minerals. The flower of the plant contains significant amounts of niacin, iron, potassium, and vitamin C. Moderate amounts of most of the B vitamins, phosphorus, and manganese are also present, with trace amounts of zinc, selenium, and vitamin A.

The scope of red clover benefits covers many different ailments. The tea is said to be excellent for settling an upset stomach or easing the pain associated with stomach ulcers. Some find the herb helpful with skin conditions such as acne or psoriasis. People suffering with low energy may benefit from the presence of the B vitamins and vitamin C found in this type of clover.

Keep in mind that while many people obtain relief from the use of red clover, it is very important to discuss its use with a doctor. This is especially important for anyone currently taking some type of prescription medication. The clover may produce an undesirable interaction with the medication, either by magnifying the drug’s effect or preventing the drug from providing the desired relief.


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