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What is Red Clover?

Red clover, also known as trefoil, is a common flowering plant with a wide range of medicinal uses. Benefits of red clover include detoxification, cough and allergy treatment, blood flow, and relief of menopausal symptoms. Most of the benefits of red clover come from the flowers, which contain isoflavones – estrogen-like substances believed to fight cancer.

Red clover can simply be added to food or made into a tea or juice. It is also available as a health supplement in tablet, capsule, or tincture form. However, red clover may not be right for everyone and a doctor's prescription is recommended before taking this herb. Here are some of the benefits of red clover and some tips on using this supplement.

Prevention of heart disease:
One of the primary benefits of red clover is cholesterol regulation. Red clover can raise levels of good cholesterol or high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which help fremove bad cholesterol or low-density lipoproteins (LDL) from the body. it also strengthens the artery walls and prevents plaque buildup. This effect is primarily seen in women after menopause, who are naturally at higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant:
Red clover has anti-inflammatory properties that relieve irritation from psoriasis, eczema, and other severe skin conditions. This can also reduce hot flashes, an intense heat in the face and neck area commonly suffered by menopausal women.

Cough treatment:
Red clover aids in the expulsion of mucous and has been used in traditional medicine as a cough expectorant. It works like a spring tonic, and is especially useful for whooping cough in children. It can also flush out urine and waste fluids to get rid of toxins and bacteria.

Some precautions:
Red clover is an anti-coagulant, so people taking blood thinning medications should consult their doctors before taking this herb. The isoflavone content can interact negatively with hormone medications such as birth control pills. There may also be some side effects on pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Red Clover has been used for many things which include cancer, mastitis (inflammation of the breast), joint disorders, jaundice, bronchitis, spasmodic coughing, asthma, and skin inflammations, such as psoriasis and eczema. Red clover is thought to "purify" the blood by promoting urine and mucous production, improving circulation, and stimulating the secretion of bile.

Research:
Recently, specific chemicals in red clover -- known as isoflavones -- have been isolated and tested for their effectiveness in treating a variety of conditions. Although isolated isoflavone products are very different from the whole herb, they have shown promise in the treatment of a number of conditions associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, cardiovascular health, and the bone loss associated with osteoporosis.

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