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Red Clover

Overview

Red clover is native to Europe and Asia, and has been naturalized to North America.  Often used as cattle feed, it also has a long tradition of medicinal use in herbal practice. Red clover has a proven effectiveness in treating respiratory problems, in particular bronchitis and whooping cough.  It has also been used to treat acne and other skin problems.

 

Because the isoflavones present in red clover flowers are antioxidants, researchers believe it may help prevent certain types of cancer.

 

What Red Clover Does:

Among the healthful compounds found in red clover are calcium, magnesium, chromium, vitamin C, thiamine, niacin, potassium and phosphorus.  Each of those minerals and vitamins are essential to the body’s functioning, from building new bone cells to helping increase the bioavailability of other essential nutrients.

 

In addition, red clover is one of the richest sources of a particular class of isoflavones known as phytoestrogens.  Because phytoestrogens seem to behave in the same way as estrogen in the body, red clover may be helpful to menopausal and post-menopausal women.

 

There are also more recent reports that red clover and red clover extract with enhanced isoflavones may be important in treating and controlling prostate problems in men.

 

Health Benefits of Red Clover:

  • May fight heart disease in menopausal women

In several studies, red clover has been reported to increase HDL (good cholesterol) and improve ‘arterial compliance’ a measure of heart strength. While there is more research required, the preliminary results are promising for menopausal women.

  • May reduce the symptoms of menopause

In one small study, 30 female participants reported significant decreases in hot flashes while their diets were supplemented with red clover isoflavones.

  • May slow bone loss due to osteoporosis

Some studies suggest that isoflavones found in red clover helps maintain bone mineral density, and may even improve it.  Bone loss is the leading cause of broken bones and other skeletal problems in menopausal and post menopausal women.

  • May help prevent cancer

Red clover has a long tradition as a cancer fighter in herbal and traditional medicine. Scientists are studying the connection closely, and believe that the isoflavones in red clover may have some anti-tumor properties.  Studies in laboratory and animals have suggested that red clover isoflavones may slow or stop the growth of breast cancer cells.

  • May help reduce the symptoms of prostatitis

Finally, in a 2003 report published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicines, Dr. Aaron E. Katz (Columbia University, NY) stated that “Isoflavone, particularly red clover extract, supplements are likely to be important therapies for promoting prostate health during the watchful-waiting period in patients with BPH.”

 

Possible Side Effects of Red Clover:

Red clover has a safety rating of 1 – very safe at normally recommended levels. There are no reported harmful side effects of fresh or dried red clover.  However, fermented red clover is to be avoided as it may be toxic.

 

Summary

There’s a growing body of evidence that the isoflavones in red clover may help prevent cancer, reduce the risk of heart disease and increase bone density in menopausal women.  The latest reports that red clover seems to help protect against benign prostatistic hyperplasia are encouraging for men whose other choices are surgery or medication with harsh side effects.

 

As in so many other things, red clover seems to increase the effectiveness of other nutrients in the body.  Because the synergistic effects of red clover isoflavones may increase the effectiveness of other medications, it should be taken as part of a balanced, complete health supplement like Total Balance, made by Xtend-Life Natural Products of New Zealand. Xtend-Life’s Total Balance formula contains a full complement of essential nutrients in a formulation that is carefully balanced to get the most benefit from each individual vitamin, mineral and enzyme.

 

 

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