Red Clover


Red clover is a plant. The flower tops are used to make medicine.

Red clover is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether it is effective for any of them. It doesn’t seem to work, though, for lowering cholesterol or controlling hot flashes in women.

Some women use red clover for symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes; for breast pain or tenderness (mastalgia); and for premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

In foods and beverages, the solid extract of red clover is used as a flavoring ingredient.

Red clover contains hormone-like chemicals called isoflavones that seem to cause reproductive problems in certain animals. Experts think a diet high in isoflavones may have been responsible for reports of reproductive failure and liver disease in cheetahs living in zoos. In large quantities, red clover can cause sterility in livestock.


Is a Form of:


Primary Functions:

Cancer prevention, indigestion, high cholesterol

Also Known As:

Beebread, Clovone, Cow Clover, Daidzein, Genistein, Isoflavone, Meadow Clover

How Does It Work?

Red clover contains “isoflavones” which are changed in the body to “phytoestrogens” that are similar to the hormone estrogen.


  • High cholesterol in women. Research shows that taking red clover extracts by mouth for 3 months to a year does not seem reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol or increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol in women who have moderately elevated cholesterol levels.
  • Weak bones (osteoporosis). Some early research suggests that taking red clover daily for 6 months increased bone mineral density and healthy postmenopausal women. However, most evidence suggests that taking red clover does not improve osteoporosis.

Recommended Dosing

The appropriate dose of red clover depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for red clover. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Red Clover Supplements Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of red clover?

Red clover is used for cancer prevention, indigestion, high cholesterol, whooping cough, cough, asthma, bronchitis, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Some women use red clover for symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes; for breast pain or tenderness (mastalgia); and for premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Does red clover increase estrogen?

Modern scientific tests have shown that red clover contains isoflavones, plant-based chemicals that produce estrogen-like effects in the body. Isoflavones have shown potential in the treatment of several conditions associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, cardiovascular health, and osteoporosis.

Does Red Clover make you gain weight?

(Reuters Health) - Plant-derived estrogens, such as those from soy and red clover, might contribute to unwanted weight gain in some postmenopausal women, according to a new review of previous clinical trials. Known as phytoestrogens, these natural compounds mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.

Is red clover good for hair growth?

"The biochanin A found in the red clover extract inhibits the 5-alpha reductase activity responsible for androgenic alopecia." The combined effect of the two active ingredients is to inhibit hair-follicle shrinkage and improve hair anchoring.

How long does it take for red clover to work?

It's effectiveness for treating hot flashes, or hot flushes, was established based on two randomized clinical trials with a total of 1174 women over the course of 12 weeks and 24 weeks.

Is red clover safe to take?

Side Effects & Safety

Red clover is LIKELY SAFE for most people when used in the amounts found in food. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when used in medicinal amounts by mouth or applied to the skin. Red clover can cause rash-like reactions, muscle ache, headache, nausea, and vaginal bleeding (spotting) in some women.

Does Red Clover balance hormones?

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Red clover is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in food. However, it is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts. Red clover acts like estrogen and might disturb important hormone balances during pregnancy or breast-feeding.

Which is better red clover or black cohosh?

The red clover group had a 57% reduction in hot flashes (from 58 to 25), and the black cohosh group had the smallest reduction in vasomotor symptoms, 34% (from 65 to 43). Although this trial found a 57% reduction in vasomotor symptoms with red clover, the effect was no better than that observed in women using placebo.

What are the side effects of taking red clover?

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Red Clover?

  • estrogen-like effects (bloating, breast tenderness, irregular menstrual periods, decreased sex drive, weight gain, mood changes)
  • muscle ache.
  • vaginal bleeding/spotting.

How often should you drink red clover tea?

hot water for 1/2 hour; drink 2 to 3 cups daily. Powdered herb (available in capsules): 40 to 160 mg per day, or 28 to 85 mg of red clover isoflavones. Tincture (1:5, 30% alcohol): 60 to 100 drops (3 to 5 mL), 3 times per day; may add to hot water as a tea.

Does Red Clover lower testosterone?

The effect of red clover on testosterone levels

To sum up, red clover may increase testosterone levels. Further studies are needed to clarify this effect of red clover on testosterone levels.

How do you get rid of red clover?

Red clover can be effectively killed by herbicide application, mechanical means or a combination of the two. Herbicides can be used to kill red clover in conservation and no-till tillage systems. A table of applicable herbicides in wheat has been compiled in Using Red Clover as a Cover Crop in Wheat.

Is red clover bad for your hair?

"The biochanin A found in the red clover extract inhibits the 5-alpha reductase activity responsible for androgenic alopecia." The combined effect of the two active ingredients is to inhibit hair-follicle shrinkage and improve hair anchoring.

How much red clover should I take?

Powdered herb (available in capsules): 40 to 160 mg per day, or 28 to 85 mg of red clover isoflavones. Tincture (1:5, 30% alcohol): 60 to 100 drops (3 to 5 mL), 3 times per day; may add to hot water as a tea. Fluid Extract (1:1): 1 mL, 3 times per day; may add to hot water as a tea.

Is crimson clover the same as red clover?

Crimson clover has taller flower stems, grows more quickly and has larger seeds than the more commonly used red clover. Crimson clover's primary advantages are rapid growth during cool weather, shade tolerance and a positive reseeding potential.

Is red clover good for skin?

Red clover is used for cancer prevention, indigestion, high cholesterol, whooping cough, cough, asthma, bronchitis, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Red clover is applied to the skin for skin cancer, skin sores, burns, and chronic skin diseases including eczema and psoriasis.

How does red clover help fertility?

Red Clover: Red clover is estrogen's twin hormonally. Though not identical, they can both serve the same purpose, as red clover helps to thicken the uterine lining, which leads to better implantation and increases your fertility.

Is red clover good for the liver?

Red clover. Red clover is a wild plant belonging to the legume family. Health care practitioners believe that red clover "purified" the blood by acting as a diuretic (helping the body get rid of excess fluid) and expectorant (helping clear lungs of mucous), improving circulation, and helping cleanse the liver.

Does Red Clover cause liver damage?

Clover toxicity is caused by ingestion of alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum) or red clover (Trifolium pratense), resulting in signs of photosensitivity and liver failure.

Is red clover toxic?

More commonly known as black patch for the bronze to black spots it creates on the stems and leaves, the fungus is likely to be found on either white or red clover. The clover plants themselves are non-toxic and it is the fungus that contains the toxin slaframine that causes the undesirable symptoms in horses.

Does Red Clover reduce estrogen?

Several studies of a proprietary extract of red clover isoflavones suggest that it may significantly reduce hot flashes in menopausal women. However, the largest study showed no effect. As estrogen levels drop during menopause, a woman's risk for developing osteoporosis (significant bone loss) goes up.

Is red clover good for menopause?

Theoretically, red clover is said to be beneficial for a number of menopausal symptoms including hot flushes, night sweats, bone health, heart health, skin inflammation, and respiratory infection, as well as breast pain, indigestion, sexually transmitted infections, and hair loss.

Does red clover winter kill?

Ontario fertilizer recommendations for corn use a 60-73 lb N/ac credit following red clover seeded into winter wheat (the higher number were killed by tillage, the lower were killed by herbicide alone — both operations done in the fall). There is a shorter fall growth period than in Ontario.

Can I take red clover with HRT?

Women may wish to start a herbal remedy such as red clover tablets while taking the lowest dosage of HRT. Only red clover has an evidence base to show it reduces menopausal hot flushes, anxiety and depression. A recent article summarised the lack of evidence of most alternative therapies.

Clinical Studies