Clover, belonging to the genus Trifolium, grows all over the world. A majority of the plants are seen in the northern hemisphere, with some growing in South America and Africa as well. They are small annual herbs, with leaves arranged in the manner of three leaflets. Flowers in red, white, purple, or yellow occur as dense spikes. The main root is a rhizome that sends out many runners. They produce stems that grow to about one to two feet in height. White clover and red clover are the most common types of clover cultivated, alongside ryegrass. They make for healthy fodder for cattle. Additionally, clover cannot tolerate acidic soil. Clovers can be harvested in mid-summer and can be stored in their dried form for any future use.

Nutritional Information and Properties   

Clover is nutritious in that it is relatively high in protein content. Red clover is considered to be an excellent source of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, chromium, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, and thiamine. Red clovers are also a good source of phytoestrogens and isoflavones, or water soluble chemicals which serve as estrogen. Red clover is edible and has medicinal value as well. Its young leaves and flowers are used in soups and salads.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses

Some of the common uses and health benefits of clover are listed below.

  • White and red clovers are considered to be blood purifiers. Thus, they can be used to promote the health of the liver and the digestive system.
  • White clover is also sought after for its effectiveness in healing respiratory ailments. A tea brewed from young clover leaves and blossoms is said to be a good expectorant and reduces the spasm brought on by whooping cough. It is believed to be anti-asthmatic in nature.
  • The phytoestrogens in red clover account for its popularity as a natural remedy to alleviate menopausal symptoms.
  • Being a rich source of many minerals, clover is believed to aid in the proper hormonal functioning of the glands in the human body.
  • The calcium and magnesium content in clover help to relax the nervous system.
  • Clover is also believed to promote flow of lymph and improve the immunity of the body.
  • Clover is considered to be a diuretic and thus reduces inflammation in cases of gout. Owing to its alterative and antispasmodic properties, red clover promotes muscle relaxation and can allay cramps and aches. White clover is also considered to be effective in reducing inflammations due to arthritis. It also decongests the salivary glands and reduces ocular inflammations.
  • Clover is said to be beneficial in treating skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema. In fact, red clover plant is often used for the treatment of various skin ailments.
  • Clover is said to be a cancer-fighting agent and finds use in alternative medicine for the management of certain cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases.
  • Red clover is rich in coumarins that are chemical compounds with anti-coagulant properties. Hence, this herb offers protection against heart disease. It thins the blood and does not allow plaque to build up on the walls of the arteries.

Precautions/Side Effects/Warnings

Headaches, nausea, and fatigue are some general side effects caused due to excess consumption of clover. Its high concentration of estrogen can also upset hormonal balance in women. Any medication using this herb needs to be administered under the supervision of a medical practitioner.