Red Clover (botanical name Trifolium pratense, pratense is Latin for “found in meadow”) has traditionally been grown as a fodder crop and does not have a long tradition of use in herbal medicine. It is a herbaceous and perennial plant, sometimes thought of as a weed, but commonly known for its pink flower. It is the national flower of Denmark and the state flower of Vermont.
It is regarded as a dermatological agent for use in treating skin conditions such as eczema, rashes and psoriasis and has been used as remedy for whooping cough. The fresh flowers can also be used to relieve insect bites and stings.
While breastfeeding, it is used as a remedy for mastitis either taken internally or as a compress. Red clover is a source of isoflavones, these are chemicals that act like estrogens, and it has shown potential in the treatment of the menopause, hot flushes and osteoporosis but so far studies have been inconclusive. Interestingly red clover was popular as a remedy for breast cancer in the 1930s and there is research currently being carried out to investigate this.
4. Possible estrogenic activity.