Information about the herb Red Clover

Trifolium pratense, also known as Trefoil is part of the Leguminosaeplant family. A perennial herb that commonly grows wild in meadows throughout Britain, Europe and Central and Northern Asia, and has now been naturalized to grow in North America.

General Information

Botanical Name: Trifolium pratense

Plant Family: Leguminosae, Papilionceae

Common name: Trefoil, Purple Clover

Tradition: Red Clover

  • brings luck
  • brings health
  • brings prosperity
  • if carried gives you protection
  • worn over the right breast ensures success in all undertakings

Back to the Top

Plant Constituents of Red Clover


  • antioxidant tocopherol
  • anti-tumor compounds
  • calcium
  • chromium
  • iron and copper salts (high concentration) 
  • isoflavones (water-soluble chemicals that act like estrogens and are found in many plants)
  • magnesium
  • niacin
  • phosphorus
  • potassium
  • protein
  • thiamine
  • vitamin C


  • alterative [an agent which produces gradual beneficial change in the body, usually by improving nutrition, without having any marked specific effect and without causing abnormal evacuation]
  • anti-inflammatory [an agent to ease inflammation]
  • antispasmodic [an agent that relieves or checks spasms or cramps]
  • dermatonic [beneficial to the skin]
  • expectorant [an agent that promotes the discharge of mucous from the respiratory passages]
  • sedative [a soothing agent that reduces nervousness, distress or irritation]

Back to the Top

Usage of Red Clover

Medicinal Parts Used:  Flowers and blossoms

Red Clover is used for:

Blood Conditions

  • cleanses blood (by promoting urine and mucous production improving circulation, and stimulating the secretion of bile)
  • improves the blood’s hemoglobin levels and the size and number of blood platelets
  • vital blood tonic

Female Conditions

  • mastitis (inflammation of the breast)
  • menopausal symptoms (the isoflavones in Red Clover help with menopausal symptoms such as:
  • bone loss associated with osteoporosis
  • cardiovascular health
  • hot flashes
  • relieves leucorrhea

Gastrointestinal Conditions

  • alkaline properties

Genitourinary Conditions

  • cleansing action through the kidneys

Liver Conditions

  • aids detoxification
  • jaundice
  • stimulates the secretion of bile 

Muscular Conditions

  • joint disorders

Nervous System Conditions

  • quietens the nerves (a nerve tonic)
  • sedative for exhaustion

Respiratory Conditions

Red Clover has a strong antispasmodic effect on:

  • asthma
  • colds
  • hoarseness
  • bronchitis
  • coughs in children 
  • disorders of the respiratory organs
  • irritation of the vocal cords, windpipe and bronchial tubes 
  • spasmodic coughing
  • wheezing
  • whooping cough

Skin Conditions

Red Clover is an excellent skin remedy in cases of:

  • acne
  • eczema
  • psoriasis
  • rashes
  • skin disorders 

Other Conditions

  • beneficial for the organs of elimination – lungs, kidneys, bowels and skin
  • cancer, in particular breast cancers
  • promotes eliminatory functions
  • strengthens children with weak systems
  • tumors

Externally Red Clover is used as a:

  • salve
  • ointment

Externally fomentations and poultices of Red Clover are used as a local application in:

  • athlete’s foot
  • cancerous growths  

Other Uses:

  • excellent cover crop
  • excellent fertilizer for poor soils when planted in fallow areas and turned under in Autumn


  • Dried herb (used for tea): 1 to 2 tsp dried flowers or flowering tops steeped in 8 oz hot water for 1/2 hour, 2-3 cups daily
  • Powdered herb (available in capsules): 2 to 6 capsules (500 mg each) per day
  • Tincture (1:5, 30% alcohol): 60-100 drops (3-5 mL) 3 times/day in water
  • Fluid Extract (1:1): 1 mL 3 times/day in water
  • Standardized red clover isoflavone extracts: directions on product labels should be carefully followed
  • Topical treatment (such as for psoriasis or eczema): an infusion, liquid extract, or ointment containing 10 to 15% flower heads

Internally Red Clover is taken as a:

  • capsule
  • liquid extract standardized to contain specific isoflavone contents
  • tablet
  • tincture
  • tea (dried herb)

Back to the Top



  • Isolated red clover isoflavone products are very different than the whole herb, however, and are not recommended for childrennot recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding womenBecause of the estrogen-like properties in red clover
  • isoflavones, women with a history of breast cancer should avoid red clover

Drug Interactions

Red Clover isoflavones should be used with caution, if at all, by people receiving hormone therapy (including birth control pills) containing

  • androgen
  • estrogen
  • progesterone
  • any derivatives of these hormones

Because of the increased risk of bleeding associated with red clover it should be avoided by individuals taking:

blood-thinning medications such as:

  • aspirin
  • warfarin
  • blood-thinning herbs and supplements such as
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • ginkgo biloba
  • vitamin E

Back to the Top


Global Herbal Supplies has Red Clover available in the following forms: