Among the herbs valued for medicinal purposes in the West, red clover is a mainstay and can often be seen growing in profusion in summer fields and meadows. Native to Europe and Asia, but now found worldwide, it is a member of the Legume (bean) family and is often used by farmers and gardeners as fodder and for green manure, to help fix nitrogen in the soil. Red clover has been recognized the world over in several traditions of folk medicine.
Over the centuries, it has been highly valued medicinally for everything from coughs and skin problems to cancer. In modern times, red clover is frequently used for menopausal disorders. Such a use involves artificially extracting and concentrating the estrogenic components, which are called isoflavones. This, though, is a specialized application that does not pertain to the whole-plant blossoms in their natural state, which is what we’re looking at here.
With demonstrable free radical scavenging and antioxidant actions, red clover is what’s called an alterative herb. “Alterative” means that it helps the body eliminate waste. Alteratives are also called blood purifiers. Which is why this herb has been used for chronic skin diseases from time immemorial. The skin is one of the prime detoxifying organs of the body. Red clover opens up the cleansing channels of the skin.
This skin-cleansing and detoxifying aspect of red clover was well-acknowledged by Eclectic doctors of the 19th century. The Eclectics were a prominent school of medical doctors that tended to rely on herbal therapies in the practice of medicine. Their approach has been echoed widely by herbalists in the 20th and 21st centuries, who continue to use red clover for skin disorders, including rashes, eczema, and psoriasis. Traditionally, red clover has been applied externally too as an ointment for inflammatory conditions of the skin.
Because red clover has pronounced blood cleansing properties, naturopathic physicians have turned to it for cancer treatment, inasmuch as it improves lymphatic drainage and the elasticity of blood vessels, not to mention kidney and liver function. Hence it’s a component of the famous Hoxsey Formula.
Because it has antibacterial properties, red clover has also always been excellent for the respiratory tract, helping to relieve bronchitis and laryngitis, as well as irritations and coughs, especially in children. It’s what makes red clover an excellent addition to our Respiracleanse formula.
For more information on our skin products check out our blog on 3 topical oils.
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Red Clover Plus Salve
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A perennial herb and fixer of nitrogen, characterized by its distinctive pink blossoms, red clover grows abundantly on meadowland where the soil is light and sandy throughout Europe and Asia, as well as the Americas.
Plant pharmacological studies have suggested that Calendula extracts may have anti-viral, anti-genotoxic, and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro.In an in vitro assay, the methanol extract of C. officinalis exhibited antibacterial activity and both the methanol and the ethanol extracts showed antifungal activities. Along with horsetails (Equisetum arvense), pot marigold is one of the few plants which is considered astringent despite not being high in tannins.