Red Clover

“Red Clover”


Latin Binomial: Trifolium pratence

Common Name(s):  Red Clover

Family: Papilionaceae

Part(s) Used: Flowerheads- Harvest during flowering

Qualities: Slightly sweet & cool (Ody)

Phenolic glycosides, flavonoids, coumarins, cyanogenic glycosides (Hoffman).

Trace minerals to clean the blood and eliminate  (Hall)


  • Alterative
  • Expectorant
  • Anti-spasmodic (Hoffman & Hall)
  • Tonic
  • Oestrogen modulating – phytoestrogenic
  • Depurative
  • Antitumour (traditional use) (Bone)

“Pilnie written and setteth it downe for certaine, that the leaves hereof do tremble and stand right up against the comming of a storme or tempest” – John Gerard, 1597


  • ‘Dirty Blood’ – evidence just under the skin – CYSTS (Hall) Eliminates rubbish.
  • Skin disorders – eczema, psoriasis, and ulcers
  • Acne (Hall)
  • Respiratory conditions – spasmodic cough, bronchitis (Bone)

**Hoffman states it is very useful in chilhood skin disorders, esp. eczema.**

  • Whooping cough (Hoffman) or measles. Any infection that involves presentation via skin (Hall)
  • Reduces metabolic waste — stimulate anabolic/catabolic reactions — BLOOD PURIFIER
  • Menopausal Sx


Cleansing Herb. Coughs & Bronchitis

None known


  • 1.5-6.0 ml of 1:2 liquid extract daily (Bone).
  • INFUSION: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-3 tsp of dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15mins. Drink 3 times a day.
  • TINCTURE: 2-6 ml three times a day (Hoffman).

For skin problems, it combines well with Yellow Dock and Nettles (Hoffman).



  • FRESH FLOWERS: Crush flowers and apply to insect bites and skins
  • TINCTURE: Take internally for eczema and psoriasis
  • COMPRESS: Gout and arthritic pins
  • OINTMENT: For lymphatic swellings, cover in fresh flowers with water and simmer in slow cooker for 48 hours. Strain, evaporate the residue to semi-dryness & combine with equal amount of ointment base
  • EYEWASH: 5-10 drops tincture in 20ml water for conjunctivitis
  • DOUCHE: Use the infusion for vaginal itching
  • SYRUP: Take syrup made from infusion for stubborn, dry coughs


Red Clover – Herbs at a Glance

Bone, K. (2003). A Clinical Guide to Blending Liquid Herbs: Herbal Formulations for the Individual Patient. St Louis, Missouri: Elsevier

Hoffman, D. (1990). Holistic Herbal. London: Thorsons.

Ody, Penelope (1998). The Herb Society’s Complete Medicinal Herbal. Milan: Dorling Kindersley

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