(Trifolium pratense) is rich in isoflavones
Red clover is a source of many valuable nutrients, and is also considered to be one of the richest sources of isoflavones. The isoflavones isolated from red clover have been studied for their effectiveness in treating some forms of cancer.
Red clover is a wild plant used as grazing food for livestock. Historically it has been used to treat a wide array of conditions, including cancer, mastitis (inflammation of the breast), joint disorders, jaundice, bronchitis, coughing, asthma, and skin inflammations, such as psoriasis and eczema.
Red clover promotes urine and mucous production, the secretion of bile, and improved circulation, which may "purify" the blood. It's also known for improving circulation, and stimulating the secretion of bile. Recently, specific chemicals in red clover, known as isoflavones, have been isolated and tested for their effectiveness in treating a variety of conditions. Red clover is also considered to be one of the richest sources of isoflavones (water-soluble chemicals that act like estrogens and are found in many plants). It is thought that the isoflavones prevent the proliferation of cancer cells and that they may even destroy cancer cells. Furthermore, isoflavones have shown promise in the treatment of a number of conditions associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, cardiovascular health, and the bone loss associated with osteoporosis.
Menopause increases a woman's risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Supplementation with isoflavones has been associated with an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or "good" cholesterol in pre- and postmenopausal women. Also, one recent study found that menopausal women taking red clover supplements experienced a significant improvement in the strength and resilience of the arterial walls. This lowers a woman's risk for heart disease.
Red clover also may reduce the severity and number of hot flashes in menopausal women. Red clover may slow the bone loss common at this age and may even improve bone mineral density.
Besides being a good source of isoflavones, red clover includes the minerals calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, and thiamine. It is also a rich source of vitamin C. It is also valued for its ability to loosen phlegm and calm bronchial spasms.
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