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Disclaimer: The information on is intended to improve your knowledge about herbs and their benefits. Articles on this website are not intended to replace medical treatment from your doctor. Always consult your doctor before starting a new treatment regimen.

Page Update 02/29/2024

Edible Wild Medicinal Herb
Clover (Trifolium Pratense)
By Dr. Ashraf Girgis

Other Names 

Cow clovers, Trefoil, Montana (Trifoliu mmontanemeRydb.), brandegee (Trifolium brandegei ,Wats.), Sierra clover, Whip, root clover, sweet clover, 'cavalry clover, Wild Clover, TrèfleRouge, Trèfle Commun, Trèfle Violet, Beebread, and Meadow Clover.


 Clovers are comprised of many nutrients. The clover is a plant of the genus Trifolium. There are more than 300 species, and the level and strength of the composition varies from one species to another. However, they all have similar contents: vitamin K , C, thiamine, niacin, carotene, ash, ether extract, fiber, and nitrogen. Protein in some species goes as high as 23%. Clovers also contain minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, chromium, and potassium.

Other organic compounds include isoflavones (chemical nutrient compounds with estrogen-like effects), flavonoids, pterocarpans (isoflavonoid derivatives), coumarins (a fragrant organic chemical compound, giving plants their sweet smell), tyramine (amino acid compound), Daidzein(isoflavone coumpond), and genistein (type of isoflavone).


The clover is native to Central Asia, Europe, and North Africa. It has mostly been used for feeding livestock, and was brought to North and South American countries by German Mennonites. In United States It was mentioned in the book Health From Field and Forest in 1917, and listed as an herb used for purifying blood.  In Chinese history, the red clover was used as a tea, and the dried plant was burned at the altar as incense. In Ireland, the clover has been used as a remedy for the winter cold since ancient times. 

During my childhood summers in Iran, we would visit my ancestral village. One of my favorite things to do was run around with the village kids and pick up red clover leaves, wildflowers, and herbs. We would identify them and eat them on the spot. I also enjoyed feeding my grandmother’s sheep with clovers. Sometimes, we picked fresh red or white clover leaves and ate them alone, or with a sprinkling of salt. They were delicious, and now we realize how amazingly nutritious they are as well. Considering some of their roots can reach 125-128ftlong, clovers reach all the way down in the earth to bring up vital nutrients in their leaves and flowers. 

Medicinal Effects of Clover 

This natural wonder is a perennial, nutritious herb that grows in meadows all over the world. Unfortunately, many people do not know how nutritious and delicious cloversare, and try to get rid of them by mowing or pulling them off their lawns. In addition to many of its health benefits, the clover is a great food for livestock, and due to its high nitrogen content, is a natural fertilizer. 


Because of its isoflavone content, clover works to balance and regulate hormones like estrogen, preventing the side effects of estrogen dominance. In post-menopausal women, isoflavones from clover help to slow down bone loss. Similar results have not been noticed in men. It also has shown to decrease the symptoms of PMS, such as hot flashes and night sweats. 


Isoflavones have become the focus of many studies due to their cancer-preventing properties. Studies suggest that clover has helped prevent the growth of cancer cells in test tubes. Researchers believe clover can help prevent prostate cancer. According to a study published in March 2002 in the AACR journal, “dietary isoflavones may halt the progression of prostate cancer by inducing apoptosis in low to moderate-grade tumors, potentially contributing to the lower incidence of clinically significant disease in Asian men”. 

In another study published in the Journal of Nature in Feb 2008, 20 men with an average age of 65 were given 60 mg/day of an isoflavone extract for one year (clover has a very high isoflavone content). This showed a reduction of their Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test by 33% after a year.


-Another study of 1000 women suggested that clover couldprevent endometrial cancer, due to the blocking of an enzyme. Because it acts like estrogen, it could in some cases contribute to an increase in cancer cells. Women with breast cancer should avoid taking clover.

Another study, published by Occhiuto F et al in PubMed 2006, gave 20-40 mg of isoflavone to rats that had their ovaries removed. The researchers concluded, “Red clover isoflavonesare effective in reducing bone loss induced by ovariectomy, probably by reducing the bone turnover via inhibition of bone resorption”.

Cardiovascular disease

Studies have shown clover increases HDL (good cholesterol) and lowers LDL (bad cholesterol). It also has blood-thinning effects due to its coumarin content. Because of its cholesterol-lowering abilities, it prevents plaque formation in arterial walls, helping to prevent stroke and heart attack. 

Other benefits

Clovers are used in skin disorders such as eczema, rashes, and psoriasis. They have been known to be a blood purifier and appetite suppressant. They also have anti-inflammatory effects, and are used as expectorants, antispasmodics, and for fighting bacterial infection.  



Please consult your doctor or herbalist before taking any herb regularly. The University of Pennsylvania suggests taking the adult dosage as a tea (1-2 spoons of dried flowers steeped in 8oz of hot water. 2-3 cups a day). For other forms of clover, follow the dosage instructions on the label. For children or pregnant women, follow the directions of your pediatrician or doctor.

Essential Oils

Side effects

According to the University of Pennsylvania, people who have taken red clover for up to a year showed no side effects. Side effects can include headache, nausea, and rash. Red clover can increase risk of bleeding. It does interact with blood thinners.

Because the liver enzymes break down clover, it is important to check with your doctor if you are taking any other drugs.

Clover might increase the effects of estrogen. There are reports of interaction with tamoxifen as well.

 Thanks for visiting 


Ashraf Girgis,ND

Side Effects


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Side Effects of Chicory Root Extract. (2015). Retrieved March 09, 2016, from
The Health Benefits of Dandelions. (n.d.). Retrieved March 09, 2016, from
Bark Casni va Ghvas Darmani. Retrieved March 09, 2016, from 

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