5 Benefits of Red Clover For Menopause Backed By Science

Who knew that the humble red clover had so many benefits. It helps support your skin, bones, hormones, and mood and works as a nutritive (meaning it helps to add minerals and vitamins to the body). But it is most known for its ability to support menopausal symptoms. While this plant has been used traditionally for years, the benefits of red clover have more recently been proved in scientific studies - easy summaries of which you can read in this blog.


How to harvest and use red clover at home

Red clover usually starts to flower in late spring and continues through most of the summer. It is one of the organic herbs we use, but you can use red clover at home by making an infusion or tea. Carefully pull or cut the flowers off and leave the rest of the plant as is (this means you can harvest the flowers multiple times). The best time to harvest them is in the morning, just after the dew has dried. You can also gently dehydrate or dry the flowers to use in later months.

🌿Related: 10 Delicious Foods You Will Find When Spring Foraging In New Zealand

Red clover tea is a wonderful tea to have for nutritive purposes and can even be added to salads or used as an edible flower. However, please note that a red clover tea will not be strong enough to help with hormonal issues, but it is a lovely addition to your summer meals and drinks. We use red clover in our Hormone Balance, as in a tincture it's strong enough to be used to support the symptoms of perimenopause and PMS.

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1. Red clover can help with hot flushes and night sweats

Temperature fluctuations are one of the most common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, and many women find them incredibly frustrating. But one of the benefits of red clover is its ability to help with hot flashes and night sweats.

In a 2011 study, 109 postmenopausal women aged 40 or more were randomly assigned either two daily capsules red clover or a placebo for 90 days. 

They measured daily hot flush and night sweat frequency as well as overall menopausal symptom intensity at the start of the trial for the baseline measurements.

There was a noticeable decrease of over 70% for both hot flushes, night sweats and symptoms, as opposed to the placebo groups decrease of 8% in hot flushes, 0.9% night sweats and 6.7% symptoms. 

2. Red clover can help with bone density

Bone health is of concern for people as they age, but particularly if you are post-menopausal, as the decline in oestrogen affects your ability to hold bone mass and density. Another benefit of red clover is its ability to support healthy bones.

In this study, 60 menopausal women took a daily dose of red clover or a placebo to see if red clover helped support their bone health. After 12 weeks, the study found that the group taking the red clover supplement had increased bone density and bone mass over the placebo group. 

3. Red clover supports skin health

Traditionally, red clover has been used to support healthy skin and hair due to its antioxidant actions. Clinical trials have supported this use, showing the benefits red clover can have on both skin and hair in menopausal women, who often struggle with these issues due to decreased oestrogen.

An in vivo study on rats showed that red clover helped to support skin health. The amount of collagen was significantly increased in the group given the red clover as opposed to the control group. These findings suggest that red clover can help with skin ageing and support as a replacement for estrogen.

In saying this, remember this was an animal study and would need further validation through human trials. However, a 2011 human study found that red clover did help to support skin, scalp and hair.

4. Red clover can support healthy cholesterol levels

Cholesterol is a common issue for many people and can become more of a concern as you age. The main ways to manage cholesterol are with medication, lifestyle, and diet, but it can also include red clover. 

In a study of 40 healthy postmenopausal women, 22 were given a red clover supplement, and the remaining 18 were given no medication at all. Both the groups had their total blood cholesterol, cholesterol fractions and triglyceride levels taken before treatment and then again every four months over the following twelve months.

The study found that the group taking red clover had their lipid profiles dramatically improve. Their total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels decreased, and their HDL (good cholesterol) increased. Another study concerning cholesterol and the benefits of red clover has been repeated with similar results. 

5. Red clover can help your mood

In menopause, the incidence of anxiety and depression increases as hormones fluctuate. While red clover has many benefits, its ability to help support your mood during menopause should not be overlooked.

In a study of 109 postmenopausal women over 40, two groups were randomly assigned to receive two daily capsules of a red clover extract or a placebo for three months.

The results showed that the the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Zung's Self Rating Depression Scale (SDS) scores for the red clover groups decreased significantly (76.9% and 80.6%, respectively) compared to the placebo group (which only saw a 21.7% decline). 

If you are struggling with the symptoms of menopause, having red clover to support your mood and the physical symptoms of this transition can be highly beneficial. 

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