Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Lucky charm, forage plant or medicinal herb. Red clover offers you all this with its high-quality substances. Many grandparents have already used the plant to relieve pain and even today it is hard to imagine life without red clover.

That is why we have compiled all the important background information for you in this red clover test 2021 to help you find the right red clover for you. We will not withhold the most frequently asked questions, the most popular products and purchase criteria from you. This test should make your purchase decision much easier after reading it.




The most important facts

  • Red clover is known for its healing powers. Especially for menopausal complaints, this plant is used again and again. Red clover is also used in the kitchen.
  • Red clover is most often used for menopausal complaints with symptoms such as hot flushes, emotional upsets or sleeping problems.
  • There is a dosage form for every taste. There are capsules, teas, tinctures or seeds. With seeds you can grow your own red clover.

The Best Red Clover: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for red clover products

When buying red clover, you can look at various aspects, such as:

By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you don't add anything to your body that it doesn't need. Therefore, always make sure that the quality is high and, if necessary, ask to see the manufacturer's certificates.

Purpose

Do you want to have red clover in your garden because it looks beautiful and you want to make bees happy, or would you rather use it for a tea later? You always have to ask yourself what you want red clover for. For quick effects, it is not advisable to go for home-grown red clover.

You can get fast effects with red clover capsules. But tinctures also help quickly. Seeds are more suitable for later use in the kitchen or in dishes.

Ingestion

Taking red clover or the form in which it is taken also involves a certain amount of effort. If you decide to grow your own, you will have much more effort than if you buy it.

If you grow the seeds, you have to take care of the plants regularly and hope that the seeds really sprout and survive all negative influences.

If you decide to buy a tincture or capsule, you don't have to make such an effort. You go to a shop, buy the product and take it. You don't have to process flowers or anything else.

Origin

A criterion that is becoming more and more important is the origin. You can make sure that it is either of regional origin or at least from a country that grows good red clover.

The best way to know what has happened to the red clover is to grow your own red clover.

Production

As with all products, there are many different ways to produce red clover. The best is of course the environmentally friendly one. You can often see on labels or seals how the production process must have gone. There is a vegan production, but also an organic one where no chemicals are used.

If it is a vegan production, you can be sure that no animal products were used and no tests were carried out on animals. The product is completely natural and has been exposed to few things.

Quantity

When buying, pay attention to the quantity, of course. If you have planted a garden yourself, you will be able to get by with the red clover for a long time, but as already mentioned, you will always have a certain amount of work.

If you buy capsules, you will get along with the product for about 4 months, whereas with a tea of 100g you will get along with about 40 cups, i.e. about 10 days.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about red clover products answered in detail

In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of red clover and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.

What is red clover and how does it work?

People often identify red clover as a weed. However, this is a wrong idea. Of course, the clover in the beautiful lush green grass bothers many garden owners, but this herb has a unique healing power. Few people are aware of this, which is why red clover is often underestimated.

Rotklee

You can discover red clover in many meadows. The pink-purple spherical flower head is its distinguishing feature. (Image source: Lucas van Oort / unsplash)

Red clover is particularly known for alleviating the symptoms of old age or menopausal symptoms (5). The reason for this is that this plant contains active healing substances.

The high proportion of plant oestrogens, or rather the isoflavones (1), which are similar to the body's own oestrogens, are responsible for the healing power.

But the isoflavones also have a positive effect on the skin and on the bones (11). Of course, men also benefit from taking the red clover plant. Several studies have shown that the risk of prostate cancer can be reduced (8).

But red clover is also used for other applications such as constipation, loss of appetite or liver weakness (10). It is also known from a study on mice that red clover can have antidiabetic effects (6).

Red clover for menopausal symptoms

Red clover is often used in gynaecology. It is used to alleviate the symptoms of hot flushes (7), sleep disorders or depressive moods during menopausal symptoms. The ingredients of red clover even strengthen the psyche and calm the nerves. In addition, mental upsets are said to develop positively.

The oestrogens resemble the female hormones and can be a kind of substitute in the hormone metabolism in the body. The reason for the above-mentioned symptoms is the lower production of the hormone in the ovaries.

With red clover, however, the imbalance can be pleasantly corrected and one can continue to live without symptoms.

Red clover for constipation

Due to the valuable ingredients of red clover and its healthy combination, it is possible to combat constipation. In the stomach, the production of gastric juices is stimulated by taking red clover, which makes it easier to digest food.

Lack of exercise, stress, poor sugary diet but also certain medications can quickly lead to constipation.

Constipation is a nagging issue that affects everyone at one time or another. It can be triggered by many factors. However, constipation can be counteracted with red clover products. (Image source: chajamp / 123rf)

When treating constipation, it is recommended to take red clover tea. The tea made from the petals can also be drunk several times a day as a preventive measure to avoid constipation.

Red clover for loss of appetite

High-quality tinctures, capsules or teas made from red clover, which are taken before eating, are particularly effective for loss of appetite. The aim is to stimulate the appetite. Lack of appetite is often triggered by stress. With red clover as a tea, for example, you will become more relaxed and be able to get rid of stress.

But gastrointestinal diseases can also be reasons for loss of appetite. With the help of red clover, more gastric juices can be produced and the balance restored. Digestive problems are mainly remedied by the bitter substances of red clover.

Red clover for liver weakness

The best known liver function is the detoxification of the human metabolism. Waste products such as nicotine or alcohol are removed by the liver. It is all the better that the liver can be protected and strengthened with the red clover plant.

Responsible for this are the many bitter substances and other useful ingredients that protect and stimulate the liver.

When and for whom is it useful to take red clover?

Red clover is not only suitable for certain people. Almost everyone can take red clover. However, it should be noted that red clover has a toxic effect in combination with some medicines.

Even if no to few side effects are known, it is recommended not to take red clover products during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as by children and adolescents.

Nevertheless, almost everyone can take red clover every day, on the one hand to prevent the symptoms already mentioned, but especially to alleviate the symptoms.

What are the uses of red clover?

Nowadays, red clover is mainly used as a medicinal and useful plant. However, the plant can also be integrated into dishes and is increasingly used in kitchens. The sprouts are then used in a similar way to cress and are suitable for many salad dishes, herbal curds, soups or spreads.

The taste of red clover sprouts can be classified as pleasant, mild and slightly nutty.

Apart from its reputation as a medicinal herb, red clover is also used in agriculture as a fodder plant. For animals, this plant is an ideal source of protein.

What parts of the plant are processed from red clover?

If you want to make a tea from red clover, you can collect both the leaves and the spherical heads. Put the plucked leaves into a pot of water, boil the water and then steep the tea for about 12 to 15 minutes.

How much do red clover products cost?

That depends on the brand and, above all, the form in which you want to take it. A capsule is priced differently from a tea or tincture. However, you will also see that the prices in a pharmacy are different from those in an online shop.

If you grow the red clover yourself, you will get the best deal. However, you have no guarantee that it will grow properly. Another not too expensive option is teas. On the whole, it is possible for everyone to buy red clover products.

Type Price
Red clover capsules from 15€ for 120 pieces
Red clover seeds from 1€ per 100g
Red clover tea from 3€ per 100g
Red clover tincture from 25€ per 100ml

More elaborate products like tinctures or capsules are a little more expensive. But still affordable. Tinctures are a little more expensive than capsules. You can get capsules from 15€ and have 120 pieces. Tinctures cost around 25€ per 100ml.

What types of red clover are there?

Red clover can be bought in a few different variations. In addition to capsules, tea and tinctures, red clover seeds are now also available in shops. So far, fresh red clover plants have not been offered very often or at all.

Species Description
Red clover capsules Capsules can be taken without any problems and do not take up much of your time or energy. In addition, the capsules have a short effect time and take effect quickly. Even though there are many advantages, it must be said that the capsules are relatively expensive.
Red clover seeds Quick, easy and quite inexpensive, you can use the seeds to make your garden colourful and to stock up on red clover products. Note, however, that all this is also a lot of work and you first need the opportunity to plant. Red clover also spreads quickly and often becomes unpopular after a while.
Red clover tea You can quickly get a grip on many complaints with red clover tea. The tea is a simple and relatively cheap alternative to all the other products. Unfortunately, you have the disadvantage that the tea has a longer effect than a tincture, for example.
Red clover tincture tinctures can be applied to the skin or ingested. You will notice a change as soon as you take it. Like the capsules, tinctures are relatively expensive and also have a taste that takes some getting used to.

How should red clover be dosed?

You always dose red clover differently depending on the product. In the following table we have listed the usual amounts for you.

  • Red clover tincture: 10-15 drops 2 times a day
  • Red clover tea: 1 tablespoon per cup and 2-4 cups a day
  • Red clover capsules: 1 capsule daily (consumption recommendation often on packaging)

However, do not only orientate yourself on this information, but also look at the package leaflet or the information on the packaging.

How long should red clover be taken?

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment recommends that red clover isoflavones should not be taken for longer than 43.5 mg isoflavones per day and for a maximum of 3 months.

What are the alternatives to red clover?

There are of course other remedies that have a similar effect.

To combat menopausal symptoms, you can also use shepherd's purse, lemon balm and St. John's wort.

Plant Effect
Shepherd's purse You can relieve menopausal symptoms with a tea
Lemon balm You have the choice to balance the nervous system with a tea, a bath or a fragrance lamp
St. John's wort St. John's wort tea helps you to finally sleep calmly again
Soy with soy preparations, menopausal symptoms can be quickly eliminated

Apart from natural herbal remedies, there are also synthetic medicines. But we wanted to tell you about other medicinal herbs here.

What are the side effects of red clover?

Red clover should not be taken in combination with methotrexate (9) (is used in medicines for rheumatism, psoriasis, etc.). This leads to toxic effects.

Side effects are usually rare or not to be expected when taking red clover or red clover preparations. Nevertheless, side effects should never be completely ruled out.

If these occur, they are for example intolerances or allergic reactions to specific active substances in red clover.

If taken over a longer period of time, it is even suspected that this type of "hormone replacement product" can trigger cancer, especially breast cancer. The assumption comes from the fact that an overdose of oestrogen promotes reactions that stimulate the formation of cancer cells.

Nevertheless, some laboratory experiments show that the isoflavone (Biochanin A (4)) has a protective effect against breast cancer. (2, 3)

Image source: Khlapushyna / 123rf

References (11)

1. Budryn, G., Gałązka-Czarnecka, I., Brzozowska, E., Grzelczyk, J., Mostowski, R., Żyżelewicz, D., Cerón-Carrasco, J. P., & Pérez-Sánchez, H. (2018). Evaluation of estrogenic activity of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) sprouts cultivated under different conditions by content of isoflavones, calorimetric study and molecular modelling. Food chemistry, 245, 324–336. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.10.100
Source

2. Wang, Y., Man Gho, W., Chan, F. L., Chen, S., & Leung, L. K. (2008). The red clover (Trifolium pratense) isoflavone biochanin A inhibits aromatase activity and expression. The British journal of nutrition, 99(2), 303–310. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114507811974
Source

3. Boué, S. M., Wiese, T. E., Nehls, S., Burow, M. E., Elliott, S., Carter-Wientjes, C. H., Shih, B. Y., McLachlan, J. A., & Cleveland, T. E. (2003). Evaluation of the estrogenic effects of legume extracts containing phytoestrogens. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 51(8), 2193–2199. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf021114s
Source

4. Chan, H. Y., Wang, H., & Leung, L. K. (2003). The red clover (Trifolium pratense) isoflavone biochanin A modulates the biotransformation pathways of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene. The British journal of nutrition, 90(1), 87–92. https://doi.org/10.1079/bjn2003868
Source

5. Booth, N. L., Piersen, C. E., Banuvar, S., Geller, S. E., Shulman, L. P., & Farnsworth, N. R. (2006). Clinical studies of red clover (Trifolium pratense) dietary supplements in menopause: a literature review. Menopause (New York, N.Y.), 13(2), 251–264. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.gme.0000198297.40269.f7
Source

6. Qiu, L., Chen, T., Zhong, F., Hong, Y., Chen, L., & Ye, H. (2012). Red clover extract exerts antidiabetic and hypolipidemic effects in db/db mice. Experimental and therapeutic medicine, 4(4), 699–704. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2012.658
Source

7. Coon, J. T., Pittler, M. H., & Ernst, E. (2007). Trifolium pratense isoflavones in the treatment of menopausal hot flushes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology, 14(2-3), 153–159. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2006.12.009
Source

8. Gray, N. E., Liu, X., Choi, R., Blackman, M. R., & Arnold, J. T. (2009). Endocrine-immune-paracrine interactions in prostate cells as targeted by phytomedicines. Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.), 2(2), 134–142. https://doi.org/10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-08-0062
Source

9. Orr, A., & Parker, R. (2013). Red clover causing symptoms suggestive of methotrexate toxicity in a patient on high-dose methotrexate. Menopause international, 19(3), 133–134. https://doi.org/10.1177/1754045313502473
Source

10. Engelhardt, P. F., & Riedl, C. R. (2008). Effects of one-year treatment with isoflavone extract from red clover on prostate, liver function, sexual function, and quality of life in men with elevated PSA levels and negative prostate biopsy findings. Urology, 71(2), 185–190. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2007.08.068
Source

11. Circosta C, De Pasquale R, Palumbo DR, Samperi S, Occhiuto F. Effects of isoflavones from red clover (Trifolium pratense) on skin changes induced by ovariectomy in rats. Phytother Res. 2006 Dec;20(12):1096-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2017. PMID: 17078110.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Wissenschaftliche Studie
Budryn, G., Gałązka-Czarnecka, I., Brzozowska, E., Grzelczyk, J., Mostowski, R., Żyżelewicz, D., Cerón-Carrasco, J. P., & Pérez-Sánchez, H. (2018). Evaluation of estrogenic activity of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) sprouts cultivated under different conditions by content of isoflavones, calorimetric study and molecular modelling. Food chemistry, 245, 324–336. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.10.100
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Wang, Y., Man Gho, W., Chan, F. L., Chen, S., & Leung, L. K. (2008). The red clover (Trifolium pratense) isoflavone biochanin A inhibits aromatase activity and expression. The British journal of nutrition, 99(2), 303–310. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114507811974
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Boué, S. M., Wiese, T. E., Nehls, S., Burow, M. E., Elliott, S., Carter-Wientjes, C. H., Shih, B. Y., McLachlan, J. A., & Cleveland, T. E. (2003). Evaluation of the estrogenic effects of legume extracts containing phytoestrogens. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 51(8), 2193–2199. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf021114s
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Chan, H. Y., Wang, H., & Leung, L. K. (2003). The red clover (Trifolium pratense) isoflavone biochanin A modulates the biotransformation pathways of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene. The British journal of nutrition, 90(1), 87–92. https://doi.org/10.1079/bjn2003868
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Booth, N. L., Piersen, C. E., Banuvar, S., Geller, S. E., Shulman, L. P., & Farnsworth, N. R. (2006). Clinical studies of red clover (Trifolium pratense) dietary supplements in menopause: a literature review. Menopause (New York, N.Y.), 13(2), 251–264. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.gme.0000198297.40269.f7
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Qiu, L., Chen, T., Zhong, F., Hong, Y., Chen, L., & Ye, H. (2012). Red clover extract exerts antidiabetic and hypolipidemic effects in db/db mice. Experimental and therapeutic medicine, 4(4), 699–704. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2012.658
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Coon, J. T., Pittler, M. H., & Ernst, E. (2007). Trifolium pratense isoflavones in the treatment of menopausal hot flushes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology, 14(2-3), 153–159. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2006.12.009
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Gray, N. E., Liu, X., Choi, R., Blackman, M. R., & Arnold, J. T. (2009). Endocrine-immune-paracrine interactions in prostate cells as targeted by phytomedicines. Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.), 2(2), 134–142. https://doi.org/10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-08-0062
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Orr, A., & Parker, R. (2013). Red clover causing symptoms suggestive of methotrexate toxicity in a patient on high-dose methotrexate. Menopause international, 19(3), 133–134. https://doi.org/10.1177/1754045313502473
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Engelhardt, P. F., & Riedl, C. R. (2008). Effects of one-year treatment with isoflavone extract from red clover on prostate, liver function, sexual function, and quality of life in men with elevated PSA levels and negative prostate biopsy findings. Urology, 71(2), 185–190. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2007.08.068
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Circosta C, De Pasquale R, Palumbo DR, Samperi S, Occhiuto F. Effects of isoflavones from red clover (Trifolium pratense) on skin changes induced by ovariectomy in rats. Phytother Res. 2006 Dec;20(12):1096-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2017. PMID: 17078110.
Go to source
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