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Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

Image of Red Clover

General Description

Red clover (also known as trefoil, wild clover, or purple clover) is a perennial legume common in fields and meadows throughout North America, Europe, and central and northern Asia. The plant has several reddish, white-haired, branching, 1 to 2 feet stems arising from a single root. Red clover has compound leaves composed of three green ovate leaflets, 2 to 3 centimeters in length, with whitish, heart-shaped interior markings. The dense, globular flowers range from pale red to purple in color.

Health Applications

  • General tonic
  • Menopause
  • Skin health

Chemical Composition

Red clover contains natural plant estrogenic isoflavones, or phytoestrogens, including formononetin, biochanin-A, genistein, and daidzein, along with protein, beta-carotene, and numerous other vitamins and minerals.


Red clover is consumed in teas, tinctures, dried herb capsules, and standardized extracts, all of which may vary in potency. Red clover tea is not associated with any known toxicity, even at high consumption levels; however, high doses of concentrated extracts may have the potential for adverse side effects. Most red clover tinctures and extracts have recommendations for safe dosages printed on the label instructions.