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6 Health Benefits of Red Clover

Last updated on August 4, 2013

Red clover is a wild herb and member of the legume family. Other notable legumes include beans, soybeans and peas. Here are 6 health benefits of red clover:

Cancer Prevention
Red clover contains isoflavones, a substance similar to estrogen. Studies at the University of Maryland Medical Center show that isoflavones may prevent cancer cells from developing and even kill certain types of cancer, including prostate and endometrial cancer. In 2010, a Japanese study associated isoflavones with decreased risk of lung cancer in nonsmokers.

It is important to note that researchers believe that isoflavones may also contribute to certain types of cancer growth in the same way that estrogen can. Breast cancer patients are discouraged from using red clover until more research is conducted.

Heart Health
The isoflavones found in red clover may help to increase good HDL cholesterol while reducing bad LDL cholesterol. Red clover has also been associated with stronger arteries and may have blood thinning qualities, both of which help to prevent heart attack and cardiovascular disease.

Bone Health
Red clover may help to prevent osteoporosis, particularly in menopausal women. A loss of estrogen in the body is linked to the development of osteoporosis and red clover contains phytoestrogens, which mimic natural estrogen produced in the female body.

Red clover contains phytoestrogens, notably isoflavones, which act similarly to the estrogen produced naturally in the female body. These phytoestrongens may help curb many of the side effects experienced during menopause, including night sweats, hot flashes, and weakening of the bones.

Skin Health
Red clover skin creams have been used to successfully treat skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and other types of rashes.

Respiratory Health
Red clover may be useful in treating respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis and coughs. It may benefit lung cancer and ease the symptoms of other lung conditions as well. However, more scientific evidence is needed to confirm the connection between red clover and easing the symptoms of respiratory conditions.

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