Red clover is a legume that’s grown increasingly popular as an ingredient in supplements. Some of the health claims surrounding red clover include improved menopause symptoms, as well as maintenance and improvement of bone and cardiovascular health.
Where do the claims come from?
Red clover belongs to the legume family, the same as beans and peas. The plant contains a compound known as isoflavones -- which are structurally similar to estrogen. Given this similarity to women’s reproductive hormones, red clover has been explored as a potential tool for managing menopause discomfort.
Red clover supplements have also been used in the treatment of high cholesterol and even osteoporosis (as estrogen may impact bone density.)
Is red clover effective?
As with most natural remedies, red clover supplements are significantly understudied and the results are inconclusive. Some clinical research suggests that red clover may be effective in maintaining the bone health of women going through menopause, as well as in improving arterial compliance.
Red clover extracts may improve menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and high cholesterol.
Supplements containing red clover have been used in clinical trials throughout the last decade at least, with no major reported safety issues.
As with any supplement or complementary care, it’s vital to speak with your doctor before adding red clover to your routine. While there aren’t major safety risks reported, it is still important to avoid using red clover while pregnant or breastfeeding given its structural similarity to estrogen.
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