Black cohosh and red clover – two effective herbs for perimenopause & menopause

Red clover for menopause symptomsFor centuries, red clover has been used to curb some of the symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause. Some of the active properties in red clover have been shown to help balance hormone levels in some women and thus reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes and night sweats. The bioactive compounds in red clover, such as lignans and phytoestrogens, are being further studied to prove their effectiveness in treating the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause in women.

How Does Red Clover Work

The exact way that red clover helps to alleviate symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats in menopausal women is still not understood. The science behind it is still emerging and therefore there is not enough documented scientific research to prove its effectiveness. This is highly common in the herbal medicine world. However, some evidence points to the bioactive compounds lignans and phytoestrogens as the active properties in red clover that provides the healing effects.

Phytoestrogens are ranked as the most likely active compound. They are simply plant chemicals that can bind to various estrogen receptors in your tissues and cause an adaptogenic physiological response. What this means is that it is able to help mimic estrogen hormones in your body and provide you with better hormonal balance. Since it is adaptogenic, it could possibly raise your levels of estrogen when it is too low, or lower levels of estrogen in your system when the levels are too high. When there is not a balance of hormones, you have the perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.

Red Clover for Other Health Problems

Red clover is also known as purple clover, trefoil, and wild clover. Not only has it been showing to help reduce hot flashes and night sweats among perimenopausal and menopausal women, but it also has been reported to help with other health issues. Since ancient times red clover has been used to help suppress cough, suppress appetite, speed up wound healing, treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, and possibly even treat cancers of the breast and ovaries.

Is Red Clover a Safe Treatment for Menopausal Symptoms

Like other herbs, there have not been many studies examining the long-term effects of their use. However, the Food and Drug Administration has categorized red clover to be “generally recognized as safe”. It should not be taken for women who are pregnant or nursing. It is not recommended to take this with hormone replacement therapy medication (even birth control). If you take blood thinning medication, you should speak to your doctor before taking red clover. Some studies have shown that people have been able to reduce the amount of prescription blood thinning drugs due to adding red clover treatment. However, you should only add red clover to your treatment plan after discussing it with your doctor or other health care professional.

Red Clover Dosage Information for Symptoms of Menopause

Red clover for the treatment of perimenopause and menopause symptoms varies. It comes in capsules, tablets, liquid extract, and tinctures. You can also brew dried red clover into teas. If you are taking red clover as a standalone treatment, the recommended dosage is a supplement containing at least 8% isoflavonoids or 40mg of isoflavens per capsule or tablet dosage. It is recommended to take between 40mg to 80mg of red clover a day to gain relief from the symptoms of menopause. An herbalist, naturopath, or a medical doctor who is well versed in herbal medicines can discuss with you the proper dosage amounts for your specific needs. They can also help you to determine which type of administration is best for you. Dosages of red clover can be used in infusions, dried powdered extracts, tinctures, and teas.

One Comment

  1. As a clinical herbalist, I thought I’d chime in here. Yes, red clover is a fantastic herb for menopause, hot flashes, vaginal dryness and more, however you will get different results depending on what form you are taking it.

    What I have found is if you use red clover in a tablet, a dried extract a tincture or a quick tea you might as well not take it. I find that the only way to get the results you really want is to drink red clover as a nourishing herbal infusion.

    So what is a nourishing herbal infusion, you want to purchase organic red clover in bulk and take 1 ounce of it in a 1 quart mason jar, fill with boiling water, stir and then make sure it is filled to the top, cover and let sit on your counter overnight (a minimum of 4 hours) steep and enjoy. It is delicious and can really change how you feel.

    In fact, I’m going to go make myself a jar for tomorrow. I’m going to mix red clover and nettles.

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