Trifolium pratense is a low, perennial, deep-rooted plant found mostly on mountainous or hilly ground in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, widely cultivated for its fertilizing properties and also known as cow clover. The principal active components of the plant are isoflavones like biochanin A, daidzein, genistein, etc.
- Anti-bacterial. Laboratory tests on red clover show it to possess activity against a variety of pathogenic bacteria.
- Cell protective. The phytoestrogens of the red clover isoflavones have been very thoroughly studied in connection with their potential cell protecting properties. The relevant research shows that a number of protective mechanisms may be involved, including the inhibition of cell damaging free radicals, and of adverse cellular changes.
- Expectorant. This is one of the traditional uses of red clover. The herb seems to have the ability to clear the respiratory passages of mucous, and the congestion due to bronchial conditions, colds, flu, etc.
- Female hormonal tonic. Red clover is another plant possessing isoflavones with phytoestrogens. Although phytoestrogenic activity is quite weak and cannot be compared with that of human hormones, plant estrogens have the capacity to bind and occupy estrogen receptors in cells, which would otherwise be occupied by human estrogens. In this manner, they can compensate and modify estrogenic activity, both when it is too high, or too low.
- Prostate protective. The phytoestrogenic effect of the red clover isoflavones may be beneficial for prostate problems. As explained in more detail in the section on Pygeum immediately above, prostate dysfunction is largely caused by excessive sex hormonal accumulation in the prostate gland.