Red Clover

Trifolium pratense, Papilionaceae. The flower heads are the part of the plant used.

The flower heads are gathered in spring and summer.

Functions of red clover

Red clover is one of the most useful remedies for children with skin problems. Red clover:

  • may be used with safety for any case of childhood eczema. It may also be of value in other chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis. Whilst it is most useful for children it is also helpful for adults. It may be taken as an infusion or tincture or it can be made into a wash or cream for external use.
  • has expectorant and antispasmodic action which make it useful as a remedy in bronchitis and coughs, particularly whooping cough.
  • flowers that are freshly crushed and placed on insect bites and stings will reduce the pain and swelling.
  • drunk as an infusion will ease menopausal symptoms. When drunk as an infusion it will also reduce the appetite when trying to lose weight.

Notes on red clover

  • For skin problems it combines well with yellow dock and nettles.
  • There is some evidence for an antineoplastic action in animals. It has been used as a treatment for cancers in humans particularly for cancers of the breasts, ovaries and lymph glands.


Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-3 teaspoonsful of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times per day.

Tincture: take 2-6 ml of the tincture three times per day.

For the gardener

Red clover is an essential component of pastures in high rainfall areas. The flowers can be used to make wine.

Red clover is grown from seed in the spring and autumn. It will grow in many soil types but prefers loamy well drained soil and full sunlight. It needs to be reasonably well watered in the growing season.


Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

Hoffmann, F. and Manning M. 2002, Herbal Medicine and Botanical Medical Fads. The Haworth Press.

Mills, S. Y. 1989, The A-Z of Modern Herbalism: A Comprehensive Guide to Practical Herbal Therapy. Thorson.

Woodward, P. 2003, Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies. Hyland House.




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