Part of the plant used: flowers
Mostly known as a forage plant, red clover is extensively cultivated in North America and Europe. It has a very characteristic ball-like flower. This perennial plant has been valued for its medicinal properties for quite some time. The applicable part of the plant are the above-ground parts (leaves and flowers). Red clover has been associated with antispasmodic and expectorant activities. It is also thought to exert estrogenic activity due to its isoflavone constituents, and is thus used to relieved the symptoms of menopause.
There is no evidence that red clover is effective in any indication. However a standardized product called Promensil is said to effectively relieve the symptoms of menopause.
There is insufficient reliable information to conclude that red clover is effective in any other indication, including topically.
In 2004, Canada adopted new regulations that control the manufacturing, packaging, labeling and importing of natural health products. The new regulations also include an adverse reaction reporting system. Products that conform to the regulation's criteria are identified with a natural product number (NPN) and can be legally sold in Canada. This number indicates that the product meets specific criteria for safety and purity, not that it is effective for any indication.
Medicinal plant contents vary naturally from plant to plant - just as fruits from the same package may vary in taste and texture. There is no standard to measure the active content of each plant. Thus, efficacy of natural products should be expected to vary from brand to brand as well as from bottle to bottle of the same brand.
For more information about the Natural Health Products Regulations, or to check if a product has been assessed, visit the Health Canada website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/index-eng.php.
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