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Scientific Name: Trifolium pratense

Constituents:

  • Isoflavones (biochanin, genistein, daidzein, galactoside & formononetin)
  • Flavonoids (quercetin & kaempferol)
  • Phenolic glycosides
  • Coumarins
  • Cyanogenic glycosides
  • Volatile oils
  • Minerals (Ca, Mg Fe, Mn, Se, Cu & others).

Medicinal actions:

  • Alterative
  • Antioxidant
  • Antispasmodic
  • Expectorant (Soothing)
  • Hepatic (Hepatoprotective)
  • Nervine Relaxant
  • Nutritive
  • Reproductive Tonic
  • Vascular Tonic
  • Vulnerary

Mechanism of Action & Pharmacology:

  • Isoflavones (Formononetin & Genistein) with selective estrogen receptor affinity (preferential binding to estrogen receptor beta) show potential to prevent and treat osteoporosis and attenuate bone loss caused by estrogen deficiency, while lessening the adverse effects on breast tissue associated with conventional HRT therapy for osteoporosis. Have shown an ability to increase bone mineral content & mechanical strength while preventing the rise of serum alkaline phosphatase levels and osteoclast activity. Are also effective in reducing skin aging induced by estrogen deprivation.
  • Formononetin can be converted to daidzein, which in turn can be metabolized to equol by bowel flora. Equol has significantly more estrogenic activity than its precursors, yet is produced to different levels in different people. Note: A favorable intestinal bacterial profile may enhance isoflavone bioavailability. Isoflavone metabolites (equol & isoequol) have potential to reduce inflammatory edema and suppress contact hypersensitivity induced by UV radiation.
  • Biochanin may inhibit aromatase activity, and thus inhibit the biosynthesis of estrogen, and along with formononetin demonstrates cardioprotective properties and vascular tonic effects.
  • Genistein and other flavonoids (quercetin and kaempferol) have strong antioxidant effects and have been shown to be antiproliferative towards breast cancer cells.
  • Genistein has demonstrated anti-carcinogenic effects in vitro, possibly due to inhibitory effects on protein tyrosinase kinase and angiogenesis. Has also demonstrated improved endothelium dependent vasodilation via an increase of nitric oxide to endothelin.

Pharmacy:

  • Infusion
  • Tincture
  • Capsules
  • Topical applications

Safety & Toxicity Concerns:

  • Avoid in pregnancy and lactation.
  • May cause aggravation of skin disease (rare)
  • Use caution in estrogen dependent cancers (theoretical). A 3 year study in healthy women with a family history of breast cancer was designed to evaluate ability to prevent of breast cancer occurrence, and found Trifolium isoflavones to be safe and well tolerated and did not adversely affect breast density, skeletal strength, cardiovascular status, or endometrial status in postmenopausal women. Breast cancer incidence rates were not reported, however no significant changes in mammographic density among both pre- and post-menopausal women were reported.

Interactions:

  • Theoretical interaction of high doses with anti-platelet agents, hormone replacement therapy and oral contraceptives.

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