Red Clover for Dogs (and Cats)

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Most people will be more familiar with red clover as a weed that covers lawns in the Spring. It is used mainly as a cover crop in farming due to its high nutrient content. This high nutrient content is also why humans and animals have gravitated towards this cleansing herb. It has an affinity for the liver, heart, and lungs which helps to increase its detoxifying effect. Here are a few more of the healing effects of red clover for yourself and your pets.

    1. Reducing blood pressure: The anti-inflammatory effect of red clover works particularly well on the cardiovascular system. It reduces tension in the arteries and blood vessels, helping them relax and widen to decrease blood pressure.
    2. Boosting immune function: High doses of vitamin C give the immune system a boost and stimulates the production of white blood cells that defend the body. A high antioxidant content neutralizes free radicals which cause degenerative diseases and cell damage.
    3. Protecting the heart from atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis is the buildup of plaque on the inside of arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries until it is difficult for blood to pass through. Red clover has been shown to reduce LDL, or the bad fat that is mainly responsible for this plaque buildup that can lead to heart attack and stroke.
    4. Improving blood circulation: Coumarins help to keep blood flowing smoothly and stimulates healthy circulation in the body.
    5. Detoxifying the body: The diuretic effect helps to clear the organs and cells of toxins and salts that can lead to degenerative diseases.
    6. Lung health: Red clover acts as an expectorant, helping the body clear buildup in the lungs.
    7. Cancer: Red clover has been studied for its ability to inhibit the growth of new blood vessels to tumours. This not only helps to reduce growth of tumours but can also work to shrink them. Genistein, an active component of red clover is believed to be one of 4 herbs responsible for its antitumor effect.

Red Clover for Dogs

Red Clover is mainly used for its blood cleansing abilities, making it great for addressing skin conditions. Eczema, psoriasis, and rashes all respond to its soothing and healing qualities. One of the most frequent reasons that people bring their dogs to the vet is for itching, irritated skin. Use topically red clover can reduce inflammation and promote healing. While orally, it is an alterative, or an herb that provides the body with lots of nutrients to speed healing. When taken regularly it cleanses the bloodstream and the urinary tract of toxins.

Red Clover for Cats

As the blossom of red clover has been shown to contain salicylates it is not recommended to use as a treatment for cats. Salicylates are a compound found in plants that protects them from animals and pests. Cats being obligate carnivores (they must have meat) have very little to none of the enzymes to break salicylates down. This leads to over exposure in cats. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, panting. Consult your vet if you wish to learn more about salicylic acid and cats.

Lindsey Eadie, CNP
Lindsey Eadie, CNP
Lindsey is a Holistic Nutritionist who graduated from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Vancouver, BC on the Dean’s Honors list where she learned the true healing abilities of whole foods, herbs, and supplemental nutrients. After graduation she worked as a Natural Health Advisor for an integrative pharmacy where she used her nutrition and orthomolecular knowledge to promote the wellbeing of all her clients, including the furry four-legged ones. Her passion for natural health has directly benefited her allergy-riddled female Pyrenes/Bernese Mountain dog named Astro and her anxious Golden Retriever/Bernese Mountain Dog Bella.

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