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About Authors:
1Neeta Chaudhary, 2Dr. Shalini Tripathi
1Research student of Rameshwaram Institute of Technology and Management, Sitapur Road, Lucknow (U.P.)
2Professor of Rameshwaram Institute of Technology and Management, Sitapur Road,
Lucknow (U.P.)

Trifolium pratense L. is  commonly known as red clover. Red clover acting as a diuretic, expectorant and improving circulation. Trifolium pratenseisoflavones, plant based chemicals that have shown potential in the treatment of a number of conditions associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, cardiovascular health, and osteoporosis. Literature review revealed different pharmacological activities of Trifolium pratense like Biological estimation of oestrogenic activity An  ovariectomized rat model to determine the estrogenic and antiestrogenic activity, Antioxidant Profile, isoflavone biochanin A inhibits aromatase activity and expression, phase IIclinical extract possesses opiate activity, Determination in vivo and in vitro anti-inflammatory activity of red clover.


PharmaTutor (ISSN: 2347 - 7881)

Volume 2, Issue 3

Received On: 22/01/2014; Accepted On: 30/01/2014; Published On: 05/03/2014

How to cite this article: N Chaudhary, S Tripathi, A review on chemical and biological activity of Trifolium Pretense, PharmaTutor, 2014, 2(3), 93-101

Trifolium pratense L. is commonly known as red clover (Piersenet al., 2004). In Chinese medicine, Trifolium pratense was used as a sedative and for pain and other symptoms related to cancer, rheumatism, and gout (Duke and Ayensu, 1985). It has also been used for over 100 years in Europe and America to treat whooping cough, pain, and as a sedative and an expectorant (Hamrick JL et al., 1979).It can be grown in a wide rangeof soil types, pH levels and environmental conditions (Smith et al. 1985) and givesSatisfactory yield in areas that are not suitable for growing alfalfa because the soilsare too wet and/or too acid. Red clover is a significant forage legume grown ineastern Canada and the north eastern United States. Through symbiotic nitrogen fixation, red clover also provides nitrogen for soils, companion crops and subsequentcrops. The range of fixed nitrogen was estimated to be from 125 to 220 kg ha·1year·1

(LaRue & Patterson ,1981; Rohweder et al. 1977). These qualities have made red clover useful for hay, silage, pasture, intercropping and green manure in several countries (Smith et al. 1985).


Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
Superdivision: Spermatophyta
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Trifolium L



Other common name(s) : Beebread, cow clover, meadow clover, purple clover, trefoil, wild clover

Scientific/medical name(s):Trifolium pratense
Plant Parts Used:
The dried and the fresh flower heads .

Active Components:  Red clover is one of the richest sources of isoflavones, water-soluble chemicals that act like estrogens and are found in many plants.

Looks like:  The plant is a perennial herb 15 to 40 cm high. The red flowers are the source of medicinal properties.

Where it’s grown:  Commonly grows wild in meadows throughout Europe and Asia, and has now been naturalized in many other parts of the world.

Red clover is a relatively short-lived perennial, originating from southeastern Eurasia; it is widely distributed across the temperate zones of the world (Taylor & Quesenberry, 1996). Red clover is considered to be native to Sweden and was scientifically named by Carl Linnaeus in 1753, but was first described in Sweden in 1658 by Rudbeck in the Catalogus plantarum (Nordstedt, 1920). Cultivation involving ploughing meadows and re-sowing with forage species in planned crop rotations began in the late 18th century in the southern part of Sweden; the same system came into use in the north a century later (Hagsand & Wik, 1968). Red clover lives in symbiosis with Rhizobium leguminosarum, a nitrogen-fixing, nodule-forming bacterium. In a T. pratense monoculture in Sweden, the amount of fixed nitrogen (N) varies between 2.2 and 8.5 g N m-2 year-1 over four years (Carlsson et al., 2005).

This perennial plant is ½–2' tall, branching occasionally. The hairy stems are sprawling or erect. The alternate compound leaves are trifoliate. The lower compound leaves have long hairy petioles, while the upper leaves have short petioles or they are sessile. The leaflets are up to 2" long and ¾" across. They are oval-ovate or slightly obviate; sometimes they are a little broader below the middle. Their margins are smooth and ciliate and their tips are blunt. Toward the middle of the upper surface of each leaflet, there is usually a chevron that is white or light green. The leaflets are sessile and lack petioles of their own. At the base of each compound leaf, there is a pair of ovate stipules up to ½" long. The upper stems terminate in flower heads that are spheroid or ovoid. Usually there are 1-3 leaflets immediately beneath each flower head, as well as several green bracts with tips that abruptly taper to a slender tip. Each flower head is about 1" across and consists of numerous flowers. These flowers are sessile, tubular-shaped, and spread outward in different directions. Each flower has 5 narrow petals that are pink or purplish pink, becoming light pink or white toward the base of the flower head; a rare form of this species with white petals also exists. The upper petal is slightly longer than the lower petals. The light green calyx of each flower has 5 slender teeth and it is usually hairy.

The blooming period usually occurs from late spring to mid-summer and lasts about 1-2 months. However, a few plants may bloom later in the summer or fall. The flowers have a mild honey-like fragrance, while the foliage, when it exists in abundance, produces a distinctive clover-like aroma that is quite pleasant. Each flower is replaced by a small seedpod containing 1 or 2 heart-shaped seeds. The root system consists of a taproot and produces rhizomes.


Trifolium (red clover) is an economically-important legume (Fabaceae).  The example shown here is of amature stem at the end of primary growth, that is, the vascular bundles contain very limited amounts of secondary xylem and secondary phloem.  The cortex is very narrow and is composed of chlorenchyma. The cortex is separated from the vascular bundles and the underlying pith, by a starch sheath. The pith is parenchymatous.

Fig. - 2show a detail of part of the stem, and two adjacent vascular bundles.The epidermis (EP) is thin-walled and beneath this are four-five rows of chlorenchyma. The cortexes is separated from the stele by a starch sheath (SS) and immediately beneath this, are very conspicuous phloem fiber caps (PF), which overlie a narrow band of predominantly primary phloem (P). A fascicular cambium zone (CZ) has produced a few secondary xylem elements, but apparently, no secondary phloem (inset, below right). The stele (St) is entirely parenchymatous

Red clover has been used traditionally as a medicinal agent by Asian, European, and Native American cultures as an expectorant in asthma, and as an alternative (blood purifier) to treat psoriasis, eczema, and other chronic skin conditions.


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