At the end of each 90-day period, while there was no change for placebo, women in the red clover group believed that the quality of their scalp hair and skin had improved. In addition, the red clover group reported increased libido, better mood, less tiredness, and more restful sleep.
Reference: Obstetrics of Gynecology; Volume 2011, Article ID 949302
Following the same group of 109 women from the study described above over the same period, doctors measured three additional symptoms: hot flashes, night sweats and overall menopausal symptoms before the study, at 90 days, after a seven-day pause at 97 days, and at 187 days.
Before the study, all participants had similar intensity of hot flashes, frequency of night sweats, and overall menopause symptoms. After taking the placebo, the three symptoms improved by an average of less than 10 percent each. After taking red clover, each of the three symptoms improved by an average of more than 25 percent.
In discussing their findings, doctors said that women and their physicians are questioning conventional hormone therapy because the benefits are uncertain, leading to more individualized treatment focusing on alternative therapies.
Phytoestrogens, such as those in red clover, have estrogenic effects that are less potent than hormone therapy, but may prove to be a more beneficial alternative.
Reference: Gynecological Endocrinology; 2012 Mar; Vol 28, No. 3, 203-7