Country Diary: Red clover is – somehow – helping me | Health| Trending Viral hub

YoIt happened so abruptly that I thought I was going crazy. I missed one meeting and then another. I kept going upstairs to do the laundry and coming back without it. I forgot what the RSPB was called and the supposedly unforgettable date of my son’s birth. The worst of all is that words began to fail me. I made an appointment with the GP and forgot to attend. When I succeeded, on the third attempt, I went blank on the routine questions and lost the word for “that thing about being able to have babies…”


“Yes, that. My God.”

He reassured me and went over the HRT options. Of course, it can be life-changing for some women. But as I considered the various estrogen patches and gels, a different concern grew. Hormones or hormone-mimicking chemicals can be powerfully harmful to the body and aquatic systems. cause female sea snails make penises grow and feminization of male fish. Wastewater treatment can remove estrogens from domestic effluent, but that is a limited commodity given the institutional neglect of our water industry. Additionally, I swim in rivers and lakes. Doing so has an almost miraculous effect on my well-being and that of thousands of older women. How many swim smeared in hormonal gel? I resisted. Sometimes everything is too complicated.

Red clover grows in a field.
“I started making clover tea and nettle porridge every day.” Photography: Amy Jane Beer

With her typical discretion, my friend Maria, a forager and herbalist, provided me with the information that red clover flowers are full of phytoestrogens and nettle seeds are wonderful for hair and skin. Both plants are abundant locally; Clover was planted as a soil improver. It carries almost miraculous bacterial factories in its root nodes that convert atmospheric nitrogen into nitrate at a rate of about 250 kg per hectare per year, an ecosystem service that greatly reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers (good news for farmers, since the price is driving).

I began to prepare clover tea and nettle porridge daily. My background in biology required that I also read. I learned that the hormone-stabilizing effects of red clover are, so far, scientifically indistinguishable from placebo, with the familiar caveat that “more research is needed.” But a strong placebo effect is still an effect. If it helps, and after a month it seems that it does, does it matter? My inspiration comes from nearby nature; The possibility that he will also give me the words to respond to him, free of charge, is deeply attractive.

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