Latin name: Medicago sativa
Health Benefits of Alfalfa
Alfalfa is a very nutritious superfood rich in vitamins and minerals. It boasts 8 essential amino acids and the highest content of chlorophyll of any plant. Alfalfa is often used as a base in many herbal combinations because it permits rapid assimilation of plant elements. There are many ways that you can benefit from alfalfa, such as:
- A diuretic and a great natural laxative.
- Neutralizes acids in the intestinal tract.
- Aids in food digestion due to the high enzyme content.
- Contains high levels of vitamin K2, which can help prevent bone loss due to lack of estrogen.
- Strong alkalinizing agent for the body.
- Helps to purify the liver and blood of chemicals and heavy metals.
- Used as a cure for all inflammations, including arthritis and rheumatism.
- Helps to stabilize blood sugar when taken with manganese.
- Helps to improve pituitary gland function.
- High levels of vitamin K in alfalfa have been known to help with bleeding gums, and nose bleeds as vitamin K is knows as the “clotting” vitamin.
- Helps to stimulate the immune system.
- Helps to reduce water retention.
- Has natural fluoride which helps to prevent tooth decay and to help rebuild decayed teeth.
- Has also been used to treat allergies, anemia, bursitis, gout, and hypertension.
Nutritional Benefits of Alfalfa
- Source of many essential vitamins including vitamins A, D, E, K, and the entire spectrum of B vitamins.
- Contains many important minerals such as iron, niacin, folic acid, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous.
- Has the highest chlorophyll content of any plant, and also carries all 8 chlorophyll boosting amino acids.
- Is an excellent source of protein. When in the form of alfalfa meal the plant is 25% protein.
- Is used as a base in many combinations and in vitamin formulas because it permits rapid assimilation of plant elements.
How to Use Alfalfa
- We use alfalfa mainly in tea and tinctures or ground in capsules. It can also be added to meals like soups and casseroles to help boost the nutritional content. It does not have any effect on the flavor of the meal so it is easy to sneak in.
Cautions and Side Effects of Alfalfa
- Although alfalfa is usually very safe when used by healthy individuals, it has been associated with some intestinal problems such as diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and mild gastric upset.
- Alfalfa or any other herbal supplement should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women unless instructed otherwise by their trusted health professional.
- Should not be used by women with hormone sensitive cancers as alfalfa can alter the amount of estrogen in the body.
- Should be avoided while taking blood thinning agents as it has blood clotting properties..
Fun Facts about Alfalfa
- Alfalfa is considered one of the oldest grown crops used for foraging. It began it’s spread across the globe by way of the Silk Road by 1st Century BC. It eventually made it’s way to Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand.
- The flowers on the alfalfa plant make it the main honey crop in the United States today.
- The first US president to grow alfalfa was George Washington.
- There are about 200,000 seeds in one pound of alfalfa.