Alfalfa is a member of the legume family. Alfalfa is native to Europe and West Asia. Alfalfa is a slender bushy perennial with three-lobed leaves that are blue green in color. It grows to be about three feet tall and produces pale mauve or yellow flowers in long stalked racemes in the summer and early autumn. The flowers are followed by coil or spiraling shaped seed pods which contain shiny seeds.
Alfalfa crops often contain flowers that end up being a hybrid in color between the pale mauve and yellow. Alfalfa is not really picky about the soil in which it grows but it does prefer full sun and regular watering. Alfalfa is cultivated in many different regions of the world. The parts of the plant that are used in herbal medicine is basically the whole plant or parts that grow above ground which included the leaves, seeds and sprouts.
Historically, alfalfa originated in the Middle East but by the sixteenth century it had been planted in England. In 1597 an English herbalist, John Gerard, recommended alfalfa for upset stomachs. A noted author and biologist, Frank Bouer, discovered that alfalfa leaves contained eight essential amino acids.
Alfalfa arrived in North America in 1736 by the thirteen colonies which later formed the United States. Alfalfa is used by English and American herbalist much in the same way as the related plant clover to treat upset stomachs. The Colombians used alfalfa to treat coughs. The Chinese use alfalfa to treat all five viscera, especially intestinal and kidney disorders.
The Arabs of the Middle East call alfalfa “the father of all herbs”. In fact, the origin of the word alfalfa has been traced to the Persian word “aspartic” which means horse fodder. The alfalfa plant has been cultivated by man for thousands of years probably originating in Armenia. Fresh alfalfa contains four times the amount of vitamin C in comparison to other herbal choices such as citrus juice.
Alfalfa also contains vitamins A, D, E, and K. Vitamin K happens to be very good for women who are suffering with morning sickness. Alfalfa leaves contain lots of beta-carotene, which is great to maintain a healthy immune system, skin and internal mucous membranes. Alfalfa is considered to be one of the most reliable sources for animals to get vitamin E.
Alfalfa also contains a vitamin called “vitamin U”. It is called this because it prevents ulcers in test animals. This plant contains calcium and it contains so much calcium that it almost goes off the charts. Alfalfa is one of the highest fibrous herbs in existence and this is why humans don’t use it as a food because humans can’t break it down as animals do even though alfalfa contains all the known minerals and vitamins for life.
Alfalfa is not a preferred food because of these minerals and vitamins are just trace amounts. It does not contain enough nutrients or carbohydrates in high enough amounts to sustain life by just eating alfalfa. Alfalfa is the basis for liquid chlorophyll with a balance of chemical and minerals almost identical to the hemoglobin in humans.
Alfalfa is used to treat arthritis, liver problems, a wide range of skin and intestinal disorders, breath and body odor and even to treat cancer. Alfalfa neutralizes acids and poisons. Alfalfa has a natural ability to feed and stimulate the pituitary gland. Alfalfa is a sweet, astringent cooling herb that controls bleeding, and stimulates appetite, cleans toxins from the body and lower cholesterol levels. It is a also a diuretic.
Alfalfa acts mainly on the circulatory and urinary systems. It also influences hormones. Alfalfa has the ability to absorb and carry intestinal waste out of the body because of its high content of fiber. Alfalfa’s uses include anodyne, antipyretic, anti-rheumatic, anti-scorbutic, appetitive, depurative, diuretic, galactagogue, nutritive, stomachic and tonic. Alfalfa is an excellent blood purifier.
Alfalfa alkalizes and detoxifies the body. It is a good choice as a mineral supplement. Alfalfa is a natural infection fighter. Alfalfa is high in enzymes whether it is fresh or fresh dried that helps the body to maintain balance in the systems which in turn it enables the body to ward off infectious diseases and it even helps the body to restore its immune system to defeat many types of degenerative diseases such as arthritis and cancer.
When using alfalfa it is best taken in capsules or eaten as fresh raw sprouts that have been cleaned thoroughly to remove mold. Alfalfa seeds should never be eating unless they are sprouted because they contain high levels of canavanine which is a toxic amino acid. Alfalfa can be used to treat the following:
Colon cancer (or prevention of)
Lactation (increase’s quality or quantity)
Uric acid retention
Weight gain or loss
Note: When using any forms of herbal remedies you should always discuss it with you doctor or a qualified herbal practitioner before using especially if you are taking any types medication to make sure that they do not create any bad reactions or side effects. The material in this article is not meant to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a qualified medical practitioner. All recommendations herein contained are believed to be effective but since the actual use of herbs by other individuals is beyond the author’s control, no expressed or implied guarantee as to the effects of their use can be given nor liability taken.