Lucerne, Chilean Clover and Buffalo Grass, Father of All Foods (Al-fal-fa), Buffalo Herb, Lucerne, Purple Medic are all names of alfalfa; a plant which sends its roots down twenty to thirty feet into the ground and brings up the minerals that are not available on the surface. For this reason, the Arabic word Alfalfa means “father of plants”. Alfalfa is rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that play a vital role in the strength and growth of our bones and in the maintenance of a healthy body. It contains protein and vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. It also contains calcium, potassium, carotene, iron, and zinc. It can be taken in the form of seeds, leaves or tablets.
What are the Benefits of Alfalfa?
Alfalfa has been used by the Chinese since the sixth century to treat several health conditions. It is considered the richest land source of trace minerals. Rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients Alfalfa makes an amazing herbal remedy. Its specific benefits include:
- Curing kidney problems, and relieving fluid retention and swelling.
- Curing auto-immune disorder.
- Healing arthritis.
- Nourishing the digestive, skeletal, glandular and urinary system.
- Cleansing the blood, liver and bowel.
- Lowering cholesterol levels.
- Preventing strokes.
- Healing whooping cough.
Uses of Alfalfa
Home Remedy for Arthritis
Since alfalfa is very rich in minerals needed for the formation and strengthening of bones, a tea made from alfalfa (especially from its seeds) has shown beneficial results in the treatment of arthritis.
Home Remedy for Diabetes
Alfalfa is known to reduce blood sugar levels, and is therefore considered a natural treatment for diabetes.
Remedy for Kidney Stones
Vitamins A, C, E and Zinc are proven to help dissolve kidney stones. You can find these vitamins and minerals in Alfalfa powder and Alfalfa sprouts.
Natural Treatment for Hair Loss and Balding
The juice of alfalfa, in combination with equal amounts of carrot and lettuce juice, taken daily, assists in the growth of hair to an amazing extent. The combination of these juices is rich in elements which are especially helpful for the growth of hair and the prevention of hair loss.
What are the Side Effects of Alfalfa?
As with all herbal products, moderation is the key to avoiding adverse reactions. For example, excessive consumption of alfalfa may cause the breakdown of red blood cells, which is extremely serious.
Research has found that diets high in canavanine, an amino acid found in alfalfa, can aggravate the disease lupus. However, canavanine is usually only found in the seeds and sprouts of alfalfa but not in mature leaves. Thus, alfalfa tea and capsules made from leaves are not expected to contain canavanine. Nevertheless, it is recommended that alfalfa be avoided during pregnancy because of its potential canavanine content and hormonally active saponins. If you are pregnant, it is recommended that you avoid regular daily consumption of alfalfa or its supplements.
Where and How to Buy Alfalfa
Alfalfa is available in capsules, which you may take daily as a nutritional supplement. One or two capsules a day is recommended. You can also find bulk alfalfa leaves or seeds at some health food stores which are great for making a nourishing tea.