Parts Used: dried leaves, stems, unopened flowers, sprouts
Constituents: beta-carotene and vitamins c, e, and k
How to Use:
Lower your cholesterol with Heart Healthy alfalfa
Alfalfa leaf contains a broad spectrum of nutrients, including considerable quantities of protein, trace mineral and vitamins, dietary fiber and chlorophyll, which serves as an antioxidant in the bloodstream. Alfalfa sprouts are a staple of salads and contain nutrients, but the leaves hold the best healing potential and contain phytoestrogens that could be beneficial in menopausal and breast feeding women. Chemicals in alfalfa called saponins can help lower blood cholesterol (by impeding intestinal absorption) without affecting heart-healthy HDL cholesterol. Alfalfa may help counteract side effects of chemotherapy used to treat cancer by increasing white blood cells, which are important to fighting off infections. 3
Preparation Methods & Dosage : Alfalfa can be taken in capsules, teas or eaten as fresh raw sprouts that have been rinsed thoroughly to remove mold. Alfalfa has great value as daily food supplement for long-term relief of the pain of arthritis and cardiovascular health of animals and humans.
Alfalfa tea is mild and good tasting, and blends well with many other tonic herbs like nettle, mints, and citrus.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Alfalfa known as Mu-Su in Chinese medicine, made its way to China during the late Han Dynasty(around 2000 A.D.) from Persia. One of its most common uses in Chinese medicine is in the treatment of ulcers. It is also used to strengthen digestion and stimulate appetite.
Alfalfa Side Effects:
If you have lupus or are in remission, you shouldn't consume alfalfa seeds. Use alfalfa only during its prebloom stages of growth. Alfalfa seeds should never be eaten unless sprouted because they contain high levels of the toxic amino acid canavanine.
Preferred Habitat:It is not picky as to soil, but it does prefer full sun and regular watering. The aerial (aboveground) parts of the plant are used in herbal medicine.
This widely cultivated plant is highly nutritive for both humans and animals. The deep root system absorbs minerals from the soil resulting in a plant rich in vitamins and minerals and a great source of fiber and protein. Alfalfa leaf is rich in protein and vitamins A, D, E, and K. Alfalfa extract is a good source of chlorophyll and carotene. It is important to insist on certified organic alfalfa, since the plant concentrates cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc when it is grown in contaminated soils. The leaves contain eight essential amino acids.
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History and Traditions & Folklore
Alfalfa is believed to have the power to bring good fortune in matters of money, business and good luck in gambling. This symbolism may stem from its use as a high quality hay that keeps animals fed in times of want.
Catherine Yronwode Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American Conjure, and Traditional Formulary (2002).
Gaea and Shandor Weiss, Growing and Using the Healing Herbs(1985)
Bell, Stacey; Balch, CNC, Phyllis A. (2012-04-03). "Prescription for Herbal Healing, 2nd Edition: An Easy-to-Use A-to-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies" (p. 17). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.
** Information on the traditional uses and properties of herbs are provided on this site is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Many traditional uses and properties of herbs have not been validated by the FDA. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs. **