Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) leaves and sprouting seeds have been used for thousands of years as a nutritive tonic. Originally native to Asia, the herb was imported into the West by Darius, King of Persia (550-486 BC) during his battles in Greece. Roman writers are amongst those who commended it for its therapeutic actions.
Uses of alfalfa
Alfalfa has therapeutic uses as both food and medicine. It is rich in vitamins, particularly A, B and C and also Vitamin K. It is believed to contain a higher mineral content than most grains and is a natural source of calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. Alfalfa has therapeutic uses for a wide range of conditions. These include:
- As a tonic for the digestive system, increasing vitality.
- It can stimulate appetite and promote weight gain in anorexia. Also may aid weight gain after surgical operation.
- Stimulates peristalsis of the bowel and reduces constipation.
- May alleviate dyspepsia, and be helpful in treating chronic ulcers.
- Is believed to support the liver and alleviate anaemia.
- Has been used traditionally in South Africa for its anti-diabetic activity. It may be helpful in the treatment of insulin-dependent diabetes.
Joints and bones and skin
- Its high mineral content promotes healthy bones and teeth.
- The high Chlorophyll content is believed to encourage the growth of connective tissue, beneficial in diseases such as arthritis.
- Plant contents may aid tissue repair and be useful in the healing of wounds, varicose ulcers and abscesses.
- Alfalfa is believed to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol.
- Alfalfa is antibacterial
- Useful in menopausal complaints, pre-menstrual tension and fibroids.
- Rich in anti-oxidants, beneficial in breaking down toxins in the blood.
- Useful in sinus infections.
- Is believed to be beneficial in instances of dropsy, bladder and prostate problems.
Fluid Extract – 1 teaspoon in water or juice 3 times daily.
Should not be used if suffering from autoimmune diseases.
Alfalfa is a herb with a reputation as a “good all-rounder”, beneficial to use for a number of diverse conditions. Its high vitamin and mineral content make it both a nutritious and therapeutic herbal remedy.