I never thought of using Alfalfa for my own use accept for having a few alfalfa sprouts on a sandwich but this article from http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/ tells me it has a whole lot more uses then putting it on my sandwich.
Other Names: Medicago Sativa, Erba Medica, Luzerne, Lucerne Grass, Lucerne, Buffalo Grass and Chilean Clover
Useful Parts of the Plant: Leaves, Stems and Sprouts
Alfalfa is a plant that grows throughout the year and with a lifespan that varies from four years to over twenty years. Most alfalfa plants however live for around 4-8 years. Alfalfa grows best when grown alongside other plants and crops. This is one of the strange properties of the plant. Alfalfa is a plant that is known to have its roots growing up to almost thirty feet into the ground and hence this plant tends to bring up the minerals from the soil that is not usually available at the surface. The plant is known to regrow even after it is harvested.
Nutritional Properties of the Plant:
With regards to the nutritional properties and information of Alfalfa this plant is rich in vitamins such as A, C, B1, B6 E and K as well as proteins, calcium, carotene, zinc, iron and potassium. The scientific name of Alfalfa is Medicago sativa and the parts of this plant that are typically used are the tops, leaves, seeds and the stems.
Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses:
One of the benefits of alfalfa is that it acts as a diuretic and a digestive as it is slightly laxative in nature. Alfalfa is also known to help in regulating the bowel movements and improving the digestion process which in turn helps in the better assimilation of the food consumed.
Another one of the medicinal uses of alfalfa is that being a diuretic it is known to be very effective in the treatment of dropsy as well as the inflammation of the bladder.
- Alfalfa health benefits also include it being used in treating heart diseases and other arterial problems.
- As alfalfa juice is an excellent source of chlorophyll, one of the benefits of alfalfa is that it is effective in treating respiratory discomfort and disorders especially those that are caused on account of problems with the lungs or sinuses.
- Medicinal uses of alfalfa also include it being used in the treatment of stomach related ailments. It is advisable to consume a small amount of alfalfa seeds on a daily basis as it helps in building ones immunity against stomach distress. Similarly, if alfalfa is consumed in the form of tea along with some mint, it is known to help against hyperacidity as well as the digestion of the food more so after a rich meal.
- Besides the alfalfa health benefits, this plant is also considered to be beneficial for hair growth. In this home remedy the juice of alfalfa along with that of lettuce and carrot should be consumed on a daily basis to result in thick and healthy hair.
- Many doctors also tend to use alfalfa topically as an astringent as it is known to help in the healing of any infections that may have occurred on account of bed sores or after a surgery.
- The benefits of alfalfa also extend to it being very effective in minimizing the symptoms and pain associated with menstruation in women on account of its estrogenic properties.
- Another one of the health benefits of alfalfa is that it helps in softening any hardened arteries thereby acting as a natural treatment for high blood pressure.
- The health benefits of alfalfa also include its effectiveness in treating diabetes naturally as it helps those individuals who are not able to properly utilize insulin.
Precautions/ Side Effects/ Warnings
However, along with the numerous benefits of alfalfa, like all other herbal products, this plant should also be consumed with care taking into consideration any possible known side effects. One such side effect of the alfalfa plant is that the amino acids that are found in alfalfa may actually worsen the disease lupus. Although alfalfa supplements are typically beneficial on account of the numerous vitamins and minerals, pregnant women should not consume them because of the presence of hormonally active saponins. Additionally in some cases, alfalfa is also known to act as a blood thinner and hence should be consumed with care and not be mixed with any other medication without prior consultation with the doctor.