Like in natural and traditional medicine, using herbs and plants in our diet is becoming quite popular. Alfalfa is one of them since it is a plant with many benefits for our health, such as treating urinary infections.
Let’s meet alfalfa
The alfalfa or Medicago sativa, is a plant that belong to the family of green peas. It is a perennial herb that can grow up to 60cm in height. The fruit from the sprouts is a legume between 4 and 7 millimeters in diameter. In addition, it has no thorns and it has a spiral shape.
Medicago sativa is mainly native to Asia and it is one of the first herbs discovered by humankind. As we have already said, this product belongs to the family of peas, called Fabaceae. Quite often, it is also used to feed animals (its most common use around the world). This is due to the fact that it has the highest nutritional value from all the hay crops.
Another interesting fact about alfalfa is its etymology. It comes from Arabic, more specifically from the phrase “al-fac-facah” which means “father of all foods“. This is due to its high essential mineral content, which will see in more detail later on.
Nowadays, people commonly sell it and use it in countries like the United States, Canada, as well as South America or Europe. Before, it was used in ancient China to treat digestive problems as well as to make renal treatments.
Properties of alfalfa
- Multivitamin: it a plant with very deep roots, which means that it takes many nutrients during its growth. Consequently, they will provide many benefits for the human body, and specially the body of athletes. This multivitamin richness is made up of biotin, vitamin A, C, D, E and K, apart from all the vitamin B complex
- Minerals: For the same reason, the alfalfa also has important minerals like calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium and potassium. It is also rich in protein
- Diuretic properties against fluid retention or urinary tract infections
Benefits of alfalfa for health
- Lowering the bad cholesterol due to its high mineral and vitamin content which cleanses the blood
- Regulating the blood sugar, which can be used by diabetic people. Due to its high manganese content, some scientists believe that it could lower the blood sugar levels. Therefore, it could help diabetic people which have had problems with the insulin response.
- Preventing and treating anemia due to its vitamin C and iron content
- Supporting cancer treatment. Taking alfalfa branch helps to detect the cancerous agents in the colon and help to eliminate them naturally
- Preventing asthma and respiratory problems apart from relieving the symptoms of menopause. Moreover, the alfalfa can also improve the vitamin K levels of those people who takes antibiotics.
How to take alfalfa
For centuries, this plant has provided many benefits for our health. But there are different ways of using or preparing the alfalfa.
Finally, dry or dehydrated alfalfa is another great alternative, if not the best. We can mix alfalfa with different gastronomic dishes, such as salads, soups or stews. As long as we do not exceed the recommended daily dose, we will make our meals healthier without altering their flavor.
Alfalfa in capsules
This natural herb can also be taken in capsules, like a normal supplement. We believe this is a great way of obtaining all its benefits for our health on a daily basis.
Buy alfalfa supplements of the best quality and at the best price here
Contraindications of alfalfa
Despite being a natural herb, the alfalfa has a series of contraindications or precautions:
- First and foremost, you should not take it for more than two weeks in a row
- Do not take if your are lactating or pregnant
- Also, do not take if you are using anti-coagulant medicines
- Tytell M, Davis AT, Giles J, Snider LC, Xiao R, Dozier SG, Presley TD, Kavanagh K. Alfalfa-derived HSP70 administered intranasally improves insulin sensitivity in mice. Cell Stress Chaperones. 2018 Mar;23(2):189-194. doi: 10.1007/s12192-017-0835-4. Epub 2017 Aug 18.
- Farsani MK, Amraie E, Kavian P, Keshvari M. Effects of aqueous extract of alfalfa on hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia in alloxan-induced diabetic Wistar rats. Interv Med Appl Sci. 2016 Sep;8(3):103-108. doi: 10.1556/1646.8.2016.3.5.
- Guo TL, Germolec DR, Zheng JF, Kooistra L, Auttachoat W, Smith MJ, White KL, Elmore SA. Genistein protects female nonobese diabetic mice from developing type 1 diabetes when fed a soy- and alfalfa-free diet. Toxicol Pathol. 2015 Apr;43(3):435-48. doi: 10.1177/0192623314526318. Epub 2014 Apr 8.
- He Y, Qiu Q, Shao T, Niu W, Xia C, Wang H, Li Q, Gao Z, Yu Z, Su H, Cao B. Dietary Alfalfa and Calcium Salts of Long-Chain Fatty Acids Alter Protein Utilization, Microbial Populations, and Plasma Fatty Acid Profile in Holstein Freemartin Heifers. J Agric Food Chem. 2017 Dec 20;65(50):10859-10867. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b04173. Epub 2017 Dec 7.