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ALFALFA-- Medicago Sativa

Other Names:
Lucerne, Purple Medic, Buffalo Grass, Chilean Clover  

lucerne close.JPG (30785 bytes)

lucerne.jpg (23379 bytes)

Click on thumbnail to see pictures for identification.

Name
ALFALFA

Botanical Name.
Medicago Sativa

Other Names  
Lucerne, Purple Medic, Buffalo Grass, Chilean Clover

Parts Used  Sprouts, leaves, flowers

Description
Alfalfa is a perennial erect plant with leaves divided into three long-toothed leaflets.Alfalfa is from the Legume (Leguminosae) family. 

Constituents.
Amino Acids
Alanine, ,Arginine, ,Asparagine, Canavanine, Cystine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Tyrosine

Chlorophyll 
Chlorophyll possesses Antioxidant properties.
Chlorophyll rejuvenates old Red Blood Cells and promotes new Blood Cell growth

Alkaloids (stachydrine), 

Phytoestrogens

Minerals:        Calcium, Copper, Phosphorus, Manganese, Iron, Zinc, Fluorine, Potassium, Sodium, Chlorine, Silicon, Magnesium, Sulfur                  

Vitamins:             Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Choline, Vitamin A,            PABA, Inositol, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Biotin, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Folic Acid, Vitamin K

Other:  

Digestive Enzymes, Lignans:            Coumestrol,  Lipids:            Octacosanol,               Triacontanol    
Terpenes:  Saponins, Phytosterols:            Alpha-Spinasterol, Beta-Sitosterol, Stigmasterol,
Phenolic Acids:  Ferulic Acid, Polyphenols:            Coumarins  :Isoflavonoids: Formometin
Genistein         
electrolytes, isoflavones, betaine,antioxidant (tricin).

Dosage Recommendations
The usual therapeutic dosage of dried Alfalfa leaf is 500 - 1,000 mg per day.
The usual therapeutic dosage of Alfalfa tincture is 3 - 6 ml per day.

Internal Applications.
Tea, Capsules, Tincture

Medicinal Actions
Anti-inflammatory, Alkalinizer, Diuretic, Galactagogue, Nutritive, Stomach Tonic, Phytoestrogenic, Tonic.

Used in the following internal illnesses
Anemia, Arteriosclerosis, Arthritis, Cancer, Celiac Disease, Colitis, Convalescence, Edema, Fatigue, Halitosis, High Cholesterol, Hyperestrogenism, Hypoestrogenism, Jaundice, Menopause, Menstrual Problems, Obesity, Ulcers, Varicose Veins

Health Benefits of Alfalfa

Cardiovascular System
Alfalfa reputedly alleviates Anemia (according to folklore).
Alfalfa (juice) reputedly alleviates disorders of the Blood Vessels (according to folklore).

Digestive System
Alfalfa reputedly alleviates disorders of the Colon (according to folklore).
Alfalfa reputedly facilitates the elimination of Detrimental Fungi (according to folklore).
Alfalfa reputedly alleviates Peptic Ulcers (according to folklore).            Alfalfa facilitates the digestion of dietary Proteins (according to folklore).

Metabolism
Alfalfa inhibits the absorption of dietary Cholesterol and retards the body's production of endogenous Cholesterol (due to Saponins in Alfalfa). 
 
Alfalfa (leaf) helps to prevent some cases of Diabetes Mellitus and lowers elevated Blood Sugar levels in Diabetes Mellitus patients. 
Alfalfa reputedly detoxifies the Liver (according to many herbalists).

Musculoskeletal System
Alfalfa (juice) has an alkaline effect that counteracts the acidity associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis (according to folklore).
Alfalfa reputedly alleviates Brittle Hair (according to folklore).            Alfalfa (juice) reputedly regenerates the Skin (according to folklore).

Nervous System
Alfalfa is reputedly beneficial for the Pituitary Gland (according to folklore).
Alfalfa (juice) reputedly alleviates Sinusitis (according to folklore).

Applications.

Use as a bath herb, facial steam, hair rinse. Also, use as a poultice on wounds. The root can be peeled, dried and frayed (by hitting with a hammer) to be used as a toothbrush.

Energetics.
Salty, Neutral, Moist

Contra indications and side effect  
The herb is considered very safe, however there has been some concern about the safety of eating large amounts of the sprouts which contain the alkaloid, conavanine. Those with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis should avoid eating Alfalfa sprouts; however the leaves and flowers are perfectly safe for everyone. 
People using Warfarin should not use Alfalfa (due to the high Vitamin K content of Alfalfa which could interfere with the intended anticoagulant effects of Warfarin


Alfalfa increases the risk of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) - due to the Canavanine content of Alfalfa

Women should not consume excessive quantities of Alfalfa during Pregnancy (due to the ability of the Stachydrine content of Alfalfa to stimulate the Uterus).

Astrology
This humble plant which is cultivated to feed animals falls under the sign Capricorn.

Chakras,
The effects of Alfalfa are felt throughout the major 7 chakras with emphasis on the second chakra.

Doctrine of signatures
The roots plough deeply into the earth bringing up the minerals and vitamins that nourish the earthly source of our being the reproductive organs.The first herbalists must have wondered as animals gravitated toward this nourishing herb.

Mythology  
Of Arabic derivation, Al-Fac-Facah and means 'father of all foods'. This plant is thought to have originated in Medea in North Africa hence the genus name Medicago. The species name, sativa, means 'with a long history of cultivation'. 
Where Alfalfa grows wild, it is an indicator of rich soil. It is planted by farmers and turned under to fix nitrogen and enrich the soil. When cows consume it, it increases their milk production. Alfalfa is an excellent nutritive food for people convalescing. It is a commercial source of chlorophyll

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