Alfalfa, what a weird name right? Well, that’s because the word “alfalfa” is derived from the Arabic phrase, al-fac-facah, which means “father of all foods.”Alfalfa is found in different varieties — seeds, sprouts, leaves and extractions. It’s cultivated as hay for livestock and as a herb for humans. Alfalfa is known to be one of the most nutrient-rich plants in the world. Its extensive root system allows the plant to absorb loads of nutrients from the soil. Alfalfa leaf is rich in essential vitamins like A, D, E, K and the B-vitamins. Alfalfa Leaf is also rich in protein, amino acids, iron, niacin, biotin, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and chlorophyll.
The use of Alfalfa for medicinal purposes dates back to ancient times. In ancient China, Alfalfa was used to treat conditions such as kidney stones, gastrointestinal problems and so on. While in ancient India, it was used to treat people who suffer from arthritis, digestive and gastro-intestinal problems. The tastes of the Alfalfa herb varies, sometimes it`s sweet, bitter or earthy. The dried leaf or powder can be used in teas, made into capsules or herbal tablets, or infused as an herbal tincture.
Alfalfa is often said to be the most nutritional herb in the world. A look at its nutritional component might make you concur.
Alfalfa contains the following vitamins:
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
Vitamin C and folic acid.
These vitamins are essential to keeping the body strong and healthy. Alfalfa is also rich in minerals such as:
These minerals help in strengthening the immune system and keeping you healthy. And it gets even more exciting — alfalfa contains 14 amino acids and eight of these are essential for a healthy lifestyle! These eight essential amino acids present in alfalfa are leucine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, methionine, valine, and lysine.
Now that we know all the amazing nutrients the Alfalfa plant has, let’s look at the benefits you can gain from the alfalfa plant:
Beautiful and Healthy Skin
Alfalfa is great for treating different skin conditions and improving the skin. Alfalfa contains chlorophyll, Vitamin A and enzymes. These nutrients are known for cleansing our body of impurities. Alfalfa is a detoxifying agent; it also fights infection. The Vitamin A in alfalfa helps in achieving and maintaining healthy and glowing skin. It also helps mosturize dry skin, even out the complexion and texture of the skin.
Did you know Alfalfa is also good for your hair? Say goodbye to dandruff, hair loss or itchy scalp. Alfalfa is rich in vitamins. The Vitamins C, B1 and B6 found in this great plant are essential for the proper growth and health of hair. Alfalfa has a high protein content that helps in hair growth. Regular intake of alfalfa provides enough protein to boost hair growth and maintain healthy hair. Alfalfa also contains vitamin E which increases the uptake of oxygen and this in turn helps in scalp circulation, which is important for hair’s proper growth and health. Alfalfa contains minerals such as calcium, zinc and iron which help in preventing and reducing the loss of hair. Zinc is known to stimulate hair growth and iron helps in hair growth. Studies have shown that iron deficiency may be one of the causes of hair loss. Alfalfa also contains silica which is a known nutrient that helps slow down the process of hair loss and helps in the prevention of baldness.
Helps Control Obesity
As earlier mentioned, alfalfa is a detoxifying agent. This helps to keep the sugar levels under control. Also, it is abundantly enriched with protein and fiber. And we all know fiber is one key ingredient in any weight loss recipe.
Alfalfa is well-known for its effectivity in relieving and treating digestive problems like gastritis, stomach ulcers, indigestion, bloating, nausea and so on. These conditions can be avoided with the use of this wonderful plant. And if you suffer from chronic constipation, alfalfa sprouts are a must take for you. It is highly effective at treating constipation due to its high fiber content.
Alfalfa Boosts Immunity
Alfalfa contains certain phytonutrients, such as L-canavanine and chlorophyll which aid the body’s resistance to diseases. These nutrients help in lowering blood sugar, preventing Type II diabetes, adult-onset diabetes, and other kinds of diseases. What’s more? It is also known to prevent tumors from developing in different parts of the body
Alfalfa Contains Excessive Bleeding
Ever pricked yourself and what followed was a fountain? Or you occassionally experience sudden nosebleeds? Well, if you have ever experienced any of these, you may be lacking Vitamin K. The good news is Alfalfa is enriched with Vitamin K, a.k.a. the blood clotting vitamin. It helps in blood clotting, protecting you from scary situations like uterine or nose bleeding. Ouch!
Alfalfa is Anti-Rheumatic!
If you are rheumatic, then you know it`s a frustratingly painful condition. But good ol’ alfalfa is at the rescue again. Alfalfa has a variety of properties that makes it an anti-rheumatic agent. Alfalfa also helps in the prevention of kidney stones and gravel, edema, arthritis, arthrosis and varicose ulcers.
Keeps Diabetes away
Scared of diabetes? Well, aren’t we all? Alfalfa tea keeps the soaring sugar levels under control. And for those who are already diabetic, alfalfa can be used to prevent an unwanted surge of sugar in the blood.
Combats Depression and Improves General Mood
If you are stressed out or just feeling blue, you need a good cup of alfalfa tea. Alfalfa tea is known to have tranquilizing and sedating effects on the nervous system. A cup of alfalfa tea can help relieve stress and keep anxiety at bay. If you also have trouble sleeping, alfalfa has lulling effects and is a good option.
Great for your Blood Pressure Level
I am certain we all know a high blood pressure level is bad news if not taken care of at the right time. If unchecked, it can lead to unprecedented medical conditions, such as stroke and myocardial infarction. Regular intake of alfalfa tea is known to be effective at keeping blood pressure level under control.
Alfalfa Counters Menopausal Symptoms
Alfalfa contains three types of hormones, these are coumestrol, genistein, and biocanine. They are simply referred to as phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are hormones that can be used to counter the symptoms of menopause. The minerals found the alfalfa herb are also effective in countering menopausal symptoms. Menopausal symptoms include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, low levels of estrogen, postmenopausal and osteoporosis.
It`s obvious that the chief of all foods hasn not come to play. Alfalfa is undisputedly one of the most nutritious plants in the world. With its increasing popularity, it now comes in tablet, tea and powder form. You can relax folks, you don’t have to fret about pounding some herbs!
Before I forget, alfalfa is also used for the treatment of many other disorders and health problems such as fatigue, loss of energy, weak memory and decreased alertness, poor thyroid function, split hair problems, brittle nails, night blindness, dental problems, protein deficiency, low production and poor quality of breast milk, weak bones, scurvy and malnutrition. Wow! It practically covers almost everything you can think of.
So don’t forget to take a cup of some good old alfalfa tea. It`s amazing!