Alfalfa is a leguminous herb that grows up to 50 cm in height. It has rich green alternate leaves, purplish flowers and adapts itself to widely varying conditions of soil and climate.
It is a valuable source of vitamins A, B, D, E and G. It also has some vitamin C and K. It has a rich balance of calcium, chlorine, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, potassium and silicon. All these elements are needed for the proper functioning of the various organs in the body.
Researches made by the US Department of Agriculture have revealed that alfalfa contains one and a half times more protein than grains like wheat and corn and that its carbohydrate content is only half of that found in grains.
The alfalfa proteins contain essential amino acids like arginine, lysine, theronine and tryptophane. These amino acids supplement any deficiencies due to lack of essential nutrients in the diet. It is also one of the richest sources of dietary fiber and chlorophyll.
Botanical Name: Medicago satina
Indian Name: Alfalfa
Below are some of the medicinal properties of alfalfa:
- Alfalfa juice is a rich source of chlorophyll and is used in respiratory disorders particularly related to the sinuses and lungs.
- Alfalfa is an effective diuretic and acts gently upon the kidneys. It is used in the treatment of the inflammation of the bladder and dropsy, a disease marked by the accumulation of the fluid in the body.
- Alfalfa is a valuable alkalizing food. It contains 130 to 142 mg of alkali-forming elements in every 100 grams. These make it an effective remedy for several ailments. It is slightly laxative, digestive and serves as an excellent tonic. It augments the peristalsis or movement of the bowel.
- The juice of alfalfa in combination with those of lettuce and carrot, if taken daily, helps the growth of hair as they are rich in elements that are beneficial for the roots of the hair.
- Its juice is very effective in most arterial problems heart diseases. Only fresh leaves of the alfalfa are used for this purpose. Alfalfa juice is best taken with the carrot juice. In this combination, the individual benefits of each juice are intensified.
- Alfalfa is an effective remedy for high blood pressure. It contains all the elements necessary for the softening of hardened arteries, which characterize high blood pressure.
- The seeds of alfalfa are of immense value in the maintenance of health. The daily intake of alfalfa seeds helps build up an immunity to stomach distress. If taken in the form of tea, it provides vital alkalizing benefits for hyperacidity. It tends to control the flow of hydrochloric acid, aiding the action of the gastric enzyme, pepsin. The addition of mint to alfalfa tea helps settle disturbed stomachs after a rich meal. It also refreshes the palate and makes an excellent morning drink.
- Alfalfa tea especially made from the seeds is an effective remedy for arthritis. It helps alkalize the food residues in the body.
Alfalfa can be taken in many forms. The seeds are useful in the form of sprouts and are delicious and nourishing in salads and soups. Alfalfa can be used in the form of juice extracted from its leaves. It is also used in the form of tea made from seeds as well as the dried leaves of the plant.