Also known as lucerne and Medicago sativa, alfalfa has been known for its healing properties in many parts of the world.
Although alfalfa is part of the legume family, it is considered a herb because of its many health benefits.
People also call it ‘the healing herb’ and ‘green gold.’
You can use many parts of this plant like leaves, sprouts, and seeds, even the roots are considered useful.
Let’s see why this plant is considered so important by so many in the world.
So sit back and relax, maybe grab a coffee. It’s about to get interesting!
1 – Helps with weight loss
Alfalfa has been proven to help people lose weight.
The detoxifying nature of alfalfa can help anyone get an edge when it comes to weight loss.
Alfalfa helps keep the sugar levels under control by helping the body absorb less cholesterol in the gut, thus enabling us to better control our weight loss efforts.
A lower cholesterol absorption results in lower triglyceride levels in the bloodstream which helps you accumulate fewer fats over time.
Alfalfa also helps lower the “bad” cholesterol known as ‘LDL’ low-density lipoprotein and increase the “good” cholesterol known as ‘HDL’ high-density lipoprotein.
All this helps you control your fat loss effects in a much better way.
Plus, Alfalfa contains high amounts of protein and dietary fiber which further helps with weight loss.
2 – Helps in combat anxiety
Alfalfa helps you calm the nerves and acts as a natural sedative.
This tranquilizing effect on the nervous system helps you fight anxiety disorder and depression.
This is one of the reasons alfalfa herb tea was used since ancient times to regulate health, calm down the nerves and combat mental health disorders.
The mood enhancing effects of alfalfa have been known for a long time in China and around the world.
Just a single cup of alfalfa tea each day is enough to help you fight against anxiety and other mood disorders.
Taking alfalfa tea long term can also be helpful and with no side effects involved.
3 – Helps in controlling blood pressure levels
High levels of blood pressure can be very harmful to the body if not taken care of long-term.
Just a little bit of alfalfa each day has a soothing effect that can help control blood pressure in the body.
The high concentration of alkaloids in alfalfa help in reducing blood sugar levels and also help in reducing blood pressure.
4 – Controls excessive bleeding
Alfalfa contains a high amount of vitamin K, which helps promote coagulation also known as blood clotting.
Excessive blood loss can be a major problem in some.
With alfalfa problems like nose bleeds and uterine bleeding can be helped in a non-harmful way.
Vitamin K from alfalfa plant not only helps with blood clotting but is also beneficial for liver health and longevity.
Vitamin K also helps with proper carbohydrate storage and other important bodily functions.
5 – Helps in controlling sugar levels
This is especially useful for people suffering from diabetes.
As we all know diabetes can really limit a person’s life, the constant anxiety of sugar levels insulin can be a little frustrating.
This can be helped with alfalfa, as alfalfa contains a high amount of alkaloids which makes it useful in controlling blood sugar levels.
The diuretic aspects of alfalfa also help with controlling glucose levels slightly.
6 – Helps you rejuvenate your body
Alfalfa has been used to the rejuvenate the body for a long time.
The soothing and tranquilizing effects do not only help with anxiety and depression but they can also help you feel rejuvenated.
A little bit of alfalfa each day can help you feel calmer and relaxed.
The detoxifying nature of the herb helps clean the organs.
This helps your organs work better and help elevate your mood, making you feel rejuvenated.
7 – Helps prevent blood poisoning and Rheumatism
Blood poisoning is a serious infection.
This happens when bacteria enter the bloodstream.
Alfalfa can help prevent this condition.
Alfalfa can also help with rheumatoid arthritis.
It contains essential trace minerals that seem to be lacking in people with most common arthritis, by getting enough of these trace minerals people do feel a reduction in pain.
8 – Increases immunity
Around 80 – 90% of our immune system is based in our gut.
A good working immune system is important for healthy living.
Often times we have an immune system that is overactive with alfalfa this problem can be controlled to some extent.
Eating alfalfa regularly can increase the response of our immune system.
With a heightened immune response we can fight diseases better.
Although it is advised not to eat alfalfa in large quantities as it can cause hyperactivity of the immune system.
9 – Helps treat menopausal symptoms
Alfalfa contains three types of hormones that can fight the symptoms of menopause.
Coumestrol, genistein, and biochanin are the three phytoestrogens that can counter the effects of menopause.
Alfalfa also helps you fight hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweat, postmenopausal osteoporosis and low levels of estrogen which is so common in after menopause.
10 – Prevents heart disease
Just in India, more than 10 million cases are reported each year for arteriosclerosis.
Arteriosclerosis is a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances in and on artery walls.
Alfalfa has a high amount of antioxidants which help in preventing arteriosclerosis.
Alfalfa is also a natural blood thinner.
It also contains rutin which is a bioflavonoid, or plant pigment which is believed to strengthen the blood vessels.
11 – Prevents UTI
The diuretic effects of alfalfa help prevent urinary tract infection by preventing bacterias like E.coli from attaching themselves to urethra or bladder.
Alfalfa is also famous for increasing urine flow and helps prevent kidney disorders like water retention.
It also helps to remove toxins from the kidneys and regulate urine flow.
12 – Helps prevent cancer
Cancer kills hundreds of thousands of people each year, by using alfalfa you can reduce the risk of cancer by some degrees.
Alfalfa contains canavanine a non-proteinogenic amino acid.
Canavanine is known to help prevent cancer.
Alfalfa is also known to help in binding carcinogens in the colon.
Carcinogens are compounds that are known to cause cancer, thus alfalfa helps eliminate these compounds from the body.
13 – Removes toxins
Alfalfa helps to alkalize the body, especially the liver.
Alfalfa has the ability to replenish vitamins and mineral stores of the liver.
Vitamin K is one of them which is stored in the liver and fatty tissues. Vitamin K, which is a fat-soluble vitamin is found in high quantities in alfalfa.
This vitamin goes straight to the liver and helps the body with healthy blood clotting.
Alfalfa can be found in almost all liver cleansing tonic recipes as it has been proven to deliver quite a punch.
Alfalfa can also clean the digestive tract and remove carcinogens which further helps with the detoxification process.
After detox you can notice less body odor when sweating and in feces.
14 – Treats Digestive issues
We all know how important it is to have a good functioning digestive system.
A healthy digestive system is a key to optimum health. Alfalfa contributes in many ways to help with the digestive process.
It is well-known for treating digestive problems such as gastritis, stomach ulcers, indigestion, bloating, nausea, etc.
Alfalfa is also full of prebiotics, mainly fructo-oligosaccharides.
Prebiotics are necessary for your body to function properly.
Prebiotics feed the probiotics (good bacteria) in your gut, thereby helping them do a better job to support your health.
Probiotics help you with a host of processes in the gut like, Produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), fight bad bacterias like candida, elevate mood, and also help you digest your food.
Alfalfa also contains a plethora of enzymes which help you break down a variety of food components. These include lipase which helps you break down fats.
Amylase which breaks down carbohydrates, like sugar and starch. It also has protease which an important enzyme that helps break down protein molecules.
Alfalfa is also packed with potassium. A majority of people are potassium deficient these days. Potassium aids in water retention found within the body, it also helps with digestion.
It also has diuretic properties and helps in digestion regularity, this can especially help those who suffer from constipation on regular basis.
15 – Controls cholesterol
A healthy cholesterol level can have many long-term health benefits such as protection from heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.
Good cholesterol levels also mean balanced hormonal function of testosterone, estrogen, androgen, progesterone, and DHEA.
Cholesterol also necessary for the body to synthesize Vitamin D, which plays a critical role for all body systems including bones, mineral absorption, muscle tone, insulin production, fertility, immunity, nerves, and proper growth.
Cholesterol also acts as a strong antioxidant in the body and helps protect from free radical damage to the tissues.
A study in which 15 patients were given 40 grams of alfalfa seeds 3 times daily at mealtimes for 8 weeks.
They saw a lowering of plasma cholesterol from 7.69 to 6.33 mmol/l which corresponds to 18% decrease.
They also saw a 26% decrease in total cholesterol and a whopping 30% decrease in LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.
Alfalfa can be added to your diet in order to help control cholesterol levels especially, LDL levels.
16 – Contains silica
Silica has many health benefits some of these include.
Bone formation, We all know how important healthy bone formation is when growing up.
During our late teens and early 20’s, when bones are growing, taking silica supplement can help promote the synthesis of healthy and stronger bones.
Although this effect can mainly be seen on growing bones but, supplementing with alfalfa can help with keeping your bones in a healthier state.
Silica can also help you protect from aging and dementia.
Silicon is thought to help protect the body from aluminum accumulation.
A study has shown that higher levels of silica in water can help reduce the risk of dementia by up to 11%.
Silicon levels in the body decline with age and a deficiency of silica can lead to degeneration of bones, blood vessels, and connective tissues.
These symptoms are usually seen, elderly people.
Supplementing with alfalfa can help you keep your silica levels up which can reduce the risk of dementia and other possible health issues caused by low silica levels.
If hair loss has been your problem then alfalfa is for you.
Alfalfa contains silica, which has been known to slow the process of hair loss and helps in prevention of baldness.
The Vitamins in alfalfa improve blood circulation in the scalp and provide antioxidants to the hair follicles. The protein in alfalfa also encourages healthier hair growth.
In short, the silica in alfalfa has been known to help with many health conditions bid and small.
17 – Minerals
Alfalfa is rich with several minerals and trace elements.
It contains calcium which is very important to build healthy bones and maintain a healthy communication between the brain and other parts of the body.
Calcium also helps in maintaining healthy heart rhythm, muscle function and more.
Alfalfa is rich with iron. We all know how important iron is for day to day functions of the body.
Iron is a vital mineral for proper hemoglobin functions, a protein that is needed to transport oxygen in the blood.
Iron also plays a role in a variety of important processes in the body.
A shortage of iron can lead to a range of serious health problems, including iron deficiency anemia.
Alfalfa has many other minerals such as potassium, which is needed to balance the water retention in the body. It also helps with muscle contractions and is important for the heart to function well.
Magnesium is another one, many people are deficient in magnesium. This mineral is important in maintaining healthy bones and to avoid osteoporosis.
Magnesium also helps with other problems such as diabetes, heart health, migraine headaches, premenstrual syndrome and also relieving anxiety.
You can see all the minerals alfalfa contains and the amount you need daily in the chart below.
18 – Proteins
Alfalfa is known for its high protein content although it only applies for alfalfa hay and alfalfa powder concentrate.
It also provides all the essential amino acids that are needed for the body.
Amino acids such as arginine, alanine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tyrosine, and valine.
Studies do show that alfalfa has the ability to inhibit the growth of viruses such as herpes simplex.
L-canavanine, a non-protein amino acid, found in alfalfa leaves and roots, has been shown to have antiviral properties and be effective in controlling leukemia and cancer cells in animal studies.
You can see the protein and amino acid profile chart below.
19 – Vitamins
Alfalfa is a Vitamin-rich herb it contains a bunch of different Vitamins that are essential for your body.
It contains many Vitamins such as Vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting but is also essential for liver health and longevity.
Vitamin C was also known as L-ascorbic acid which is a strong antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Antioxidant molecules in Vitamin C also boost the immune system and help prevent damage from free radicals.
Vitamin A which is a generic term for a group of fat-soluble molecules. Vitamin A is essential for many bodily processes.
Some of these include healthy vision, Proper development of babies in the womb and proper functioning of the immune system and organs.
Alfalfa also contains other Vitamins such as Folate, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Pantothenic acid, Niacin, and Vitamin B6.
You can find the chart showing the number of Vitamins in alfalfa down below.
20 – Prevents dry skin
Dry skin can be a big problem for people suffering from acne and pimples.
Using creams with alfalfa extract can help fight the effects of pollutants and airborne irritants.
The antioxidants in alfalfa have been proven to work of dry and rough skin.
These antioxidants are also well known for soothing the skin. They can also work to make dull skin look brighter.
Alfalfa also contains Vitamin E which is known to offer revitalizing and anti-aging benefits.
Adding this antioxidant-rich ingredient to your morning and evening regime to get a beautifully moisturized skin every day.
21 – Helps maintain healthy glowing skin
We all know how polluted and toxic the environment is becoming these days, adding our day to day stressful life to the mix makes things worse.
All this stress makes our body age faster than what is considered normal.
This has sparked an interest in anti-aging research and development, to create methods to revitalize the skin from extrinsic and intrinsic damage.
This where alfalfa comes in, A study was conducted in which an anti-aging serum containing alfalfa produced a significant improvement in facial wrinkles.
Alfalfa did this with fibrillin-1 deposition. Fibrillin is a glycoprotein which is essential for the formation of elastic fibers.
This proved that if a serum containing alfalfa is applied to the skin, it can have a significant effect to reduce wrinkles.
When it comes to glowing skin, alfalfa helps reduce oxidative stress in the skin and helps reduce mucopolysaccharides which are known to be the primary culprit when it comes to making the skin though, dry and dull.
You can reduce these stress markers and help your skin look much younger and healthier with the use of alfalfa.
22 – Works as a cleanser
Clarification, Although we have discussed the benefits we get by using alfalfa for detoxifying the body, cleansing and detoxification are two different things.
Cleansing means cleaning the whole body, often this is achieved by using supplements and pills to eliminate substances directly.
A cleanse also focuses only focuses on the digestive tract.
On the other hand, a detox program supports the bodies natural toxin-eliminating processes.
The cleansing benefits of alfalfa are something everyone enjoys.
Taking just a teaspoon of alfalfa with water on an empty stomach is enough to start having a cleansing effect.
You can start seeing more results within two weeks with reduced pain of arthritis, improved digestion with proper cleansing of the entire body.
With alfalfa, the digestive system especially the microbiome get to work much more efficiently.
This cleansing effect is really helpful for anyone with digestive issues, whether young or old.
23 – Can increase your energy levels
With its high protein concentration alfalfa is able to help provide lots of energy.
It also has enough vitamins and minerals to support the organs produce more energy and work more efficiently.
Alfalfa also provides energy to the gut bacteria with its fiber contents.
These bacteria, in turn, produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) which can provide up to 5-8% of daily energy needs.
All these factors help elevate your energy production and also help maintain more energy longer.
You can start to see the difference within a week of supplementing with alfalfa.
24 – Helps prevent osteoporosis
Having low Vitamin K spurs bone loss in menopausal and postmenopausal women.
In a study, 71 postmenopausal women and 24 menopausal women who were receiving Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) got their Vitamin K levels checked.
They were receiving calcium, Vitamin D and calcitonin (a hormone that inhibits bone resorption).
The researchers found out that without Vitamin K, osteocalcin (which is a major in collagen protein in the bones) can’t be synthesized. This affects bone metabolism.
There are two types of vitamin K in the body. K1 and K2.
The studies have shown that patients who had fractures due to osteoporosis often had low blood levels of Vitamin K1
Alfalfa is one of those herbs which is high in Vitamin K but, especially in Vitamin K1.
25 – Helps with kidney problems
Alfalfa is often used for kidney issues such as bladder and prostate conditions.
It is also used to increase urine flow in people with kidney stones.
The diuretic effect of alfalfa also helps with problems such as water retention, which can lead to many other health problems when the kidneys are not working properly.
Alfalfa also helps prevent urinary tract infection (UTI) as discussed above.
26 – Helps with insomnia and sleep disorder
We know how a sleep disorder can ruin the day and even a week.
Having chronic sleep disorder can lead to brain fog, low energy, general weakness, and dullness.
Alfalfa tea can help you fight these disorders.
The soothing and tranquilizing effects of alfalfa have been known to also have a positive effect on sleep disorders and insomnia.
Alfalfa calms down the digestive system and helps soothe the body of most irritations.
27 – Antiasthmatic
Asthma is a condition in which a person’s airways become inflamed, become narrower and swell.
They also produce extra mucus, which makes it difficult to breathe.
How alfalfa helps this problem is by helping you control the inflammation in the body.
Less inflammation equals less constriction, which results in a smaller asthmatic effect.
Getting more air to pass through the airway is of paramount importance for anyone having an asthmatic attack.
Supplementing with alfalfa can help reduce the effects of asthma and help with better control over inflammation.
28 – Anti-inflammatory effect
There is a piece of growing evidence that systemic inflammation is associated with increased risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and insulin resistance.
The mechanism may include pro-inflammation cytokines that amplify the inflammatory activity.
In a study, ethyl acetate extract from alfalfa sprouts was used to inhibit lipopolysaccharides induced inflammation in mice.
The mice were tube fed 25mg/kg of alfalfa derived ethyl acetate extract.
After one week of tube-feeding results showed the group receiving ethyl acetate extract significantly lowered serum TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β levels at 9 hr after LPS (lipopolysaccharide) challenge.
The research concluded that alfalfa extract can suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines alleviate acute inflammatory hazards.
29 – Helps control diabetes
Diabetes is a disorder when insulin secretion function gets defected which results in hyperglycemia.
A little has been studied when it comes to controlling diabetes with nonpharmacological treatments but one study shows the positive effects of alfalfa on diabetes.
Consuming alfalfa can help you lower your insulin if you have a diabetic condition.
Research has shown that consuming 40 grams of alfalfa with each meal daily can help you control your insulin levels.
It was also seen that alfalfa reduces LDL low-density lipoprotein and increases HDL high-density lipoprotein which has a positive effect in controlling diabetes and insulin levels.
Alfalfa causes stimulation of insulin secretion.
Alfalfa also reduces plasma glucose levels thus improving the diabetic condition.
30 – Helps reconstruct damaged liver
The liver is one of the most important organs in the human body.
It helps detox chemicals and also helps metabolize drugs.
As it metabolizes these chemicals, it secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines which helps aid digestion and absorb fat-soluble Vitamins.
Our liver also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions.
The liver is truly a detox plant in our body.
Being such an important organ in the body, it is often neglected and not taken care of.
The antioxidants in alfalfa have been shown to help treat liver damage, combined with its diuretic effect which helps control water retention and pass toxins more quickly.
Being an antioxidant-rich food with phytoestrogen, alfalfa also helps control reduction-oxidation (redox) state which can lead to various liver disorders.
Side effects of alfalfa
Most people never seem to have any side effects by taking alfalfa but some might do.
Some of the most common side effects that you might notice by supplementing with alfalfa can be –
Sun sensitivity is one of the most common side effects of taking too much alfalfa.
It is recommended to not take too much alfalfa when pregnant or breastfeeding. Alfalfa contains phytoestrogen which can affect pregnancy and even breastfeeding if taken in large quantities.
If you are suffering from autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or any other autoimmune disorder it’s best to ask your doctor first before taking alfalfa.
Hormone-sensitive conditions such as uterine cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine fibroids, and endometriosis. Alfalfa can affect these conditions as well by acting as female hormone estrogen. If you any conditions which might be negatively affected by exposure to estrogen, its best to consult the doctor first.
Alfalfa can also cause organ rejection. There is one report of kidney transplant rejection, following three months of alfalfa use. As alfalfa boosts the immune system it can interact with an anti-rejection drug such as cyclosporine and make it less effective.
A general dosage of 5 – 10 grams of dried herb taken 3 times daily can be used as a treatment for high cholesterol and to control LDL low-density lipoprotein.
By taking just 5-10 grams of alfalfa every day you can start seeing positive health benefits.
With all the positive effects of alfalfa, it is easily one of the best herbs to consider.
Whats also good to consider is chlorofiber.
Chlorofiber contains 10% of pure alfalfa powder every serving, this is good enough for normal use if you consume chlorofiber twice a day.
Adding just a bit of alfalfa can have many positive health benefits long term.
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