Table of Contents
|2. What is Alfalfa?|
|3. Ayurvedic properties of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)|
|4. Health Benefits of Medicago Sativa|
|5. How to use Lucerne?|
|6. Side Effects of Alfalfa|
|7. Frequently Asked Question|
Alfalfa, also known as Medicago sativa, is a plant that has been used for centuries for its medicinal and nutritional benefits. It's a nutrient-rich plant that belongs to the legume family and is commonly grown as a forage crop for livestock. However, alfalfa is not just for livestock. It has numerous health benefits for humans as well. This plant is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help improve your overall health and well-being. In this article, we will explore the benefits of alfalfa and how to use it, as well as potential side effects to be aware of. Whether you're looking to improve your digestion, boost your immune system, or simply add some extra nutrition to your diet, alfalfa is definitely worth considering. So, let's dive in and learn more about this amazing plant!
2. What is Alfalfa?
Alfalfa botanical name is Medicago Sativa, its other common names are lucerne, barsem, lasunghas, and vilayati gavat. It is a native of Europe and now it is widely cultivated in the temperate regions, the subtropics, and at higher altitudes in the tropics. It grows throughout India.
It is one of the most nutritional and versatile herbs in Ayurveda, it is a leguminous herb with rich green alternate leaves, and purplish flowers and adapts itself to widely varying conditions of soil and climate.
Alfalfa is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber and chlorophyll, these nutrients make Alfalfa an easily digestible food and it is full of protein and can be a supplement for protein-deficient food such as vegetables.
The herb was probably discovered by the Arabs who called it the “King of King” of plants and “father of all foods”. The Persians recognized it as a healing grass. Alfalfa is a valuable source of vitamins like A, B, D, E, and G, it also has vitamins C and K. The rich quality, quantity, and proper balance of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, chlorine, sodium, potassium, and silicon, all these elements are needed for the proper functioning of the body.
U.S. Department of agriculture mentioned 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 proteins in Alfalfa contain essential amino acids supplements any deficiencies due to a lack of essential nutrients in the diet.
Medicago Sativa seeds, leaves, and stems have important properties derived from the roots of the plant which reach up to 12 meters into the subsoil and absorb the elusive trace minerals from these depths. The most important of these trace minerals is manganese which is vital to the human digestive system in making insulin.
3. Ayurvedic properties of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
Medicago sativa, is a highly nutritious herb that has been used in Ayurveda for its therapeutic properties. It is not traditionally part of the Ayurvedic system, but its nutrient content and potential health benefits have made it popular in some modern Ayurvedic formulations.
Ayurvedic properties attributed to Alfalfa:
1. Rasa (Taste): Alfalfa is believed to have a combination of sweet (Madhura) and bitter (Tikta) tastes.
2. Virya (Potency): It is cooling in nature (Sheeta Virya).
3. Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is sweet (Madhura Vipaka).
4. Dosha Effects: Alfalfa primarily balances Pitta dosha and Kapha dosha. However, in excess, it may increase Vata dosha due to its cooling nature.
Nutritional Support: Alfalfa is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, making it a valuable herbal supplement to support overall health and well-being.
Digestive Health: It is believed to support healthy digestion and manage digestive disorders due to its cooling and mildly bitter properties.
Detoxification: Alfalfa is known for its detoxifying properties, helping to cleanse the body and remove accumulated toxins.
Anti-inflammatory: It possesses anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to manage inflammatory conditions.
Blood Health: Alfalfa is used to support healthy blood parameters and may help in managing certain blood-related disorders.
Liver Support: It is used to support liver health and improve liver function, making it helpful in managing various liver disorders.
Hormonal Balance: Alfalfa is believed to have phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds that may help balance hormone levels.
4. What are the Benefits of Medicago Sativa?
Alfalfa is amazing alkalizing food; it contains 130 to 142mgof alkali-forming elements in every 100 grams. These make it a valuable remedy. It is slightly laxative, digestive, and diuretic and serves as an excellent tonic. It augments the peristalsis or movement of the bowels, improves digestion, and ensures better assimilation of food. Alfalfa builds up for healthy and vigorous old age and resistance to infection.
Here are some health benefits of Alfalfa
Alfalfa seed tea is one of the greatest medicines for arthritis by helping to alkalize the food residue in the body.
Alfalfa is a diuretic and acts gently upon the kidneys, it can be successfully employed in treating inflammation of the bladder and dropsy, a disease caused by the accumulation of fluid in the body.
For hair Disorder
The juice of Alfalfa with a combination of other vegetables is beneficial in hair growth. It helps to make roots strong.
For Heart Disorder
Alfalfa juice is beneficial and very effective in most arterial problems and heart disease.
For High Blood Pressure
Alfalfa is an effective remedy for high blood pressure and useful in respiratory disorders, particularly those of the sinuses and lungs.
For Stomach Disorders
The seeds of Alfalfa are known as the “king of the sprouts”, they have immense value in maintaining good health. Daily use helps to build immunity to stomach distress. Alfalfa tea provides vital alkalizing benefits in hyperacidity. It controls the flow of hydrochloric acid aiding the action of the gastric enzyme, pepsin.
5. How to use Lucerne?
Dosage and uses depend upon the health problems and conditions or as recommended by an Ayurvedic doctor. The general recommended dosage is 3-6 grams of Alfalfa daily once a day.
Here are some home remedies for Alfalfa / Lucerne
- Sprouted Alfalfa is delicious and nourishing in salads, soups, and sandwiches.
- Juice extracted from leaves makes a highly nourishing drink.
- Dried leaves and seeds can be used in preparing Alfalfa tea.
- Make Alfalfa seed tea with honey.
- Alfalfa seed tea with mint leaves helps to settle the disturbed stomach after a rich meal.
- Combination of fresh Alfalfa leaves and carrot juice is a strong remedy for a heart problem.
- Take a combination of Alfalfa, carrot, and lettuce juice, which helps hair growth.
- Drink 6-7 cups of Alfalfa tea daily for at least 2 weeks, helps to treat arthritis.
6. Side Effects of the Alfalfa.
All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they don’t have any side effects but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have unique health issues.
Here are some side effects of Alfalfa / Lucerne
- Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
- Do not take without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
- Do not take Alfalfa / Lucerne if you are suffering from any kind of critical disease.
- If you are on diabetes or hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming Alfalfa / Lucerne.
- If you are above 65 years old and want to start Alfalfa / Lucerne, consult the doctor and discuss the health conditions.
- If you are on any supplements, vitamins, or herbal medication, consult the doctor before taking Alfalfa / Lucerne.
- Avoid Alfalfa / Lucerne when having intestinal ulcers, which could worsen the condition.
- Stop taking Alfalfa / Lucerne at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
- Alfalfa / Lucerne may interact with other medicines like blood sugar or blood pressure allopathy medicines.