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Alfalfa | Alfalfa definition, history, side effects,benefits and treatment

Alfalfa

Do you want to know about alfalfa definition, history, side effects, benefits, and treatment? Read this full article to know details about alfalfa.

Alfalfa, also known as “alfalfa”, is a plant that has very interesting nutritional value. It is currently used in natural medicine and in cooking. Still too little known, alfalfa is nevertheless a real remedy. Which unlike other plants does not grow on the other side of the planet.

She might surprise you! If you haven’t tested it yet, or if you’re wondering what it can be used for, read on carefully. Because it has it all. Its benefits are fabulous!

Definition Is Alfalfa?

The alfalfa is a plant that, when ripe, is mainly used to feed livestock. The part we eat is actually the germinated seed of the plant. This food is a nutritional champion and can add a touch of freshness and crunch to a variety of recipes.

Alfalfa has a sweet and light taste. Slightly tart with a little wet earthy flavor (like that good smell after the summer rains). This food has long been laughed at, supposedly “reserved” for fans of organic and organic food. But it is now found in all grocery stores and it is becoming more and more popular. You don’t have to be “no” to like alfalfa.

From the legume and Fabaceae family, its botanical name is “medico Sativa”. It is a perennial plant cultivated in Europe, Asia, and Africa. This plant of 20 cm to 70 cm in height has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. Among the Amerindians and among the Arabs, where the name alfalfa comes from. Which means “father of all foods”. In the past, It was also used as feed for livestock, often to increase milk production in animals.

Story of Alfalfa

The term “alfalfa” comes from the Arabic “al-fac-face” which means “father of all foods”. Archaeological excavations have found alfalfa seeds in the tombs of the pharaohs of Egypt. Where it appears to be a sacred food. We know that the seed was used in Anatolia and Persia for feeding cattle, more than 33 centuries ago.

Legend has it that Moses gave alfalfa. The food of heaven, to his exiled people during their crossing of the desert.

Its formidable composition, as well as the ease of cultivation of the plant. Makes it a source of food for livestock, providing them with vitamins, minerals. But above all proteins. Indeed, it is the plant that has the highest protein yield per hectare.

In addition to being a high-quality food, the cultivation of the plant is valued for its soil-improving qualities. Work carried out by INRA shows that alfalfa cultivation has a positive effect on water quality.

In addition, it has been observed that the alfalfa crop harbors greater biodiversity than any other crop. Birds, butterflies, bats, insects, bees, micro-organisms, etc.

Alfalfa is therefore an ultra-nutritious plant, beneficial for humans and animals, and economical, ecological plant, and promoting biodiversity.

Side effects of Alfalfa:

In rare cases: Dermatitis, gastrointestinal disturbances.

Benefits of Alfalfa:

Alfalfa, a small plant with great nutritional and medicinal properties. Is well known to vegetarians and raw food eaters (followers of raw foods). In traditional medicine or naturopathy. It will rather be recommended for its vitalizing, demineralizing, anti-inflammatory properties, for its phytoestrogens. And for many other virtues that you can see in the summary of the benefits.

The Benefits of Eating Sprouted Alfalfa Seeds compared to the leaves. Or in powder form are that they are naturally fresh, healthy, revitalizing, alive, and very nutritious. Alfalfa sprouts have a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, and highly bio-available fibers.

You will need to eat little to assimilate. The same amount of vitamins and minerals as with a capsule (dry powder). They are also used to enhance and revitalize cooked dishes which, due to the heat. Have lost almost all of their vitamins.

These are the cheapest raw vegetables and you can easily make them yourself. In the company of children who will be delighted to germinate them. A real child’s play! Finally, they keep for 5 days in the fridge after being wrung out.

  1. A 125 ml (1/2 cup) serving of loosely packed alfalfa has an energy value of just 5 calories.
  2. In addition to being able to be integrated without any guilt in your diet, alfalfa is a good source of:
  3. Vitamins A, C, and D.
  4. Several mineral salts: calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sulfur, copper, manganese, folic acid.

 

The 6 benefits of including alfalfa in your diet

Alfalfa can help us improve our overall health. It is rich in iron and is therefore ideal in cases of anemia and deficiencies in this mineral.

Alfalfa is a plant of the pea family that is generally used as fodder.

However, it is also used medicinally and has recently become a popular food due to its multiple nutritional properties.

We can take advantage of all parts of the plant for human consumption:

  • The flowers are used for tea.
  • The leaves are used to prepare, among other things, alfalfa water.
  • Sprouted seeds are a delicious ingredient in salads.
  • In traditional Chinese medicine, the roots are used to control fever.
  • The seeds, ground with a little water, are used to reduce the discomfort associated with insect bites.

What benefits can we get from regular consumption of alfalfa?

By including alfalfa in our diet, in addition to ensuring the consumption of a large number of nutritional components. We obtain these 7 benefits for our health:

  1. Strengthen the immune system

This food stimulates the immune system and optimizes its reaction to viruses and bacteria.

The best way to boost the immune system is to eat the sprouted seeds. Because this also means you are consuming glucosinolates. Which are compounds with anti-carcinogenic properties.

  1. Detoxify the body

Thanks to its regulating properties of the urinary and digestive system, alfalfa is ideal for cleaning the body of toxins. It is also involved in the treatment of kidney failure and gastric ulcers.

  1. Prevent anemia

Alfalfa iron deficiency

  1. Decrease the symptoms of menopause

Phytoestrogens

On the other hand, it is also recommended to prevent menstrual colic.

  1. Decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease

A 2008 study found that eating alfalfa on a regular basis can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL).

  1. Improve skin health

Thanks to its high content of antioxidants and coumarins, this food is perfect for having beautiful, radiant skin.

In addition, it also helps us fight cellulite.

More Benefits of Alfalfa:

Energy and immune system

  • Revitalizing
  • Fight against fatigue
  • Anti-stress effect
  • Help against anemia
  • Anti-hemorrhagic action (thanks to vitamin K)

Demineralizing

  • Strengthens bones (thanks to calcium, vitamin D, and protein)
  • Fight against osteoporosis
  • Growth aid
  • Strengthens hair and nails

Symptoms of menopause:

  • Calms hot flashes.
  • Acts against bone loss.
  • Contains phytoestrogens.

 Cardiovascular illnesses:

  • Reduces LDL levels, hence cholesterol.
  • Reduces triglycerides, thus reducing atherosclerosis (deposits of lipids, cholesterol in the arteries).
  • Regression of atherosclerosis (aging of the arteries by hardening, thickening of the artery walls).
  • Possible influence on diabetes, insulin-like effect (understudy).

Antioxidant effects:

  • Protects our cells from aging
  • Fight against free radicals

Alkalizes and fights inflammation:

  • Helps in the acid-base balance ( alkaline diet )
  • Lowers inflammation of the body (arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatism)

Fight against digestive disorders:

  • Fights stomach ulcers
  • Activates the appetite
  • Fight against “candida Albicans” (fungi proliferating excessively in our mucous membranes and more often in the intestine)

Help in detoxification:

  • Get rid of toxins
  • Diuretic action
  • Mild laxative
  • Prevents water retention

GA lactogenic effect:

  • Promotes lactation for breastfeeding.

How to Consume Alfalfa?

The young leaves can be eaten in cooking; they will give a crunchy and aromatic side to your dishes. Sprouted seeds are eaten raw, in salads, in sandwiches, with avocado, juiced with fruits/vegetables, etc.

Why Germinate Alfalfa Seed?

The Benefits of Eating Sprouted Alfalfa Seeds compared to the leaves. Or in powder form are that they are naturally fresh, healthy, revitalizing, alive, and very nutritious. Alfalfa sprouts have a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, and highly bio-available fibers.

You will need to eat little to assimilate. The same amount of vitamins and minerals as with a capsule (dry powder). They are also used to enhance and revitalize cooked dishes which, due to the heat. Have lost almost all of their vitamins.

These are the cheapest raw vegetables. You can easily make them yourself. In the company of children who will be delighted to germinate them. A real child’s play! Finally, they keep for 5 days in the fridge after being wrung out.

Composition Alfalfa:

Alfalfa seeds and leaves provide all the benefits of alfalfa. Indeed, they contain the active components of the plant. It contains, for example, saponosides , coumestrol (which plays a role similar to that of estrogen), and phytosterols.

Alfalfa is rich in proteins, amino acids, and vitamins A, B, D, E, C, and K. It is also a source of minerals: calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, zinc. Alfalfa then provides almost all of the elements necessary for the proper functioning of our body.

It is a great source of vitamin C which contributes to our daily needs. The seeds are rich in calcium. The young shoots contain a lot of magnesium and will therefore help in the management of stress and fatigue. Thanks to their enzymatic richness and their plant fiber content, they also help digestive disorders. Its iron content has an action on anemia.

What are the properties of alfalfa?

We can say that alfalfa is a complete food because it contains:

  • Vitamin A, which participates in the proper functioning of the lungs and heart.
  • Vitamin C, which has an antioxidant effect and is necessary for the production of collagen.
  • Also vitamin K, essential for blood clotting.
  • Proteins that, according to some studies, could be useful in fighting certain types of cancer.
  • Minerals (magnesium, calcium, iron, and selenium) are essential for the vital functions of the body.

 

Where to Buy Quality Alfalfa?

It is possible to buy alfalfa in different forms:

Seeds (already germinated or not). Sprouts are better and richer in nutrients when they are fresh and immediately eaten. This is why it is worth buying alfalfa seeds to germinate you! We recommend alfalfa seeds from a serious seller: see the product.

  • Dried leaves in bulk, in organic shops, even in pharmacies.
  • Mother tincture or fresh plant extracts are also available in organic stores.
  • Alfalfa powder
  • Tablets

It is important to remember that it is better to choose products or alfalfa seeds of very good quality. This is the case with all products, to enjoy their benefits. Head to organic seeds to avoid the use of chemical treatments and/or preservatives that degrade the seeds and your health.

Medicinal properties of alfalfa

Internal use

  • Alfalfa is valued for its demineralizing and nutritive properties. It is also an ant hemorrhagic and anti-cholesterol.

External use

  • No known external use of alfalfa.
  • Usual therapeutic indications
  • Alfalfa is used in herbal medicine to treat general fatigue, asthenia, anemia, or spasmophilia. It is also appreciated for decalcifying when the following symptoms appear: brittle nails or dull hair. Its richness in minerals, and especially in calcium. Makes it interesting for helping to fortify bones in the context of osteoporosis or menopause. It helps reduce cholesterol levels. By regenerating cell tissue, it is used for detoxification and skin diseases.
  • Other therapeutic indications were demonstrated.
  • Alfalfa is also used for infections, bronchitis, or asthma. It is recommended to treat bladder disorders, viral and bacterial diseases.

Dosage of Alfalfa:

There is no real dosage since it is a product that can be added to your diet. Think of it like any other food. A varied diet is a key to good health. However, it may be beneficial to make cures of alfalfa powder or mother tincture once or twice a year. Usually, the cures last 3 to 4 weeks.

Depending on the product, here is the generally recommended dosage. In addition, reference should be made to the dosages recommended on the packaging.

  • In powder or capsule: 1 to 2 teaspoons in a glass of water. Fruit/vegetable juice or sprinkle on your dishes or your raw vegetables. 2 times per day.
  • In mother tincture: 20 to 30 drop in the morning in a glass of water before the meal.
  • In herbal tea: dried alfalfa (5 g to 10 g per cup of boiling water), 3 times/day without meals.

Contraindications of Alfalfa:

Alfalfa is a healthy natural product that does not involve any particular danger. However, as with all foods, there are some precautions you should take, and remember that everybody reacts differently.

  • Not recommended in cases of disease of the immune system. Such as autoimmune diseases, or in the case of lupus erythematosus.
  • Not recommended for people using immunosuppressants.
  • Pay attention to the interaction with anticoagulant drugs.
  • Not recommended for women with a history of hormone-dependent cancers.

Possible Associations Alfalfa:

The right associations can multiply the benefits. Here are some ideas for alfalfa.

  • For menopause, alfalfa can very well associate with red clover.
  • The strengthening of bones, hair, and nails, can be combined with nettle in the form of herbal tea.
  • It is for stress and tone. Combining it with an adapted genic plant such as Eleutherococcus or Rhodiola is very effective.
  • For a detox, the association of alfalfa and rosemary is interesting. One of the plants takes care of the intestinal toxins while the other takes care of the liver toxins. A winning duo! Want to know more about the plants that protect and drain the liver? Discover the best remedies to cleanse your liver!

 

Culinary tips

  • To retain all of its nutritional properties and crunchiness, it is usually not cooked. It is delicious:
  • As a garnish, instead of the eternal lettuce in your sandwiches of all kinds: hamburger, wraps, fajitas, etc.
  • As a stuffing in pancakes, spring rolls, etc.
  • In omelets, at the very end of cooking. Just add a nice handful of alfalfa sprouts before folding your omelet and serving.
  • In salads of all kinds (even fruit salads).
  • On Soups: Spice up your favorite soups with it, directly in the bowls before enjoying.
  • In smoothies and juices of fresh fruits and/or vegetables.
  • Alfalfa is also very aesthetic and will add a very pleasant touch to decorate your plates, buffets, etc.

Interactions with medicinal plants or supplements

  • No known interaction.

Drug interactions

  • No known interaction.

How to Introduce Alfalfa to Your Diet?

We can eat alfalfa leaves with green leafy vegetables like spinach and chard and cook them. The same way as these.

You can also prepare delicious refreshing water.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup alfalfa leaves (75 g)
  • The juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 cups of water (1 liter)
  • Honey (at your convenience)

Utensils

  • Blender

Preparation

  • Place the alfalfa leaves in the blender, along with the lemon juice and water.
  • Blend for 3 minutes. Add the honey and mix again.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Alfalfa sprouts are also a great option for making salads or as an ingredient in sandwiches.

Alfalfa sprouts are also a great option for making salads or as an ingredient in sandwiches.

 What do you need?

  • A container at least 9 centimeters in diameter and 15 cm in height
  • A small piece of cloth to cover the container
  • An elastic
  • A cup of water (250 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon of alfalfa seeds (10 g).

What should you do?

  • Soak the seeds in water for 3 hours.
  • Cover the container with a cloth, securing it with the elastic.
  • Drain the water and place the container in the sun.
  • Repeat this for a week. Remember to move the container regularly so that the shoots do not get tangled.
  • To consume them, you just need to rinse and disinfect them.

When should you not eat alfalfa?

Despite all its benefits, in some cases it is better to avoid alfalfa, for example:

  • During pregnancy and breastfeeding, you should not consume it because of the action it exerts on estrogen.
  • It is also not recommended if you are taking blood thinners.
  • It is not recommended in patients with autoimmune disorders.
  • Because of its high purine content, people with gout or high uric acid should refrain from consuming alfalfa.
  • If you are sick and have doubts about its consumption or any other food. Always remember to consult a specialist before consuming it or applying any remedy.

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