Alfalfa, scientifically known as Medicago sativa, constitutes a flowering plant. It belongs to Fabaceae, a pea family. The plant is grown as a significant forage crop across the world. This name is primarily used in North America and the crop goes by the name of lucerne elsewhere across Europe, Australia and some parts of Africa. Visually, the crop has striking similarities with clover. Alfalfa is mostly cultivated in regions having a little warmer climate. It has been used as a fodder for livestock since the time of the Romans and the Greeks.
In terms of nutrition, the crop is rich in Vitamin A, B1, B6, C, E, K, protein, calcium, carotene, iron, potassium and zinc. It is mostly used in the form of leaves tea, tablets and seeds.
How does alfalfa help you?
• Alfalfa plays a significant role in reducing body cholesterol. The fibers and chemicals present in the crop get stuck to cholesterol thereby stopping the cholesterol to continue staying in the arterial walls or the blood. While Alfalfa helps in ridding the body of bad cholesterol , the good cholesterol don’t get affected by it. Additionally, alfalfa also stops the growth of plaque on arterial walls. Consequently, the consumption of alfalfa could play an active role in stopping heart diseases and strokes.
• The obvious medical advantages of alfalfa could be extended to cancer as well. Oncological studies have found out the relationship between the consumption of alfalfa and the existence of cancer. Alfalfa could play a significant role in removing the carcinogens from the colon.
• Some of the compounds found in alfalfa have diuretic properties and can remove excess water from the body rather efficiently. Thus, alfalfa is considered to be a good treatment mechanism for edema.
• Traditional and natural treatment procedures passed through the generations suggest the usage of alfalfa seeds to combat respiratory syndromes such as asthma and many others.
• Alfalfa is generally used for the treatment of urological conditions and in order to ease the flow of urine. Additionally, the crop is generally used to treat deficiencies of minerals and vitamins.
Alfalfa could also constitute a good way to fight the various menopausal syndromes in women including the observed deficiency in estrogen as it contains phytoestrogens. It could also help the body in flushing out the toxins. Although not used too widely, alfalfa has distinct health benefits that many people can't deny. However, further studies are underway to understand the