Alfalfa Leaf benefits us in so many ways. After reading this post, you will walk away knowing more about this superfood and how to incorporate it into your eating style.
The word “alfalfa” comes from the Arabic phrase, al-fac-facah, meaning “father of all foods.” It stands to reason, alfalfa is extremely nutritious. Sometimes also called Buffalo Herb, or scientifically, Medicago sativa, Alfalfa deserves its name!
Is Alfalfa Leaf the father of all foods? No, the natural foods world is full of foods that are claimed to be the most nutrient rich but we know from the ANDI scores for one, that Kale has the highest nutrient density so I don’t think it gives you as broad array of nutrients as a fresh bunch of Kale; but, Alfalfa Leaf is a nutrient rich superfood as a leafy green nonetheless. Nutrient density is not the only factor that make a food nutrient rich.
Alfalfa Leaf contains a wide variety of minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine, sodium, potassium, silicon, and trace elements. It is also a good source of Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and is loaded with other phytochemicals that make it’s vitamin and mineral content pale by comparison, as Phytochemicals are the major micronutrient load of any leafy, green or colored vegetable.
Let’s now look at what Alfalfa is, how alfalfa benefits us, and how it can help us promote health, and prevent or manage certain diseases.
What is Alfalfa?
Alfalfa /æl?fælf?/, Medicago sativa, also called lucerne, is a perennial flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae cultivated as an important forage crop in many countries around the world. The English name alfalfa is widely used, particularly in North America. But in the UK, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, the more commonly used name is lucerne. It superficially resembles clover, with clusters of small purple flowers followed by fruits spiralled in 2 to 3 turns containing 10-20 seeds. Alfalfa is native to a warmer temperate climate such as that of Iran (where it is thought to have originated). It has been cultivated as livestock fodder since at least the era of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
History of Alfalfa Use
Remains of Alfalfa leaf have been found in Persian ruins dating back six thousand years and early Turkish writings mention Alfalfa around 1300 B.C.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has used alfalfa leaf to stimulate the appetite and relieve ulcers. Indian Ayurveda medicine has used alfalfa leaf to relieve water retention, arthritis, and ulcers. Colonial Americans used the plant to fight scurvy, menstrual difficulties, arthritis, and urinary problems.
Native Americans used the seeds as a thickening paste and nutrient additive. Herbal physicians in 19th century America used alfalfa as an ingredient in general tonics. At home, alfalfa seeds were ground into a poultice used to soothe insect bites. Nursing mothers have also used the leaf, which is believed to help stimulate the flow of breast milk
Likely truth of the matter, is that it’s a nutrient rich foods, which when eaten in place of other nutrient poor foods, both nourishes and detoxifies the body, while promoting an environment of healing. Does it specifically, cure or reverse disease? Probably not, but it does have it’s own unique properties and like all leafy green, green vegetables etc, eating them in abundance is health promoting.
Improvement or reversal of lifestyle-induced diseases such as…
Inflammatory disease from obesity to arthritis
Cardiovascular diseases from high blood pressure to atherosclerosis.
Lowers cholesterol because it does not contain cholesterol and is consumed in place or cholesterol containing or elevating foods.
Auto immune diseases
Increased Energy efficiency from no longer over-consuming calories and increased cellular function.
Improved muscle function
Alfalfa powder consumption is safe for healthy adults, but excessive use of alfalfa powder is contraindicated as it causes the breakdown of red blood cells. As the powder is made from mature leaves, it is devoid of canavanine and hormonally-active saponins, thus can be consumed by pregnant women under medical supervision. People suffering from autoimmune disease (systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)) must not consume any form of alfalfa.
How Do You Add Alfalfa Into Your Meals?
Enjoy Alfalfa Leaf as an ingredients to juices and smoothies.
· Sprinkle on soups and salads
· Consume the juice extracted from alfalfa leaves. It would help if this juice is mixed with carrot juice as it might get too intense.
· Alfalfa tea made from alfalfa seeds and dried alfalfa leave.
Recipe For Alfalfa Smoothie
· 1medium banana
· 1 apple
· 1 tbsp. of flaxseeds
· 3 kale leaves
· 1 tsp. alfalfa powder
· Handful carrots
· Water to desired consistency
Add contents to Blender and blend thoroughly..And ENJOY!
Enjoy great health with Alfalfa!