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12 July 2012

Alfafa Information

Information about the herb Alfalfa

Medicago sativa, also known as Buffalo Herb is part of the Papilionacae plant familyAlfalfa is widely grown throughout the world. It is a perennial plant native to Central and Western Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean region but was originally found in Medea, Spain, Italy and France.


Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)

General Information

Botanical Name: Medicago sativa
Common Name: Buffalo Herb, Lucerne, Purple Medic
Plant Family: Papilionacae (a member of the pea family)
History:
  • The first recorded mention of Alfalfa is in a book by the Emperor of China written in 2939 BC
  • It was imported into Greece from the East, after Darius discovered discovered it in Medea (from where it gets its botanical name Medicago).
  • The Arabs gave Alfalfa its name which means 'father of all foods' and fed it to their horses to make them run faster.
FolkLore:
In folk lore Alfalfa was used:
  • ashes burnt and scattered around a property to protect it
  • used in Wicca rites to protect the home from poverty and hunger


Plant Constituents of Alfalfa
Contains:
  • calcium
  • carotene
  • chlorophyll
  • choline
  • coumarin derivatives
  • eight essential amino acids
  • flavones
  • iron
  • isoflavones (estrogen-like effects) 
  • lime
  • magnesium 
  • phosphorus
  • protein (high protein content)
  • potassium
  • saponins (2–3%) 
  • silicon
  • sodiums
  • sterols
  • vitamins A, D, B1, B6, E, K, U
  • zinc
and the essential enzymes:
  • amylase (acts on starch)
  • coagulase (coagulates milk and clots blood)
  • emulsin (acts on sugar)
  • invertase (changes cane sugar to dextrose
  • lipase (splits fat)
  • pectinase (forms vegetable jelly from pectin)
  • peroxidase (has an oxidizing effect on the blood)
  • protease (digests proteins)
Action: Alkalizes and detoxifies the body, especially the liver. Promotes pituitary gland function and contains an anti-fungus agent.
  • anti-anemic [agent to relieve anemia]
  • appetizer [an agent that excites the appetite]
  • diuretic [an agent that increases the secretion and expulsion of urine]
  • galactagogue [an agent to increase mammary gland function]
  • laxative [an agent promoting evacuation of the bowels]
  • nutrient [gives nourishment]
  • tonic [an agent that strengthens or invigorates organs or the entire organism]


Usage of Alfalfa
Medicinal Part used: Whole herb and leaf
Alfalfa has been used  extensively over the years in India, and has been used by the Chinese since the sixth century to:
  • relieve fluid retention and swelling
  • treat kidney stones
Alfalfa is commonly used for:
Blood Conditions
  • anemia (with Nettles and Oatstraw)
  • blood thinner
  • boils
  • helps the blood clot
Brain and Nervous System Conditions
  • recuperation of narcotic and alcohol addiction
Cardiovascular Conditions
  • heart disease
  • prevents the formation of atherosclerotic plaques
  • stroke
Female Conditions
  • late or irregular menstruation
  • menopausal symptoms
  • stimulates lactation (milk supply) in nursing mothers
Fungal Conditions
  • anti-fungal
Gastrointestinal Conditions
  • appetite stimulant for loss of appetite
  • bowel problems
  • digestive disorders
  • dyspepsia
  • peptic ulcers
  • poor assimilation of nutrients
  • poor digestion
  • regulates the bowels
  • relieves gastric ulcers
  • stomach upset

Genitourinary Conditions
  • eliminates retained water
  • fluid retention and swelling
  • kidney, bladder and prostrate disorders
  • kidney cleanser
  • kidney stones
  • relieves urinary problems
  • urinary tract infections 
Glandular Conditions
  • nourishes pituitary gland
  • promotes pituitary gland function
Immune System Conditions
  • hay fever
Inflammatory Conditions
  • arthritis
Liver Conditions
  • blocks absorption of cholesterol
  • detoxifies the the liver
  • jaundice
Male Conditions
  • prostrate disorders
Respiratory Tract Conditions
  • asthma
Other Conditions
  • alkalizes and detoxifies the body
  • cancer (binds carcinogens in the colon to help speed up their elimination from the body)
  • debility
  • diabetes
  • overall tonic for general health
  • fatigue
  • stimulates the growth of supportive connective tissue
  • weight gain
Other Uses:
  • sprouts used in salad
Precautions
Caution:


Alfalfa should not be eaten by pregnant or nursing women or young children due to:
  • its ability to bring on menstruation (periods)
  • the estrogenic effects of some of Alfalfa's components
Drug Interactions:
Do not use Alfalfa without first talking to your practitioner or healthcare provider if you taking any of the following medications:
  • Warfarin (Coumadin) (the high vitamin K content in Alfalfa could make the drug less effective)
Source :  globalherbal  & kak farihah

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