Scientific Name/Common Name: Medicago sativa/Alfalfa
Part(s) Used: Herb/aerial portions/sprouts
Constituents/Active Ingredients: Alkaloids, isoflavones, coumarins, sterols, vitamins, and minerals.
Overview: Alfalfa is widely used in human foods, animal feeds, and livestock forages around the world due to its high nutritional value. Alfalfa is also used in both Western and traditional Chinese medicine and use of the herb dates back thousands of years. Alfalfa is a good source of B vitamins and vitamins C, D, E, and K. Alfalfa is also rich in the minerals calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron. This abundance of nutrients has made alfalfa a popular tonic for treating debility of convalescence when brewed into tea or as a nutritious herb to add into salads.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: Traditionally used for debility, poor nutrition, and as a tea for diuretic effects. Alfalfa leaf extract has also been used as a source of iron and folic acid for anemic women.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Nutrition Research Center, Alfalfa Nutritional Value. Nutritionresearchcenter.org (21 March 2008). Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
T. Bartram, FNIHM, Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, (New York, New York: Marlowe and Company),1998, p.14.
Vyas S, Collin SM, Bertin E, Davys GJ, Mathur B. Leaf concentrate as an alternative to iron and folic acid supplements for anaemic adolescent girls: a randomised controlled trial in India. Public Health Nutr. 2010 Mar;13(3):418-23.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.