Acres of this legume grow outside my backdoor. My husband spends countless hours cutting, baling, carrying and feeding it to our dairy cattle. I pop 12 of the encapsulated form of it daily.
What is this precious food and why all the fuss?
Alfalfa – fodder to cattle, superfood to humans. Known as the “king of herbs”, or “father of all foods” alfalfa’s use dates as far back as 2000BC and continues to be used today with great medicinal effects.
The Near East cultivated alfalfa for feeding animals during the Bronze Age. Arabs noticed their race horses had an increase in performance after being fed alfalfa. Sign me up!
Just look at what this “king of herbs” is really capable of:
One of the most noteworthy benefits of alfalfa is the high nutrient content. This herb has a very long tap root (as long as 20 feet!) which just soaks up all the minerals that other plants can’t reach.
Alfalfa contains virtually all known vitamins, including Vitamin K. Alfalfa is also mineral rich but in a balanced form. As well, alfalfa is high in chlorophyll.
Not too shabby!
This is why I love to add alfalfa to herbal tea blends. My daughter’s have all sipped on Pregnancy Tea through their second and third trimester. Alfalfa is one of the star ingredients in this nutrient dense tea.
Elderly people or convalescent patients would benefit from alfalfa tea as well. In fact anyone who has illnesses related to nutritional deficiencies or those who have anemia would do well to consume alfalfa regularly.
Due to the saponins contained in alfalfa (2-3%), it may help reduce cholesterol levels. The saponins may block the absorption of cholesterol and the formation of plaque in the arteries. It is often used by herbalists for this purpose.
The high chlorophyll content of alfalfa alkalizes and detoxifies the body – and purifies the blood. This has numerous advantages to the health of our health. Free radical damage is greatly reduced when detoxification occurs.
All that chlorophyll, all that alkalizing effects has huge benefits for our skin! People with eczema, dry skin and other skin disorders have used alfalfa with great results.
As well, the chlorophyll content in alfalfa may be the reason that arthritis sufferers benefit from alfalfa. Alfalfa contains all the minerals necessary for bone formation AND helps reduce inflammation.
Women love alfalfa because it has the unique ability to balance hormones. This may come about because of the phytoestrogens found in alfalfa. Phytoestrogens aren’t really estrogens but act as estrogens in the body. Menopausal women find the greatest benefit from alfalfa supplementation.
Blood Sugar Balancing
Certain minerals in alfalfa may have the ability to assist the body in using carbohydrates from food. This ability could balance out blood sugar levels.
Soothes Tummy Upsets
Alfalfa contains digestive enzymes and herbal bitters which are really helpful with intestinal ulcers as well aiding in digestion.
So, who shouldn’t take alfalfa?
Because of the high level of Vitamin K, those who are on blood thinners should not take high doses of alfalfa..
As well, those who have systemic lupus erythematosus should be cautious of supplementing with alfalfa. *note
Alright. You’ve heard all the good things about alfalfa. You’re just dying to start using alfalfa and deriving all the wonderful benefits of alfalfa. Short of going out into the pasture with my cows, what’s the best way to take alfalfa?
The best way is to use alfalfa capsules or use the dried bulk herb from a good herb supplier.
One common way is to use dried alfalfa leaf in strong teas. For a super nutritious tea, steep 1/3 cup dried alfalfa leaves in 1 quart boiled water for a good 3-4 hours. Strain and sip throughout the day.
The most common way to take alfalfa is in capsule form. This is what I generally do. I don’t know of anyone who has better alfalfa at the right price than Teresa Tapp at T-Tapp.com
Either way, be sure to include this powerhouse herb in your daily supplements!
*T-Tapp’s Premium Blended Alfalfa is safe for autoimmune diseases such as, Arthritis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s, etc. The main reason is because our brand does not have any seeds or sprouts. You may purchase it here.
Diane Van Doesburg is a Clinical Master Herbalist and Holistic Wellness Professional with Back-to Basics principles for natural herbal remedies and happy, healthy living for your family.