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Powerfoods: Alfalfa

The benefits of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) were first discovered thousands of years ago by the Arabs. They found that when horses ate alfalfa they were stronger and faster. Alfalfa is a plant which sends its roots down twenty to thirty feet into the ground and brings up the minerals that are not available on the surface. For this reason, the Arabic word Alfalfa means “father of plants”. Alfalfa has also been used by the Chinese since the sixth century to treat several health conditions. It is considered the richest land source of trace minerals.

  • Since alfalfa is a rich source of phytoestrogens, it is used to ease menopausal symptoms
  • Alkaloids in the plant can assist in normalising the function of liver, reducing constipation and relieving the symptoms of colon disorders
  • Are known to have diuretic properties that aid efficient flushing out of water from the body – a remedy for edema, which is the accumulation of excess water in the body
  • Contains derivatives of coumarin, an antiplatelet substance that reduces blood clotting and may protect the body from atherosclerosis, which is the fatty plaque buildup along the artery walls
  • Alfalfa seeds have been used to combat asthma and other breathing conditions
  • Alfalfa helps to bind carcinogens in the colon, and is effective in colon cancer treatment
  • Alfalfa grass or alfalfa sprouts are very rich in iron, calcium and phosphorus – highly effective in safeguarding healthy teeth and in preventing tooth decay
  • The juice of alfalfa, in combination with equal amounts of carrot and lettuce juice, taken daily, assists in the growth of hair and in the prevention of hair loss
  • Alfalfa also contains power packed levels of vitamin B12, which helps combat the onset of pernicious anemia
  • Alfalfa is known to reduce blood sugar levels, and is therefore considered a natural treatment for diabetes
  • Vitamins A, C, E and Zinc in Alfalfa are proven to help dissolve kidney stones
  • Alfalfa can help in treating rheumatoid arthritis and type 2 diabetes

Caution

  • As with all herbal products, moderation is the key to avoiding adverse reactions.
  • For example, excessive consumption of alfalfa may cause the breakdown of red blood cells, which is extremely serious.

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