Alfalfa

Latin:  Medicago sativa

Family:  Fabaceae

Parts Used:  Leaves and flowers

Taste/Energetics:  Cooling, moistening

Properties:  Nutritive, vitamin and mineral rich,, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic

Actions:  Alfalafa is an herb that I think of when I want to offer people a rich source of vitamins and minerals in tea form.  It contains good sources of vitamins A, B vitamins (including B12), C, D,  E and K as well high in protein, iron, magnesium,  calcium and trace minerals.   Unlike synthetic vitamins that are very difficult to absorb, alfalfa offers a cornucopia of assimilable nutrients. Alfalafa seems to be deeply helpful for those who are eating a heavy processed food diet with litte plant life.  There may be a feeling of exhaustion, toxicity, acidity in the blood stream that is coming out as itchiness, boils and carbuncles, psoriasis and arthritis.  Alfalafa has a nice soothing but also slightly bitter quality that helps the digestive system to heal, restore itself and in turn assimilate food better and thereby bring greater energy and vitality to the whole system.

Alfalafa is knows as having a number of phytoestrogens, which are compounds derived from a variety of plants.  Generally phytoestrogens can help reduce a number of ailments such as heart disease, breast cancer and menopausal symptoms.  This is a complex topic and I urge you to read the great article by the folks at the Chestnut School of herbal medicine to explore how phytoestrogens can help improve health and wellbeing.

By itself, alfalfa has a pretty strong flavor, or as my wife likes to put it-  alfalfa tastes like hay from a farm after its sat around for a while.

Dosage:  This is an herb that can be steeped in hot water for a longer period of time- upwards of a couple hours- in order to get all those nice nutrients extracted.  However, the longer it is steeped the more bitter the infusion will become.  Generally a quarter cup of alfalfa to a pint of hot water is a good strong dose.

Contraindications:  None

Further Reading:

The effects of aqueous extract of alfalfa on blood glucose and lipids in alloxan-induced diabetic rats

Phytoestrogens  Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine