Part Used: Spray-dried juice of whole herb (no seed)
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is a long-lived perennial herb which has a long history of dietary and medicinal uses. The erect, smooth stem grows from an elongated taproot. Flowers vary in color from purple to yellow and are borne in loose clusters. Pods of Alfalfa range from the sickle type to those that are twisted into spirals. Each pod contains several small kidney shaped seeds. Chinese used it to stimulate appetite and treat digestive problems, particularly ulcers. Ancient Indian Ayurvedic physicians used it to treat ulcers, arthritis pains and fluid retention. Early Americans used it to treat arthritis, boils, cancer, scurvy, and urinary and bowel problems. Pioneer women used it to aid menstruation. Alfalfa is high in Manganese and Vitamin content, providing beta-carotene , various B-vitamins , and vitamins C , E , and K , and can be used as a nutritional supplement. However high doses of Alfalfa may present some health risks. Active constituents of Alfalfa include: Alkaloids (asparagine, trigonelline), Phytoestrogens (formometin, coumestrol, genistein), Minerals 4(Al, B, Ca, Cr, Co, Fe, Mn, Mo, P, K, Se, Si, Na, Sn, Zn), Vitamins C, D, E, K , B Vitamins (Low), b –carotene, Amino acids similar to those found in animal proteins, L-canaverine, Alkalizing salts, Tricin, Saponins, Phytosterols (b -sitosterol, stigmasterol).
According to the most recent evidences and research studies, Alfalfa is used for controlling cholesterol. Alfalfa supplements reduce blood cholesterol levels, particularly for individuals with a specific kind of high cholesterol known as type II hyperlipoproteinemia. Although the exact reasons are not understood completely, fibers and chemicals in Alfalfa appear to stick to cholesterol, keeping it from staying in the blood or depositing in blood vessels. More of the harmful types of cholesterol leave the body, while high-density lipoprotein (HDL) — the “good” kind of cholesterol — seems not to be affected. Several studies on animals have revealed that Alfalfa may also lower blood sugar levels slightly due to its high manganese content. Manganese is a trace element that is thought to be involved with several body processes, including the use of carbohydrates from food. Some of the enzymes that control carbohydrate use and blood sugar levels depend on manganese as an activator. Low levels of manganese have been associated with diabetes in some studies.
Drug Digest. https://www.drugdigest.org/DD/DVH/HerbsWho/0,3923,4014%7CMedicago+sativa,00.html
Australian Naturopathic Network. http://www.ann.com.au/herbs/Monographs/medicago.htm