Alfalfa is a field annual plant. People use leaves, sprouts and seeds to make medicines and maintenance complexes. The herb is used in medicine because it is a source of vitamins and antioxidants. People with high cholesterol, asthma, osteoarthritis, diabetes and other diseases have definitely heard about this plant. Alfalfa is used for diseases of the kidneys, bladder and prostate, as well as to increase the outflow of urine.
The introduction of alfalfa in the diet reduces the risks of developing diseases of the cardiovascular and endocrine systems, prevents the appearance of malignant tumors, and also strengthens the immune system.
A little more about the properties of this plant in our article.
5 useful properties of alfalfa
Source of useful substances
Only 200 grams of alfalfa extract saturates the body with the following nutrients: protein (1.3 g), fats (0.2 g), carbohydrates (0.7 g), fiber (0.6 g). The plant contains copper, folic acid, iron, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C and vitamin K.
In addition to many vitamins and minerals, alfalfa contains bioactive compounds such as alkaloids, coumarins, flavonoids and phytoestrogens. These compounds can help prevent health problems such as cancer and heart disease.
Steady blood sugar
Alfalfa is a food rich in fiber. It can help control blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of glucose in the intestine. As a result, diabetes and prediabetes are controlled.
When a person consumes alfalfa for 21 days, there is a decrease in blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides.
Plant compounds called saponins reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine. The “bad” cholesterol of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) decreases and the level of “good” cholesterol of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) increases significantly. Lowering LDL cholesterol helps reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Cleansing the body
Free radicals in the body can cause oxidative stress and cell damage, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and others. Alfalfa antioxidants fight free radicals by removing them naturally. A “clean” body fights these diseases more effectively.
Helping women’s health
Alfalfa contains phytoestrogens, plant hormones that mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen. Alfalfa can be an effective remedy for menstrual disorders, relieve premenstrual syndrome, help prevent or treat symptoms of menopause. In addition, it supports the body for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and for the prevention of breast cancer.
Alfalfa extract helps a woman during lactation. The plant is considered a plant-based galactagogue. This means that alfalfa can stimulate the production of breast milk. In fact, alfalfa is one of the most popular traditional medicines used as a galactagogue along with black seed (nigella sativa) and fenugreek (trigonella foenum-graecum).
Safety and contraindications
Like any highly effective plant, in some cases, the use of alfalfa can harm a person.
In what situations should you pay special attention to contraindications?
- Pregnancy. This is the main contraindication for women. Alfalfa can increase the tension of the uterine muscles. This condition is accompanied by a series of unpleasant sensations: pain and heaviness in the lower abdomen. In the early stages, increased concentration can lead to egg death and miscarriage, and in the late stages – to complications during childbirth.
- Taking oral contraceptives. Alfalfa increases the level of estrogen in the blood, so it can lead to unwanted pregnancy.
- Taking medications. The combination of alfalfa with anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents or thrombolytics can significantly reduce the pharmacological effects of drugs. It can also lead to various thrombosis or thromboembolic complications.
- The presence of autoimmune diseases. People with scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and other diseases are not recommended to take alfalfa. The plant enhances the pathological immune response and exacerbates these pathologies.
Please note that due to the high fiber content, eating alfalfa can cause gas, abdominal discomfort and diarrhea.
It is not necessary to introduce raw alfalfa into the diet because of possible bacterial pathogens, for example, salmonella and E. coli. It is better to choose a complex food additive in lozenges or Herbal infusion.
In what form to get the most out of it?
The most popular types of alfalfa are medicines, dietary supplements and parts of the raw plant.
Seeds, sprouts and seedlings are very popular in folk medicine and cooking. There is a high level of fluoride in the composition and this is a great advantage. Fluoride helps to cleanse the body and strengthen teeth and bones.
Dietary supplements are an option for those who care about their health and want to protect it from the harmful effects of the environment in advance. Alfalfa extract is a natural phytopreparation, the natural effect of which is enhanced by modern raw material processing technologies. The extract preserves all the useful qualities and increases their digestibility.
Take one tablet of the complex «Alfalfa-extra» per day to get all the beneficial properties of the plant.
If for some reason the pills don’t suit you, try Infusion of herbs №6. One teaspoon a day, diluted in water, will replace several vitamin complexes at once.
Alfalfa is highly valued for its beneficial properties. Its benefits for humans are not embellished, but confirmed by many scientific studies. This natural source of macro- and microelements helps the body to remove toxins and cleanse itself from the inside, protecting organs from arthritis, gout, edema and nephritis. Useful components restrain viral infections, relieve pain spasms and inflammation.
Be careful when using this plant. He has a number of serious limitations that you need to listen to.