I’ve personally seen the benefit of many different herbs, even in situations where medicine or conventional remedies didn’t work at all.
Many herbs also have very nourishing properties and can be used in special combinations in foods and drinks to improve the body’s absorption of those substances.
Each week, I’ll be profiling an herb and talking about its many uses…
This week: Alfalfa! To some of you, this may bring thoughts of a type of hay or a character from the Little Rascals, but Alfalfa is a powerhouse among herbs, the Pavel of herbs, so to speak.
Sometimes also called Buffalo Herb, or scientifically, Medicago sativa, Alfalfa means “Father of all Foods” and deserves its name! Alfalfa contains a wide variety of minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine, sodium, potassium, silicon, and trace elements. It is also a good source of Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting.
Alfalfa contains essential amino acids, which are not made by the body but must be obtained from food sources. Because Alfalfa is so easy to assimilate, it is used as the base in vitamins and supplements and it contains the highest chlorophyll content of any plant (in fact, it is used in Liquid Chlorophyll, which has a very high nutrient content).
- Cleansing the blood
- Helping alleviate allergies
- Aids in blood clotting
- Promotes healthy digestion
- Can easy morning sickness
- Is helpful in reversing tooth decay and remineralizing teeth
- Great source of Vitamin K so it helps improve Baby’s Vitamin K levels at birth if mom drinks during pregnancy (recipe for an herbal tea for pregnancy here)
- Supports the pituitary gland
- Supportive during nursing
- Helps ease morning sickness
- Helps ease gout
- Aids with all forms of arthritis
Alfalfa is used in alternative medicine to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. The high concentration of alkaloids in Alfalfa make it useful in reducing blood sugar levels.
It is also commonly used as a blood detoxifier and for any types of arthritis or joint problems. It is a great source of many nutrients and is generally considered safe for children, adults and pregnant/nursing mothers.
The one caution about alfalfa is not to use in combination with blood thinning agents or medications as it is so effective it can interfere or amplify the effects of these.
How We Use Alfalfa
In our family, we add alfalfa to many of our herbal teas, tinctures and to food. I make a tea for the kids with Alfalfa, Red Raspberry and Peppermint as a source of vitamins and minerals that they love to drink. (We buy it in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs)
We also drink a lot of Liquid Chlorophyll, which is a concentrated liquid of the chlorophyllins from the fresh alfalfa plant. We love this brand because it has a minty taste, and even the kids love to drink it. When the kids are sick, this is often all I can get them to take, and its purifying and detoxifying properties help them recover more quickly. Since it is so high in nutrients, I also don’t worry if they don’t eat as much while they are sick.
During pregnancy, I add Alfalfa to my pregnancy tea (recipe here) and give high doses of alfalfa in herbal teas if anyone gets sick. Due to its mild flavor, I also add scoops of dried alfalfa to smoothies and drinks. I take liquid chlorophyll daily, especially during pregnancy, since we opt out of the Vitamin K shot at birth (we do an oral version instead).
Ever used alfalfa? Taken Liquid Chlorophyll? What herbs do you use?