Alfalfa Benefits & Uses for Improved Health

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Alfalfa Herb benefits and uses
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Remedies » Alfalfa Benefits & Uses for Improved Health

I use herbal remedies for many things on a daily basis. From homemade lotions, to infused oils and salves, to herbal teas and veggie smoothies, we use a lot of different herbs each day for the nutritional benefits and one of my favorites is alfalfa.

Alfalfa, you ask? Isn’t that what they feed cows, horses, and other livestock?

Yes, it does have a long history of use in feed for livestock, in large part due to its high protein and complete nutritional profile. There are more tender parts of young alfalfa plants that are edible and beneficial for people, too, and it is more commonly used for human consumption in Europe than in the US.

Alfalfa is particularly helpful for some pregnancy-related symptoms, so it’s one all moms should get to know.

Alfalfa: One of My Favorite Healing Herbs

To some of you, alfalfa may bring thoughts of a type of hay or a character from the Little Rascals, but I’d like to introduce you to the real deal. A powerhouse among herbs, alfalfa means “Father of All Foods” and deserves its name!

Sometimes also called lucerne, buffalo herb, or Medicago sativa, alfalfa is a member of the pea family. It has a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicines for digestive complaints, jaundice, and blood clotting disorders. There is also evidence that some 19th-century physicians used alfalfa for the same purposes and also to encourage lactation in nursing mothers.

It’s special claim to fame is not only high level of nutrients but also how easily the body can absorb and assimilate them. Alfalfa is generally considered safe for children, adults, and pregnant and nursing mothers for nutritional support.

I’ve personally seen the benefit of many different herbs, even in situations where medicine or conventional remedies didn’t work at all. Here’s how alfalfa can help support the body in specific ways:

Nutritional Benefits of Alfalfa

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.

It also contains essential amino acids that are not made by the body but must be obtained from food sources. Because it is so easy to assimilate, many greens powders and vitamins use it as a base. Also, it contains the highest chlorophyll content of any plant and is often used to make liquid chlorophyll, which is highly nutritious.

As mentioned, alfalfa does an especially good job of:

  • cleansing the blood
  • alleviating allergies
  • promoting healthy blood clotting
  • supporting healthy digestion
  • easing morning sickness
  • reversing tooth decay and remineralizing teeth
  • increasing milk supply during nursing
  • supplementing vitamin K (drinking it in tea during pregnancy helps improve baby’s vitamin K levels at birth)
  • supporting the pituitary gland
  • relieving all forms of arthritis
  • easing menopause symptoms (when combined with sage)

Medicinally, alfalfa is even used in alternative medicine to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. Its high concentration of alkaloids make it useful in reducing blood sugar levels and it is also commonly used as a blood detoxifier and for any types of arthritis or joint problems.

Alfalfa Cautions & Dosage

Healthy Uses for Alfalfa Herb

While not all of these benefits are supported by medical studies (yet), they are worth mentioning because of alfalfa’s long history of successful, safe use. The University of Michigan asserts that there are no known contraindications to date, with the exception of consuming very large amounts. The dosage generally considered safe is 500-1,000 mg of the dried leaf per day or 1-2 ml of tincture three times daily.

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 to Use Alfalfa

In our family, we primarily use dried alfalfa in herbal teas and tinctures. I buy it in bulk here, or check your local health food store. Just make sure to buy from an organic source as otherwise it’s likely to be treated with pesticides in conventional crops.

Alfalfa Sprouts

Consuming fresh alfalfa sprouts either lightly steamed or in a salad is another option. Since consuming sprouts comes with many benefits but also a few cautions, I vary these with other types of sprouts and don’t consume them all of the time.

Herbal Tea

I make an herbal tea for the kids by using equal parts alfalfa, red raspberry leaf, and peppermint as a source of vitamins and minerals that they love to drink. To brew, I just pour 8 ounces of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of the tea mixture and let steep for at least 5 minutes before drinking.

Nursing Tea

As I mentioned, alfalfa is especially supportive during breastfeeding. Here’s how to use it in a homemade herbal nursing tea blend.

Mutivitamin Tincture

Another more concentrated option that’s quick to administer is this homemade multivitamin tincture that’s safe for kids or adults. This process is similar to making tea but much stronger since it steeps for 3 weeks or more. A tincture like this keeps for months and a small dropperful is all that’s needed to get the benefits.

Liquid Chlorophyll

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. (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.


Due to its mild flavor, I also add scoops of dried alfalfa to green smoothies and drinks.

The Bottom Line on Using Alfalfa

There’s a reason cultures have been using alfalfa for centuries. It’s one of the foundations of our food chain and a vital source of vitamins and chlorophyll. Adding it into the diet in the ways described above can improve health and energy with few side effects or risks. Give it a try!

This article was medically reviewed by Jessica Meyers, MPAP, PA-C, RH(AHG), who specializes in herbal protocols and functional medicine. You can also find Jessica on Instagram. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

Ever used alfalfa? Taken liquid chlorophyll? What herbs do you use?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


89 responses to “Alfalfa Benefits & Uses for Improved Health”

  1. Larissa Lalor Avatar
    Larissa Lalor

    I am looking for a good liquid chlorophyll brand for pregnancy. The Nature’s Sunshine brand you recommended is not organic or non-GMO, plus it has methylparaben and propylparaben as preservatives. I am very surprised you would recommend a product that contains parabens given the potential for hormone disruption.
    Do you have any other recommendations for liquid chlorophyll brands?

  2. Lindsee Avatar

    Hi Katie I was just wondering your insight on the phytoestrogen aspect of alfalfa. From what I have read it can cause estrogenic cancers? I am getting over hormones imbalance/thyroid issues and pregnant and my partner has had personal issues with estrogenic cancer in his past and doesn’t feel comfortable with me consuming such foods. What is your opinion if you can give one and if not do you have a good suggestion to replace it in my pregnancy tea? I’m already using RRL, Nettle, Oatstraw, and Dandelion Leaf. Thank you so much for anything you can tell me.

  3. Kathy Cook Avatar
    Kathy Cook

    I have had a diereah for 6months started taking Alfalfa 650 mg. 3 times a day and it’s almost gone. I had every stool test known to man and nothing showed up. But this is helping I’ve not been able to leave the house for nothing. Is this ok to do?

  4. Brittany Avatar

    Thanks for all this information! I recently bought organic alfalfa powder. I mix it with water, about a tbsp. What’s a safe dosage for a 30 lb child? Would you have any info on that? Thanks so much.

  5. Rhoda Avatar

    My husband has dealt with severe back and hip pain for years. Doctors could find no reason for the pain until he was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease (diagnosed in 2005) and that he was one of about 10% with severe pain with it (this diagnosis came in 2010). He had tried just about every prescription and medication out there. Most did absolutely nothing to stop the pain; others either ate up his stomach or knocked him completely out. Basically there was nothing he could take to help as he still needed to function. A friend suggested alfalfa, as it helps with inflammation. He’s been on alfalfa since about 2003 or 2004. He takes 1 capsule (680 mg) three times a day. He still has pain, but it is manageable and he is able to function with no other pain medication. The alfalfa does not interfere with his PD meds which is a blessing. The few times that I have run out of the alfalfa that he takes, he is in more pain, so I definitely try to keep plenty on hand.
    Thank you for the article and info on alfalfa. I always knew the good alfalfa was doing for my husband, but had no idea just how good it was overall. May need to get a larger supply and put all of us on it! Especially now with allergy season.

  6. Alexis Avatar

    Thanks for sharing the post on Alfalfa. Before I read your post, I wasn’t aware of such a plant. There are a lot of health benefits that this plant carries. Getting to know that the plant can be consumed in the form of smoothies and tea was interesting.

  7. Marilyn Avatar

    A little word of warning here: alfalfa is also a natural diuretic and laxative…

  8. Catherine Avatar

    Just be aware that GMO Alfalfa has been approved for planting in the USA. Make sure the product you use is non-GMO alfalfa. See the Non GMO Project website concerning high-risk foods that include alfalfa (search “non-gmo project alfalfa”).

  9. Dolores Guertin Avatar
    Dolores Guertin

    As others have mentioned, caution with herbs, what is good for one is not necessarily good for another. If someone has an autoimmune disorder, and depending if they a Th1 or Th2 dominant, alfalfa could be the wrong choice:)

  10. Sherryl Avatar

    Hi Katie,
    When you make the Raspberry/Alphalpha/Peppermint tea, do you use equal amounts of each? I just bought a Kitchenaid tea maker and want to put it into good use!
    Thank you.

  11. Lancy Avatar

    Hey ladies, I have taken alfalfa capsules in my second and third pregnancies. I heard it was good to prevent eclampsia and preclampsia witch I had in my first pregnancy and sure enough no signs of it. But I can’t find any information for that online. Do you know anything about this?

  12. Neetu Avatar

    I am RA positive since 4yrs, and also suffering from ostopenia, can I use alfalfa calcium?

  13. Brittany Avatar

    Is there a capsulated for you can recommend I’m looking into this for my dog allergy as my husband is about to get a service dog.

  14. Karen Avatar

    Hi, when I was checking out the “minty” chlorophyll you mentioned, because even your kids will drink it, when I looked at the reviews, I found several who rated it low because it has parabens in it. It doesn’t really have a name brand but it’s “kosher” and comes in a 2 pack. I wonder if the Organiz DeSouza brand also has parabens? Does anyone know?

  15. Mary Avatar

    Hi is it OK to take 2 natures way Alfa max capsules and my vitacost advanced K2 complex ?


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