Alfalfa

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Medicago sativa (Alfalfa)

Medicago sativa known as Alfalfa is Native to Asia, Europe and North America. Alfalfa has been grown and cultivated for centuries for both nutritional and medicinal purposes. It grows a perennial herb with violet-blue flowers, seed pods and three-lobed leaves.1 
 
The seeds from Alfalfa have been used for thousand of years, both nutritionally and medicinally, the seeds are harvested in the summer months.2   Furthermore, in folk medicine alfalfa was known to be used in the treatment of diabetes and the thyroid gland disorders.
 
Alfalfa is used in treating female menstrual concerns, as well as in menopause due to it’s estrogenic activity, and may convey phytoestrogenic protection for the female body.3 It is known therapeutically, for stimulating appetite and digestion.3 Furthermore, due it’s antioxidant ability, Alfalfa has been clinically studied to lower cholesterol levels.3 Alfalfa is also known to be hepatoprotective to the liver due it’s ability to protect kupffer cells in the body.2 Alfalfa can also be used to assist in strengthening one’s debility and improving general body weakness.5  
 
Lastly, alfalfa has been well-studied and documented for it’s antifungal properties, particularly when applied topically for skin related fungal infections and lesions.4
 
References:
 
1. Brinker, Francis. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, 3rd Edition. Sandy Eclectic Medical Publications, 2001. Print. 
2. Chevallier, Andrew. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. DK Publishing, 1996. Print.
3. Godfrey, Anthony and Saunders Paul R. Principles and Practice of Naturopathic Botanical Medicine: Volume I: Botanical Medicine Monographs. CCNM Press Inc, 2010. Print.
4. Heber, David. PDR for Herbal Medicines. Thomson, 2007. Print. 
5. Bone, Kerry. The Ultimate Herbal Compendium: A Desktop Guide for Herbal Prescribers. Phytotherapy Press, 2007. Print. 
 

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