Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
Alfalfa has been used by the Chinese since the sixth century to treat kidney stones, and to relieve fluid retention and swelling. It is a perennial herb that grows throughout the world in a variety of climates. Alfalfa grows to about 3 feet and has blue flowers that bloom from July to September.
First discovered by the Arabs they dubbed this valuable plant the "father of all foods". They fed alfalfa to their horses claiming it make the animals swift and strong. The leaves of the alfalfa plant are rich in minerals and nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and carotene(useful against both heart disease and cancer). leaf tablets are also rich in protein, vitamins E and K. Alfalfa extract is used by food makers as a source for chlorophyll and carotene.
The leaves of this remarkable legume contain eight essential amino acids. Alfalfa is a good laxative and a natural diuretic. It is useful in the treatment of urinary tract infections, and kidney,bladder and prostrate disorders. Alkalizes and detoxifies the body, especially the liver. Promotes pituitary gland function and contains anti-fungus agent.
Common use: This versatile herb is also a folk remedy for arthritis, diabetes, asthma, hay fever, and is reputed to be an excellent appetite stimulant and overall tonic. Excellent source of nutritive properties with mineral, chlorophyll and vitamins. Alfalfa is high in chlorophyll and nutrients.
Alfalfa as an Herbal Medication Throughout History
For more then 1,500 years alfalfa has been used in herbal medicine
As early as 490. B.C. its use is recorded in Roman records. The following are early known uses of alfalfa for medicinal purposes.
• The ancient Chinese used it to treat digestive problems, such as ulcers, and to stimulate the appetite. It was often prescribed by traditional physicians of the time.
• Ayurvedic physicians in ancient India used it as a treatment for ulcers, fluid retention and arthritis pain.
• The Spanish brought alfalfa to the colonies in the 1700s where early settlers used it for the treatment of arthritis, cancer and boils. They also used it for treating scurvy and for bowel and urinary problems. Early pioneer women used alfalfa to bring on menstruation.
• Native American Indians used alfalfa to promote blood clotting and treat jaundice.
• Herbalists of the 1800s used a tonic made from alfalfa to treat indigestion, anemia and dyspepsia. They also used it for those that experienced a loss of appetite or assimilated nutrients poorly.
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