The word alfalfa means "father of all foods." It has been called the king of plants because it is extremely rich in vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, chloline, sodium, potassium, silicon, and trace elements. It is also called Buffalo Herb, Lucerne, and Purple Medic.
For 1500 years, alfalfa has been used as a food and herbal medicine. The ancient Greeks used it to treat bladder and kidney conditions. The Chinese used alfalfa to treat kidney stones.
Alfalfa also makes a popular addition to herb teas. The combination of alfalfa and mint tea has historically been regarded as a soothing beverage to aid the process of digestion. This is probably due to the fact that alfalfa contains the digestive enzyme betaine.
Alfalfa contains natural chlorophyllins (the green coloring matter in plants). The high beta-carotene content of alfalfa is thought to strengthen the epithelial cells of the mucous membranes of the stomach, and could be responsible for its reported effects on ulcers. Its blood-purifying properties may be due to other factors, but have sometimes been attributed to the chlorophyll content.
Alfalfa is considered an excellent herbal source of vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, and vitamin B-1. Alfalfa is very high in cobalt, crude fiber, and protein.
Tid Bits You'll Want to Know
Cautions: Alfalfa has some blood clotting properties; it's advisable to avoid using it while taking blood thinning agents for conditions such as lupus.
Uses: It's mostly used for internal applications: teas, tinctures, capsules, food recipes, etc. Our two favorite uses are in teas. It has a rather mild flavor so you hardly know it's there.
Storage: The nutrients in alfalfa are very sensitive to air and light exposure. Due to the Beeyoutiful's Herbs and Bulk Foods being organic or wildcrafted, there is a slight chance that there could be some naturally occurring bugs. Beeyoutiful takes precautions on our end to minimize the chances, but we do suggest that you store them in a cold area - possibly the freezer - in an air tight container.
Pregnancy/Lactation: While Alfalfa may be appropriate for pregnancy/lactation, we suggest you speak with you healthcare practitioner or herbalist before starting any new herb during pregnancy or breastfeeding.