Guest post by Sasha de Beausset, B.A., M.Sc.
You might use alfalfa sprouts as an addition to your midday salad or as a crunchy bit added to spring rolls. However, alfalfa sprouts shouldn’t take all the credit for what the alfalfa plant can do.
Alfalfa, known as “Lucerne” in other parts of the world, is a perennial flowering plant that produces beautiful purple flowers and is related to the pea family. It is believed to have originated in Iran and was introduced into Greece in about 490 B.C., then into Spain in the eighth century. The Spaniards eventually introduced it to Latin America and its consumption expanded into North America, where it was produced across the United States by the 20th century.
Alfalfa leaves are chock full of nutrients, which is why alfalfa is such a common food used to nourish animals. These nutrients include Vitamins A and K, fiber, protein, folic acid, calcium and potassium.
While alfalfa has been used around the world as a food, both for humans and for animals, many cultures have identified medicinal properties of the plant. In Ayurvedic medicine, and across India, alfalfa sprouts, stems, leaves and seeds are used for a variety of ailments.
Because of the traditional use of alfalfa for different ailments, there has been an increasing interest it its use and implementation as herbal medicine in more modern natural medicine. Here, we review some of the different properties of alfalfa leaf according to recent research.
- Supports Healthy Digestion and Relieves Bloating
Alfalfa leaf is a diuretic, meaning that it helps the body release excess liquid. When taken in recommended amounts with sufficient water, it can help to relieve bloating and may promote healthy, regular bowel movements. If you’re taking alfalfa leaf to help with digestion, remember to drink plenty of water.
- Supports Heart Health
A study published in the Journal of Food and Drug Analysis found that alfalfa leaf high is in saponins, a type of natural steroid that may naturally reduce LDL cholesterol in the blood. While the study was performed in the lab, it is possible that it may deliver a similar effect in humans.
- Supports a Healthy Immune System
Alfalfa leaf is high in chlorophyll which has been shown have a beneficial effect on the gastrointestinal tract. It also has a substance called S-Methylmethionine (also known as “Vitamin U”, though it is not actually a vitamin), which helps to heal stomach ulcers and relieve the pains of gastritis. These substances, in addition to others, can help support the immune system.
Overall, it’s clear that alfalfa is so much more than just a delicious, crunchy salad topping. The alfalfa leaf is a nutrition-packed superfood that offers a number of healthy benefits!
You can find alfalfa leaf in tablet or you can also find it in The Natural Citizen’s Organic Greens blend. Like all products by The Natural Citizen, Organic Greens contains only four nutrient-rich ingredients selected for their unique nutrition profiles. When blended together, these four super green ingredients deliver a whole lot of nutrition to support your overall wellness. Get your alfalfa in your Organic Greens at www.thenaturalcitizen.com.