Mountain Rose Herbs – Alfalfa Powder

$12.00$22.00

The dried alfalfa leaf is widely available in herbal shops and health food stores as an herbal tea, tablet, powder or made into a liquid chlorophyll supplement. The seed is often sprouted and eaten in salads and sandwiches.

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Description

OVERVIEW

Alfalfa is well known as a feed plant for livestock yet has had a rich tradition of use as a healing herb as well. Utilized since ancient times for its high nutrient value, Arabs fed it to their horses to increase strength and stamina. In traditional folk medicine, it has been administered as a nutritive tonic and was found to be particularly useful in cases of malnutrition or during convalescence. The dried alfalfa leaf is widely available in herbal shops and health food stores as an herbal tea, tablet, powder or made into a liquid chlorophyll supplement. The seed is often sprouted and eaten in salads and sandwiches.

COMMON NAME

Standardized: alfalfa
Other: lucerne 1

BOTANICAL NAME

Medicago sativa L.
Plant Family: Fabaceae

SYNONYMS

Medicago agropyretorum Vassilcz. (= Medicago sativa subsp. sativa), Medicago asiatica Sinskaya (= Medicago sativa subsp. sativa), Medicago borealis Grossh. (= Medicago sativa subsp. falcata), Medicago caerulea Less. ex Ledeb. (= Medicago sativa subsp. caerulea), Medicago glutinosa M. Bieb., Medicago glutinosa subsp. praefalcata Sinskaya, Medicago hemicycla Grossh., and Medicago sativa subsp. ambigua (Trautv.) Tutin1, just to name a few…

PARTS USED

Dried leaves and sprouted seeds.

BOTANY

Alfalfa is a long-lived perennial in the Fabaceae (or is sometimes put in the Papilionaceae) family1 with leguminous flowers which vary in color from purple to yellow, trifoliate clover-like leaves, and a deep penetrating tap root2 (some sources say that taproots have been found reaching down 68 feet into the soil!).3 Alfalfa is native to southwest Asia with wild species occurring in the Caucasus, and in mountainous regions of Afghanistan and Iran, and is very widely cultivated throughout the world.4

CULTIVATION AND HARVESTING

The US is the leading producer of alfalfa, and within the country, California, Montana, and Idaho are the major producing states.5 Alfalfa is the fourth largest crop by acreage, grown on 23 million acres,6 and is third in value, after corn and soybeans. Its national value is more than $8 billion each year.6

Alfalfa is best harvested for medicinal purposes when in bloom.3

FLAVOR NOTES AND ENERGETICS

The tastes are sweet, bitter, and earthy. It is energetically cooling.15

HERBAL ACTIONS

Appetite stimulant, diuretic, tonic,4,14 nutritive,14 laxative14,15 estrogenic.15

USES AND PREPARATIONS

Dried leaves as tablets, teas, tinctures or encapsulated.
Sprouted seeds.

CONSTITUENTS

2-3% saponins, sterols, alcohols, flavones and isoflavones (including phytoestrogens such as genistein and daidzein) coumarin derivatives, alkaloids, plant acids (including malic and oxalic acid) vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, C, E, K1, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid, amino acids (including valine, lysine, arginine, tryptophan, sugars, plant pigments such as chlorophyll, 17-25% crude fibers, 15-25% protein, minerals, and trace elements such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper.10,13

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

Alfalfa is one of the most studied plants due to its usefulness as livestock feed, however human clinical studies are sparse.10

PRECAUTIONS

Specific: No known precautions.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.

REFERENCES

  1. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Accessed at http://www.ars-grin.gov on October 29, 2014.
  2. Alfalfa. Medicago sativa. Accessed on October 31, 2014.
  3. Weiss, G., & Weiss, S. (1985). Growing & Using the Healing Herbs. Rodale Press.
  4. Duke. J. Purdue University website. Handbook of Energy Crops. Accessed at:http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Medicago_sativa.html on October 31, 2014.
  5. Crop Production: 2012 Summary. United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service. January 2013.
  6. Commodity Fact Sheet. Alfalfa. Information compiled by the California Alfalfa and Forage Association. Accessed at: http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu/-files/pdf/alfalfaFactSheet.pdf on October 30, 2014.
  7. Iziko Museums of Cape Town website. Medicago sativa. Accessed at: http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/plants/fabaceae/medicago_sativa.htm on October 30th, 2014.
  8. Online Etymology Dictionary. Accessed at: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php on October 28, 2014.
  9. Grieve M. A Modern Herbal. New York: Dover Publications, Inc. Accessed at http://botanical.com/botanical on October 28, 2014.
  10. Khan, I. A., & Abourashed, E. A. (2011). Leung’s encyclopedia of common natural ingredients: used in food, drugs and cosmetics. John Wiley & Sons.
  11. Bremness L. Herbs: The Visual Guide to More than 700 Herb Species From Around the World. New York; DK Publishing; 1994.
  12. Lust, J. (2014). The Herb Book: The Most Complete Catalog of Herbs Ever Published. Courier Dover Publications.
  13. Alfalfa. MedlinePlus Trusted Health Information for you. A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. From the National Institutes of Health. Accessed at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/19.html on October 30, 2014.
  14. Mills, S. (1988). The dictionary of modern herbalism. Healing Arts Press.
  15. Wood, M. (2009). The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to New World Medicinal Plants. North Atlantic Books.
  16. Cunningham, S. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. Woodbury: Llewellyn Publications; 2000.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.