Alfalfa (scientific name Medicago sativa ) is a plant used as food, also known as lucerne, and has medicinal effects. It belongs to the legume family , like beans, although it is less well known, which causes many people to stop consuming it and enjoy its benefits.
The taste of alfalfa is pleasant and the food is a source of protein, with few calories . The consumption is mainly of the shoots (seeds), but the medicinal properties are also concentrated in its leaves and flowers, and it can also be found in powder sales.
Alfalfa is a source of vitamins A , C , D , E, K and the B complex , which helps to improve the functioning of the immune system and mood. It is also rich in calcium, potassium, iron, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid and other 16 amino acids that are essential for health.
When inserted in the diet, alfalfa can improve blood flow, fight fatigue, and, in addition, it has a diuretic and hypocholesterolemic action . That is, it helps to control the level of glucose in the blood and to control blood pressure, as well as eliminate toxins from the body through urine and prevent fluid retention.
Other healing abilities of alfalfa are for stomach and duodenal ulcers caused by gastritis: regular consumption is recommended for those who suffer from this disease. Alfalfa provides good benefits for the pituitary gland , where there is the pituitary in the brain. Its effect on the body’s pH is alkaline, which is why it can detoxify the liver and eliminate excess sodium (salt) in the body, as well as fight allergies.
Alfalfa also contains “saponins” as one of the active components, which, in the intestine, block, as an emulsifier, the absorption of fat, causing it to be eliminated in the feces. In addition, it fights anemia , as it is rich in protein and iron.
The “carotenoid” she has can prevent the onset of heart disease , degenerative eye disease and some cancers. Phenolic acid, on the other hand, helps to prevent the formation of blood clots, reducing the incidence of strokes , thrombosis and other circulation diseases.
In the form of tea, alfalfa can be taken on an empty stomach, which can help to calcify bones and fight excess urea. Tea is also popularly used as a natural tranquilizer.
Alfalfa Use: Tea and Cooking
The alfalfa flowers and leaves can be eaten in the salad or even cooked . As for the sprout, the alfalfa seed can be cooked like beans, and added to salad or soups. The alfalfa root can also be used by those mothers who are more naturists: being peeled, dried and shredded, the root can become a natural toothbrush , with medicinal properties to combat halitosis (the famous bad breath). Other less common uses are as a bath herb and hair rinse.
What type of alfalfa to use
Many recommend the use of sprouted alfalfa sprouts , as it enhances the vitamins present in the food. The germinated alfalfa is rich in vitamin E, useful mainly to breastfeeding mothers, as it increases milk production .
To germinate, just let the sprouts rest at night in a glass of filtered water . There is the option to buy only the extract of alfalfa, manipulated, as a medicine or capsules, which gives the same effects.
How to Consume
The sprout can also be consumed as a complement in the filling of natural sandwiches and breads, combining with lean cheeses, carrots and seasoned chicken. When adding sprouts to hot dishes like soup, it is important not to overheat them, just add them to the dish at the time of consumption.
In the recipe for alfalfa with avocado and honey, the food is considered an aphrodisiac. Other experiments have shown that the enzymes, vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll that alfalfa contains are very rich for good digestion, so it is worth incorporating it in cooking.
How to Make Alfalfa Tea
Alfalfa tea should be made from the dry leaf , so that it does not wilt and lose some of its therapeutic qualities. If drying at home, it should be in the shade. The recommended therapeutic use is to have a glass before lunch, four times a week. The leaves and flowers of the alfalfa have no contraindications, so tea has no side effects.
To make the tea, just add one tablespoon of dry alfalfa leaves for each half liter of water , boil for up to five minutes, and let it rest muffled for 10 minutes before consuming. It can also be made, less common, by boiling the sprouts, and there must be careful to consume in excess, since the alfalfa sprout contains alkaloids.
Curiosities about Alfalfa
The name of the plant “Alfafa” is of Arab origin, and means “the father of all foods”. Its scientific name “sativa”, referring to the species, means “a long cultivation”. Thus, its history goes back to the Arabs, who fed their racehorses with alfalfa, and traveled with them the deserts of the North African region.
The land where the alfalfa grows is quite rich in minerals , which is why farmers usually plant alfalfa on their properties to fix nitrogen in the soil. It is also used to feed cows, which when they consume their alfalfa milk production tends to increase.
Chlorophyll extraction is another industrial use of alfalfa. In Brazil, alfalfa was introduced by Rio Grande do Sul, coming from Uruguay and Argentina. The difficulties in expanding their cultivation in the country are due to the little knowledge of producers, the requirements of soil fertility and management, and the need for irrigation practices. Nor is there much local production of alfalfa seeds or ways to combat specific pests of that plant.
See also: Vitamins for Pregnant Women
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.