Health Benefits of Alfalfa
The health benefits of alfalfa are extensive and cover many different conditions and ailments.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, physicians used this wonder herb and its leaves in the treatment of a wide variety of disorders of the digestive system and kidneys.
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A note about the Health Benefits of Alfalfa
Herbs are God and nature's gifts to us. While the use of herbs and herb remedies has brought excellent results for many people, do note that their health benefits may be limited when they are used in isolation. However, when combined with some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition, the impact on one's health will be greatly magnified.
In natural health and healing, we believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases. We also believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Mans understanding. It is thus a good idea to apply these fundamental health steps no matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem.
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Ayurvedic physicians in ancient India often used this as a digestive aid and nutritive. They also used the seeds of the alfalfa plant topically as a poultice for boils and wounds. In addition, it was used to treat arthritis and edema.
They made a cooling poultice from the seeds for boils. At the time, alfalfa was also believed to be helpful towards people suffering from arthritis and water retention.
Certain medical conditions are said to be those which can be combated on a regimen of alfalfa. They are atherosclerosis, heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and endometriosis.
Drug and Alcohol Dependency
The health benefits of alfalfa also extend to alcohol and drug dependency - the herb is used to combat these conditions due to its alkalizing properties, which promote detoxification.
Cholesterol, Heart Disease and Strokes
One of the important health benefits of alfalfa is the vital role it plays as an effective controller of cholesterol. The fibers and chemicals in alfalfa seem to stick to cholesterol, preventing it from remaining in the blood or depositing itself on arterial walls.
It appears that the ingestion of alfalfa rids the body of the harmful types of cholesterol, but HDL (high density lipoprotein) is seemingly untouched by the effects of alfalfa.
Hence, it is believed that alfalfa prevents plaque formation on the arterial walls, thereby as a consequence preventing heart disease and strokes, as well as being responsible for lowering blood cholesterol levels.
Alfalfa Health Benefits on Blood Sugar and Diabetes
Another of the health benefits of alfalfa is its effects on blood sugar levels. Due to the high manganese content in alfalfa, it is believed to marginally lower blood sugar levels, and therefore is recommended for diabetics.
Diabetics who have had problems responding to insulin have noticed better results from taking alfalfa and manganese.
The health benefits of alfalfa are believed to reach out to cancer, too. Cancer studies have also seen a correlation between alfalfa intake and incidence of cancer. It is reported that alfalfa helps to bind carcinogens in the colon, and is effective in their speedy elimination.
Also, during post cancer treatment of chemotherapy with drugs like Cytoxan and Neosar, alfalfa has been reported to reduce and sometimes completely reverse the immune depression caused by these anti-cancer drugs.
Benefiting People on Antibiotics, Anti-Cholesterol Medications, Anti-Seizure Medications and Steroids
Also, besides the above, those on a regimen of antibiotics like amoxicillin, gentamicin, streptomycin and tetracycline would benefit greatly from alfalfa consumption, as it restores the levels of vitamin K in the body. Vitamin K gets depleted when using these antibiotics.
It is also known to benefit those who are on anti-cholesterol medication, anti-seizure medication and steroids. All these reduce the level of vitamin K in the body, and alfalfa helps to build up reserves.
Asthma and Respiratory Conditions
Folk remedies passed down the ages suggest that alfalfa seeds have been used to combat asthma and other breathing conditions.
Some chemical constituents of alfalfa are known to have diuretic properties that aid efficient flushing out of water from the body. Hence, alfalfa is thought to be a remedy for edema, which is the accumulation of excess water in the body.
Alfalfa also has components that mimic the effects of the female hormone estrogen, and therefore is believed to be potentially useful in menopause as well.
Nutrient Content of Alfalfa
Alfalfa grass or alfalfa sprouts are very rich in iron, calcium and phosphorus, and thereby is known to be highly effective in safeguarding healthy teeth. It prevents tooth decay.
One of the notable benefits of alfalfa is its supply of vitamin D, which is known to translate the goodness of the sun into good health. In conditions or climates where abundant sunlight is not available, alfalfa is said to make up for any sunlight deficiency.
Alfalfa also contains power packed levels of vitamin B12, which helps combat the onset of pernicious anemia.
Other Uses and Benefits of Alfalfa
The modern day use of the alfalfa plant goes beyond medicine and forage - it is also used in organic gardening as a fertilizer. Due to its nitrogen fixing attributes, alfalfa is able to improve the quality of the soil.
There are no external uses noted thus far for alfalfa. Also, there are no studies or researches conducted on the use of alfalfa in aromatherapy or as an essential oil, as compared to most herbs.
Typically, the health benefits of alfalfa are obtained either directly from fresh alfalfa grass or alfalfa sprouts, or through various alfalfa supplements.
More information on the herb is discussed in the other related alfalfa articles.
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Alfalfa Pages | Alfalfa Facts, Information and History | Some Information on Planting Alfalfa or Growing Alfalfa | Health Benefits of Alfalfa | Alfalfa Health Benefits - Ways to consume alfalfa | Possible Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications of Alfalfa
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