Where did he come from?
Alfalfa is an excellent general stimulant. Its remineralizing effects improve problems of fragile nails and dull, forked or brittle hair as well as asthenia (general fatigue) problems.
Alfalfa, better known as alfalfa (Medicago sativa), is a plant native to West Asia. Grown for animal food, it spread throughout the Middle East and then throughout Europe.
It grows on clay and slightly acidic soils, and can be satisfied with dry soils because it is able to draw the elements it needs more than a metre underground.
Alfalfa start-ups have been consumed in Asia for the most part and only since the 1960s in the West. The Arabs recognized the alfalfa as "the father of all food" (al-fac-facah) and used it to feed horses.
Pliny reports that it was introduced to Greece by the Persians during the Medieval Wars (V century BC). It is used in assolement because it brings Potassium into the soil via nitrophilic bacteria, like all Fabaceae.
It has been used to produce chlorophyll and carotene industrially and for its nutritional properties.
How can we describe it botanically?
The alfalfa is in short a perennial herbaceous plant with stems erected from the base and then rowing and angular. Its height varies from 30 to 90 cm. It has root nodules that testify to its symbiotic association with Rhizobium bacteria. The first leaf is unifoliated. The following leaves, alternating, consists of three equal leaflets, hairless, obtuse, a little cut out, and denticulated. The flowers, purple or bluish, meet in elongated clusters. The flowering takes place between June and October.
What is it made of?
Alfalfa consists of isoflavones, stachydrine, flavonoids, phenolic compounds (amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids), saponosides, coumarins, phytosterols, mineral salts, Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron and vitamins A (carotene), B, B, B, and B.
What are its main pharmacological properties?
The French Food Safety Agency (AFSSA) considers alfalfa to be a plant with estrogenic activity in vitro and in vivo thanks to the presence of coumestanes. Coumestrol and 4-methoxycoumestrol bind to estrogen receptors and show terotrophic activity.
A study of monkeys shows that the saponosides of alfalfa:
- significantly decrease intestinal cholesterol absorption and total plasma cholesterol/HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) – cholesterol
- increase fecal excretion of steroids and bile acids
Alfalfa is traditionally used in the treatment of diabetes. This action highlights in vivo on diabetic mouse models. Alfalfa would stimulate the incorporation of glucose in the form of glycogen into the abdominal muscle and have properties similar to those of insulin.
What are the indications of the Alfalfa?
- Useful for convalescents who need a food that can be easily assimilated
- Hot flashes
- Spontaneous hematoma
- Dry skin
- Weakened hair and nails
What are the job precautions?
- Counter-indicated in pregnant women
- Rare cases of gastrointestinal disorders (diarrhea), dermatitis and arthralgia
- Counter-advised in cases of hyperestrogenesis, as well as in women with a personal or family history of hormone-dependent cancers (including breast cancer)
- Counter-advised in case of immune-immune disease
Are there risks of drug interactions?
Like all substances containing active ingredients, the risk of drug interactions should be taken into account.
As alfalfa is no exception to this rule, here is a list of drug interactions to consider:
- Avoid association with anticoagulants
How to take it and at what dosage?
In masterful preparation:
Here is the dosage of Fluid Extracts of Fresh Plants Standardized in Glycere solution (EPS):
1 c. coffee morning and evening for 1 month, renewable 3 months, to dilute in a large glass of water
- Oestrogenic deficiency with signs of hyperandrogenism (seborrhea, acne of lean subjects, abnormal hair…) In: Alfalfa – Hops
- Teen Acne: Alfalfa – Root Nettle
- Brittle nails and hair, growth epiphysitis in adolescents, potentiation of conventional treatments for low-level remodeling spinal osteoporosis: Alfalfa – Prêle
- Metabolic syndrome of hyperandrogenic postmenopausal woman: Alfalfa – Olivier