Medicago sativa, better known as alfalfa, is one of those herbs with a seemingly endless list of possible uses. It has a wide range of actions and can be used to address various different conditions. It is known as a nutritive herb due to its significant nutritional value, providing B-vitamins, vitamins A, D, E and K and is a source of iron, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, chlorophyll, and amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
In addition to being nutrient dense, alfalfa has estrogen-like effects which make it useful in conditions of hormone imbalance or insufficiency. Depending on the individual person and condition, alfalfa leaf can help to address symptoms or menopause, PMS and menstrual irregularities.
Alfalfa leaf also has positive effects on the urinary tract. It acts as a diuretic (promotes urine production) and can be used in various kidney, bladder, and prostate conditions.
This herb, particularly the seed, may also be used for its role in lowering cholesterol (LDL or “bad cholesterol”) and blood sugar. Therefore, it can be useful as part of a plan to address dyslipidemia and diabetes. It also has benefits in bone health and is often used in cases of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Alfalfa also helps to alleviate indigestion and can help to manage conditions of the digestive tract such as peptic ulcers.
Alfalfa is available in various forms including tinctures, tablets and as a tea. Although alfalfa is generally well tolerated, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before beginning use as it can interact with certain medications and conditions, particularly due to its estrogen-like effects.