Alfalfa is a type of herb. The leaves, sprouts, and seeds of this herb are used widely to create medication. Alfalfa is used to treat kidney, bladder, and prostate problems, as well as to improve urine flow. It’s also used to treat excessive cholesterol, asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, indigestion, and thrombocytopenic purpura, a type of bleeding disease. Vitamins A, C, E, and K4 are also found in alfalfa, as well as minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.
Alfalfa is most commonly taken by humans as a herbal supplement or as alfalfa sprouts. They tend to be high in vitamin K and contain a variety of other nutrients, such as vitamin C, copper, manganese, and folate. Alfalfa contains a lot of bioactive plant components like saponins, coumarins, flavonoids, phytosterols, phytoestrogens, and alkaloids.
Health benefits of alfalfa :
Cholesterol lowering effects : The capacity of alfalfa to decrease cholesterol is its most well-studied health benefit to date. This is due to the presence of saponins, which are plant chemicals that have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. They achieve this by reducing cholesterol absorption in the intestines and boosting excretion of chemicals that are utilized to make new cholesterol. Although the number of human research on alfalfa as a treatment for high cholesterol is limited to be conclusive, they still show positive effects in high cholesterol patients.
Promote metabolic health : Alfalfa has a long history of usage as an anti-diabetic in traditional medicine.
Alfalfa supplements were reported to lower high levels of total, LDL, and VLDL cholesterol in diabetic mice in a some animal studies. It also helped with blood sugar regulation. The use of alfalfa to treat diabetes and enhance metabolic health appears to be supported by these findings. However, more human research is needed.
Rich in antioxidants : Alfalfa has been widely used in ayurveda treat inflammatory and oxidative damage-related disorders. This is because alfalfa was assumed to be a potent antioxidant that prevented free radical damage. Its antioxidant properties have recently been established in several animal experiments. Alfalfa has the power to prevent cell mortality and DNA damage
caused by free radicals. It decreases free radical generation while also help in boosting the body’s ability to combat them.
Ease menopause symptoms : Alfalfa contains phytoestrogens, which are plant chemicals that are chemically similar to the hormone estrogen. This means they can have some of the same physiological effects as estrogen. They may have a number of advantages, including alleviating menopausal symptoms caused by low estrogen levels.
Prevent and treat kidney stones : Alfalfa is a diuretic by nature. The diuretic effect has been shown to aid in the
removal of uric acid (kidney stones). Alfalfa for kidney stone removal is widely used in alternative medicine.
Improve digestive health : alfalfa sprouts contain lipase, amylase, emulsion and invertase. All these are digestive enzymes that help in improving digestion. They also help in regulating bowel movements.
Despite the health benefits, there is no such evidence that alfalfa helps in treating or preventing different types of cancers. Alfalfa phytoestrogens, in fact, stimulated the proliferation of estrogen-dependent breast cancer cells. L-canavanine, a poisonous amino acid found in alfalfa seeds may also have negative effects on health. Hence, it should be avoided or taken only as per the advice of a medical professional.