Alfalfa, Medicago sativa, is a wonderful, safe, and I think tasty, digestive & nutritive tonic. Here is a description of the virtues of alfalfa taken from a Materia Medica I wrote for school…
Description & Cultivation: Alfalfa’s roots grow 68 feet deep or more. These roots break up heavy clay & bring up valuable nutrients from the subsoil. A member of the legume family, it also fixes nitrogen, making it a fertility booster for the land. Mixed with clover it creates a soil-replenishing ground cover.
Constituents: isoflavones, coumarins (isoflavones & coumarins are estrogenic), alkaloids, proteins, sugars, chlorophyll and porphyrins, minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon), betacarotene, vitamins B, C, E, K and P (rutin); mucilage (coats & moistens; penetrates tissues to bring out toxins), mineral salts (allow water to penetrate tissues and break up hard swelling)
Properties: anti-anaemic, anti-haemorrhagic, diuretic, tonic, alterative (helps with metabolism & elimination), anti-cholesterol, highly alkalinizing (alkalization sedates muscles & nerves & removes acids from the digestive tract), laxative, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic
Indications For busy, on-the-go, impatient people with irritable nervous systems, poor protein digestion, poor appetite, bad breath, tooth decay (over-acidic environment), peptic ulcers, sluggish bowels, colitis, constipation (anything indicating a weakened digestion)
Nutritional: Excellent for anemia & convalescence (to buffer the blood from nitrogenic acids caused by tissue break-down)
Digestive System: Can stimulate or sedate stomach secretions; stimulates appetite; benefits peptic ulcers, bloating, distention, flatulence, diverticulosis, sluggish bowels, colitis, constipation.
Musculo-skeletal: Arthritis & rheumatism, back pain, fibromyalgia (these conditions are often the result of digestive inflammation/overly-acidic environment)
Skin: itchy, irritated, boils, skin ulcers
Nervous system: for busy, nervous, irritable people; insomnia.
Respiratory system: hay fever, allergies, infections in the upper R.T. (lungs and digestion are linked), nutritive tonic for people getting over pertussis and TB
Cardiovascular System: encourages blood clotting, lowers blood cholesterol, helps with heart disease, hypertension, & excess fluid retention.
Reproductive System Pregnancy—A safe and appropriate tea for pregnancy, along with raspberry leaves to increase the available amount of vitamin K and hemoglobin (hemorrhage prevention); Lactation—“to encourage a plentiful supply of breast milk and a relaxed and healthy mother.” Will also prevent mineral loss during nursing.
Preparations: To get the most nutritional value out of your alfalfa infusion, let it steep for 4-8 hours before straining. Sprouting the seeds also opens the doors to added nutrition.
Cautions: Never eat the unsprouted seeds; they contain a toxic amino acid. Consumption of alfalfa has been known to trigger attacks in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). May cause bloating, gas & diarrhea when it begins to work (mild healing crisis).
*This information is for educational purposes