3 Health Benefits of Alfalfa Leaf [Infographic]
Alfalfa leaf is probably best known today as a feed plant for livestock but it has a rich tradition of medicinal use dating back thousands of years. Modern research has found that it helps reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels, boosts antibody production, and supports women’s health. As it has a slightly sweet flavor, the herb can be easily added to tea blends for a healthy concoction.
What is alfalfa?
The mildly sweet alfalfa plant has been consumed by humans since the Bronze Age (2000-1000 BC). With roots that go deep into the soil, it is a rich source of 14 of the 16 principal mineral elements, including iron, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. It was utilized by the Babylonians, Arabs, Persians, Greeks, and Romans in ancient times to increase the strength and stamina of war horses.
Alfalfa was first used in traditional Chinese medicine during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) for digestive health. In the traditional medicine of Europe and the US, it was used to stimulate appetite, support urinary and bowel function, and as a diuretic. Today, it is commonly used to treat asthma, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, indigestion, and other conditions.
The health benefits of alfalfa leaf according to research
1. Heart and Circulatory Health
Alfalfa leaves may help reduce blood sugar levels, total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and insulin deficiency. These are conditions that, if left untreated, may lead to heart disease and stroke. Alfalfa contains manganese, which is thought to be responsible for the herb’s effect on blood sugar levels. It also contains saponins, which may block cholesterol absorption as evidenced in several studies.
2. Immunity and Overall Health
Alfalfa leaves contain saponins, compounds that appear to have antibacterial activity, and certain amino acids that are thought to be responsible for the plant’s positive effect on the immune function. In one animal study, alfalfa appeared to help increase the number of antibodies and increase longevity in animals.
Alfalfa may also have anti-cancer effects. One scientific study suggests the herb may help neutralize carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) in the intestine. Another study, published in Oxford University’s Journal of the National Cancer Institute, shows that alfalfa binds carcinogens in the colon and speeds their elimination from the body.
3. Women’s Health
Alfalfa has been demonstrated to exhibit estrogenic activity, which means it affects female hormones, and may be useful in treating problems related to menstruation and menopause. One study found extracts from alfalfa leaves to be effective in reducing menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, insomnia, nocturnal sweating, dizziness, and headaches.
* These are some of the pharmacological actions that have been observed or are under study in various evidence-based research studies. Herb may have other properties not listed here.
The statements on this page are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner prior to the use of any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have allergies or medical conditions.
The information has been sourced and extracted from scientific papers, academic journals, research abstracts, and other sources. While Purify Tea makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information on this website, Purify Tea does not endorse, approve, or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficiency, timeliness, or correct sequencing of such information. Use of such information is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficiency, and timeliness. While many traditional or folkloric remedies have a long history of use, modern research has only begun to investigate and substantiate their effectiveness. Research is still ongoing in many areas therefore conclusions are subject to change.
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