High cholesterol, Kidney problems, Bladder problems, Prostate problems, Asthma, Arthritis, Diabetes, Kidney problems, Upset stomach.
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Alfalfa is an herb. People use the leaves, sprouts, and seeds to make medicineAlfalfa is a perennial plant grown worldwide. It’s used as a feedstock for cattle. It looks like a clover. But it can grow to a height of 2 to 3 feet. It blooms in the summer with purple or blue flowers. At harvest time, alfalfa is mowed, field dried, and baled. The baled hay can be fed directly to cattle. Or it can be ground to a coarse powder first. It can also be enriched with grain or other supplements.
Alfalfa seeds are sprouted and used as garnish for salads and other foods. Alfalfa leaves contain triterpenoid saponins (soyasapogenols). These can reduce cholesterol absorption and vascular plaque formation in animals. But they can also cause hemolytic anemia. The leaves are safer to use than the seeds. This is because alfalfa seeds contain the toxic amino acid L-canavanine (arginine analog).
Alfalfa is used for kidney conditions, bladder and prostate conditions, and to increase urine flow. It is also used for high cholesterol, asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, upset stomach, and a bleeding disorder called thrombocytopenic purpura. People also take alfalfa as a source of vitamins A, C, E, and K4; and minerals calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and iron.
How does it work?
Alfalfa seems to prevent cholesterol absorption in the gut.
Possible side effects include:
- Alfalfa seed products may cause reactions that are similar to the autoimmune disease called lupus erythematosus.
- Pregnancy or breast-feeding: Using alfalfa in amounts larger than what is commonly found in food is POSSIBLY UNSAFE during pregnancy and breast-feeding. There is some evidence that alfalfa may act like estrogen, and this might affect the pregnancy.
- “Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Alfalfa might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. There are two case reports of SLE patients experiencing disease flare after taking alfalfa seed products long-term. If you have an auto-immune condition, it’s best to avoid using alfalfa until more is known.
- Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Alfalfa might have the same effects as the female hormone estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t use alfalfa.
- Diabetes: Alfalfa might lower blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes and take alfalfa, monitor your blood sugar levels closely.
- Kidney transplant: There is one report of a kidney transplant rejection following the three-month use of a supplement that contained alfalfa and black cohosh. This outcome is more likely due to alfalfa than black cohosh. There is some evidence that alfalfa can boost the immune system and this might make the anti-rejection drug cyclosporine less effective.
As always make sure you are using organic herbs as pesticides are toxic and always take normal doses, excessive amounts of anything is not good for you.
We are not doctors, lawyers, accountants or your mom. We give out free smiles and the occasional unsolicited advice. That being said; if you are pregnant, nursing or concerned about your health, call your mom. Or even better, consult a doctors before consuming; particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.