Benefits and Side Effects of Alfalfa
May 16, 2022
There are varieties of herbs cultivated across the world. Most of them have medicinal properties and cure many diseases without any major side effects. Today we are going to study one such herb called Alfalfa. Its various parts such as sprouts, seeds, and leaves have an abundance of medical properties.
Alfalfa majorly treats skin disorders, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, asthma, high cholesterol, and bleeding issues. It is available in the tonic form which contains more minerals like phosphorus, iron, calcium, and potassium, and also Vitamins C, E, A, and K4 are at rich levels. Alfalfa helps in treating bladder, prostate issues, and kidney problems thus improving urine flow. Alfalfa sprouts are used in many recipes.
How does Alfalfa Benefits Various Health Issues?
Prevents Kidney Stones
This super herb prevents kidney stone deposition and gravel. It treats arthritis, edema, varicose ulcers, heavy metal toxicity, and arthrosis well. Its diuretic properties prevent mostly all sorts of kidney issues. Its tablet form has a predominant trait of treating Urinary tract infections without any harm. Alfalfa helps in treating nausea, decreased alertness, memory loss, exhaustion, low thyroid function, night blindness, split hair ends, dental issues, and decreased milk production in feeding mothers.
Cures Digestion Problems
If you are a sufferer of digestion problems, then consuming alfalfa tonic or sprouts helps you in treating bloating, ulcers, and indigestion problems. Its high fiber quantity prevents all digestion issues and resolves constipation problems which are treated as one of the major problems in the digestive system.
Nourishes Hair Growth
The presence of Vitamin B1 and B6 in alfalfa provides the best result in hair growth. Its enzymes prevent hair loss and baldness and improve the texture of the hair. Protein in alfalfa promotes hair growth and the available calcium, silica, and zinc make hair stronger. Even silica prevents the users from baldness and hair falling.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
The best health benefit of the herb is its cholesterol-controlling ability. Many studies proved that it lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and improves good cholesterol (HDL) which results in decreased heart disease risk. The saponins in high levels are found in alfalfa which are plant compounds that help in reducing cholesterol levels. It happens by absorbing cholesterol in the gut and increasing the excretion to create new cholesterol. Current research studies show alfalfa is a potential cholesterol-lowering agent.
Relieves Menopause Symptoms
Phytoestrogens are high in alfalfa which is a plant compound. It is very much identical to the hormone Estrogen. It means they can cause the same effects in the body as estrogen. When the estrogen level decreases, women start facing menopausal symptoms. But, taking alfalfa during menopause eases menopausal symptoms such as anger, anxiety, weight gain, hot flashes, etc.
Effective in Blood Clotting
Intake of alfalfa daily allows enough amount of vitamin K, an important vitamin for blood clotting. Vitamin K with iron, and chlorophyll helps in promoting blood production which helps in treating anemic people. If you are taking any blood-thinning medicines, just limit your intake of alfalfa as Vitamin K may decrease the drug’s effectiveness.
Inflammation and oxidative damage are well treated with alfalfa in ayurvedic medicine. Its powerful antioxidant properties shield one from oxidative stress damage caused by free radicals. Alfalfa has the potential to decrease cell death and DNA damage caused by free radicals. It does it by lowering both productions of free radicals and improving the body’s ability to fight against them.
Shields the Heart
Iron and potassium are found in alfalfa and they benefit heart health in many ways. As a vasodilator, potassium helps in lowering blood pressure by releasing the tension on the arteries and blood vessels. Additionally, its iron content boosts red blood cell production, thus promoting circulation and ensuring that the body’s organs are well oxygenated. It put less strain on the heart as the extremities are demanding less oxygen and blood from an already overworked heart.
Lowers Risk of Certain Diseases
Free radicals cause oxidative stress and cell damage in the body which increases the risks of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cancer. Its antioxidants fight against free radicals and support the body in to fight against those diseases also.
We have seen the benefits of alfalfa. Now, we take a look at some side effects of alfalfa.
Its high levels of canavanine and saponins in the alfalfa with excessive consumption may cause some adverse effects on the body. A pregnant or anyone who suffers from lupus should not consume alfalfa. Eating raw alfalfa leads to toxicity as it interrupts the amino acid balance in the body. It is therefore advised for patients with comprised immunity or those who suffer from any autoimmune disorders to avoid eating alfalfa.
Alfalfa is a good source of vitamin K. High dose of Vitamin K can be harmful to people who are on blood thinners like warfarin as Vitamin K can impact blood thinning and clotting. Therefore it is essential for patients on blood thinners to consult the doctor before consuming alfalfa.
Alfalfa is a natural herb that brings many health benefits like reducing cholesterol levels and has numerous essential vitamins and minerals good for our health. It is considered to be a safe herb. But in some cases, some patients reported side effects, and thus it is advised to avoid its consumption in case of pregnancy if one has autoimmune or compromised immunity and those who are on blood thinners. We shall always ask you to use it in a recommended dose to stay away from potential side effects. In case of any health issues or side effects, a doctor’s consultation is essential.