For nearly 1,500 years, cultures all over the world have been using alfalfa as a herbal remedy for many illnesses. The herb is believed to have originated from the Middle East where the Arabs referred to it as “the father of all foods” as they knew it was useful in a variety of forms. Physicians in early Chinese cultures used young alfalfa leaves in the treatment of digestive and kidney disorders. It was also believed to be useful in arthritis patients. Although the herb originated in the Middle East, it appeared in the thirteen colonies in 1736 and was used by the English and Americans to treat upset stomach.
Generally consumed in sprout, tea, or supplement form, alfalfa is rich in protein, calcium, minerals, and vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K, it can be helpful in aiding in various illnesses and ailments including:
- Indigestion and bladder disorders
- Poor lactation
- High blood pressure
- Intestinal ulcers
- Liver disorders
- Bleeding gums
- Body and breath odor
- Athletes foot
- Urinary tract problems
- Bowel problems
Benefits of Alfalfa
Various scientific studies have shown that alfalfa leaf extracts can help to lower cholesterol levels as well as shrink atherosclerotic cholesterol from being absorbed by the body through food.
Alfalfa can serve an important role in counteracting the negative effects of chemotherapy used to treat cancers. The body’s first lines of defense against infection are white blood cells, such as granulocytes, leukocytes, and T cells. During the chemotherapy treatment process, white blood cell count can be lowered, thus putting the body at risk for neutropenia—a condition caused by a reduced white blood cell count that makes the body more susceptible to infection, disease, and death. Studies have shown alfalfa to increase white blood cell count by as much as 60%.
Some diabetics do not respond well to insulin, making their condition difficult to manage and control.
Studies have shown that those with diabetes who do not respond to insulin, see an improvement in their condition when taking alfalfa in conjunction with manganese.
Many doctors treat endometriosis (growth of endometrial cells outside of the uterus), by prescribing birth control pills. However, naturopaths have found that herbs containing phytoestrogens (naturally occurring plant hormones related to estrogen, but less potent) can help to block the body’s estrogen receptor sites, thus reducing the effects of the woman’s own hormones.
Women who consume legumes with mild estrogenic activity (such as black beans, mung beans and soy beans) are less likely to have hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Phytoestrogens included in alfalfa (another plant with mild estrogenic activity) are also known to help reduce the risk of estrogen-linked cancers such as breast cancer by preventing tumors of the breast tissue.
People with reoccurring nosebleeds may have a vitamin k deficiency. Alfalfa contains just enough vitamin K to help the blood clot normally without interfering with normal circulation.
Alfalfa is rich in many vitamins, including vitamin K (also plentiful in leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach). Vitamin K can help prevent bone loss caused by estrogen deficiency. As vitamin K interacts with vitamin D (also found in alfalfa) it helps increase the formation of new bone. In addition, alfalfa is a good source of calcium. One serving of alfalfa supplements can include 330mg. of calcium—as much as a glass of milk!
Bioflavonoids found in alfalfa build capillary strength and reduce inflammation of the stomach lining. Vitamin A found in alfalfa also helps to maintain stomach health, while enzymes aid in food absorption.
Shaklee’s Alfalfa Complex
Shaklee’s Alfalfa Complex is a Shaklee Signature Formula originally developed by Dr. Shaklee. Shaklee uses only the finest alfalfa grown in California to ensure safety and potency; the formula does not contain any fungicides, bacteriocides, synthetic hormones, growth regulators, or chemicals that may be present in non-organic alfalfa. The formula contains a wide range of nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, as well as chlorophyll, bioflavonoids, trace minerals, and vitamins.
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