Alfalfa: what it is, what it is for and how to use it
Alfalfa is a medicinal plant, also known as Royal Alfalfa, Purple-flowered Alfalfa or Meadows-Melon that is very nutritious, helping to improve the functioning of the intestine, decrease fluid retention and relieve the symptoms of menopause, for example.
The scientific name of Alfalfa isMedicago sativa and it can be found in its natural form in health food stores, drugstores and in some open markets, or in its prepared form for salads in some markets and supermarkets.
What is Alfalfa for
Alfalfa is rich in proteins, fibers, vitamins and minerals, in addition to having a diuretic, digestive, soothing, depurative, anti-anemic, antioxidant and hypolipidemic properties. Thus, alfalfa can be used to:
- Assist in the treatment of anxiety and stress, since it also has a calming action;
- Combat poor digestion and constipation;
- Decrease fluid retention due to its diuretic action. In addition, by increasing the volume of urine, it may favor the elimination of microorganisms that may be in the urinary tract, being, therefore, effective in preventing urinary infections;
- Combat anemia, because it contains iron salts that are very well absorbed by the body, preventing anemia;
- Regulation of blood cholesterol levels, since it has a lipid-lowering agent, being able to decrease the level of total cholesterol;
- It promotes a body detox, eliminating toxins from the body.
In addition, alfalfa is rich in phytoestrogens, which are substances with an activity similar to estrogen, being, therefore, effective in relieving the symptoms of menopause, for example.
How to use Alfalfa
Alfalfa is a very nutritious sprout, with a low amount of calories, which has a delicate flavor and must be consumed raw, thus taking advantage of all its nutrients and benefits. Thus, the leaves and roots of alfalfa can be consumed in salads, soups, as a filling for natural sandwiches and in the form of juice or teas, for example.
One way to consume alfalfa is through tea, using about 20 mg of dried leaves and plant root in 500 ml of boiling water. Leave for about 5 minutes and then strain and drink up to 3 times a day.
Contraindications for Alfalfa consumption
The consumption of Alfalfa is not recommended for people with autoimmune diseases, such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and people who are being treated with anticoagulants, such as Aspirin or Warfarin, for example. In addition, pregnant or lactating women should also not consume Alfalfa, as it can alter the menstrual cycle and milk production.
Although no side effects related to Alfalfa have been described, it is important that its consumption be made according to the nutritionist's guidance, as this way it is possible to obtain the maximum benefits that this medicinal plant can offer.