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23 Nov
Posted By: Oxana Times Read: 1118

Family: Fabaceae

Latin name: Medicago sativa

Other common names: lucerne

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is a perennial flowering herb in the Fabaceae family. It’s a very important forage crop all over the world. The stem is erect, glabrous or pubescent, the upper part can grow up to 90 cm in height. The rhizomes are thick and deep. The oval leaves are trifoliate. The small blue-purple flowers are collected in clusters, the flowering period lasts for almost all summer. The fruits are spiral twisted beans that ripen at the end of August - beginning of September. Alfalfa originates from Central Asia, grows wild in the Balkan region and Russia. It can be found on the banks of rivers, forest edges, in steppe areas and meadows. The plant was imported to Europe in the 5th century AD and was originally used to feed horses.

Nowadays the plant is cultivated mainly as food for livestock. Moreover, different countries of the world (India, Argentina, USA, Western Europe) use its crops to enrich the soil with nitrogen.

Alfalfa Chemical Composition

  • isoflavones
  • flavones
  • saponins
  • amino acids
  • phytoestrogens
  • minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, copper, selenium, sodium, boron, potassium)
  • vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, K

Useful Properties

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-cancer
  • Antidiabetic
  • Tonic
  • Diuretic
  • Laxative

Health Benefits of Alfalfa

  • Cures anemia, nosebleeds, poor blood clotting.
  • Boosts immune system.
  • Helps to remove excess fluid from the body.
  • Fights rheumatism, gout, arthrosis, diabetes, cellulite and edema.
  • Treats endometriosis.
  • Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Alleviates the symptoms of menopause.
  • Stimulates digestion. Regular consumption of young alfalfa shoots (as additional components in salads) improves the elasticity of the stomach walls and helps to manage gastric ulcers, heartburn, flatulence.
  • Fights fatigue, nervousness, lack of energy, intellectual exhaustion.
  • Improves bone health.
  • Prevents atherosclerosis.
  • Protects against colds and flu.
  • Treats cystitis, pyelonephritis, kidney stones, prostatitis.
  • Fights haemorrhoids.
  • Eliminates bad breath.

P.S. Remember that this information has only advisory character. Before using extracts consult a qualified healthcare expert.

Alfalfa is also widely used in cosmetology thanks to its useful properties. It fights hair loss and accelerates its growth. Moreover, the plant eliminates  redness and swellings of the skin, improves the complexion. You can make a simple alfalfa face mask: just mix alfalfa infusion with honey, apply the mixture to the skin for 15-20 minutes and then rinse your face with warm water.


  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women are not recommended to take large amounts of alfalfa.
  • People suffering from auto-immune diseases should avoid using the plant.
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