Common Names: Lucerne, Purple Medick, Purple Medicle, Buffalo Herb, Purple Medic
Scientific Name: Medicago Sativa Subsp. Sativa
Common Uses: 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.
*Warnings: Alfalfa leaves are POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults. But taking alfalfa seeds long-term is LIKELY UNSAFE. Alfalfa seed products may cause reactions that are similar to the autoimmune disease called lupus erythematosus. Alfalfa might also cause some people’s skin to become extra sensitive to the sun. Wear sunblock outside, especially if you are light-skinned. Pregnancy or breast-feeding: Using alfalfa in larger than food amounts 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, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis , 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.
Origin: Europe, China, and India