Alfalfa has been cultivated for animal fodder for centuries. Its high nutritional and caloric value, perennial habit and ability to regrow after being chopped down repeatedly makes it a useful and sustainable forage plant and hay crop. A legume, it is also useful as a nitrogen-fixing cover crop, improving the soil its grown in. Alfalfa is also known to attract and harbor beneficial insects to the garden.
Mature, whole alfalfa leaves aren’t palatable to humans, but they can be dried, ground and added to flours or tea mixtures. Raw alfalfa seeds are toxic but sprouted alfalfa seeds have been used for centuries in Asia and is a popular “foodie” ingredient in Western diets as well.
Alfalfa was first cultivated in the Middle East and the Persians introduced it to Ancient Greece and Rome. It became popular as a folk remedy in the Middle Ages to increase lactation. It also appears in Ayervedic medicine for the treatment of arthritis and to improve digestion. Alfalfa is currently enjoying popularity in the health food industry as a general health tonic. It has been used to treat diabetes, menopause symptoms, arthritis and high cholesterol.
It should be noted that genetically modified (Roundup ready) alfalfa is prevalent and no special labeling is required. Unfortunately, if you wish to avoid this, you will need to look for Organic alfalfa or grow your own. (The likelihood of accidentally buying GMO seeds is low, as you’re usually required to sign a contract.)
Alfalfa makes a soothing tea, rich in nutrients and great for soothing stressful situations and calming nerve pain.
Ground into a powder, alfalfa can be used as a flour additive for baked goods and pancakes. It will turn them green.
Sprouted alfalfa seeds are wonderful additions to salads. Tasty with a nutty texture, they are rich in vitamins and low in calories. I like to use alfalfa sprouts in dishes for gatherings to celebrate new beginnings and potential and they tend to make an appearance in dishes I prepare for early spring festivals.
It can also be taken in tablet form or as a liquid extract.
Alfalfa should not be taken with prednisone or any blood thinning drugs.
The sprouts should be avoided by those suffering from auto immune disorders.
Alfalfa can be carried or added to a mojo bag or spell combination to increase luck and draw money or just keep alfalfa somewhere in your house to prevent poverty.
Learn More About Alfalfa
Alfalfa is high in protein and fiber. It contains B vitamins, beta carotene and vitamins C, E and K.
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