Alfalfa: Seeds Sprouts, Juice, Leaves Health Benefits, Side Effects

Are you looking for ways to add more nutrition to your diet? Alfalfa may be the answer you’re looking for! This superfood has been around for centuries and is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In this post, we’ll discuss the health benefits of alfalfa, how to incorporate it into your diet, and some of the potential side effects. We’ll also provide some delicious recipes and ideas to get you started. So, if you’re ready to explore the world of alfalfa, read on and get ready to reap the health benefits! 

What is Alfalfa?

Alfalfa is a type of forage crop that has a long history of being used as animal feed. Native to western Asia and the Mediterranean, alfalfa is a legume that is also known as lucerne or Medicago sativa. It is one of the most widely cultivated forages in the world and is used to feed horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and other animals. Alfalfa is known for its high nutritional value, as it is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. It has a high protein content and is a great source of dietary fiber. The ancient Chinese, noticing their cattle preferred grazing in alfalfa, started to sprout alfalfa shoots to use as a vegetable. One of the most common uses of Alfalfa in Chinese medicine is for the treatment of ulcers. It is also a great source of vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K, as well as minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron. Alfalfa is also a great way to reduce the risk of certain health issues in animals. It can help reduce the risk of colic in horses, and can help reduce the risk of bloat in cattle. It can also help improve the health of animals with compromised digestive systems.

Nutritional Value and Calories Chart

Alfalfa is a nutrient-rich superfood that is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as folate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and zinc. It also contains phytonutrients such as carotenoids, phytoestrogens, and flavonoids. Alfalfa is also a good source of fiber, which helps to keep the digestive system running smoothly and may help reduce cholesterol levels. Additionally, research suggests that alfalfa may have anti-inflammatory benefits, help regulate blood sugar, and reduce the risk of certain cancers. Nutritional value per 100 g alfalfa seeds:

  • Biotin: 0.2 mcg
  • Calcium: 30 mg
  • Carbohydrates (Carbs): 3 g
  • Chloride: 32 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Choline: 2.7 mg
  • Chromium: 0.1 mcg
  • Copper: 0.2 mg
  • Dietary Fiber: 2 g
  • Energy (Calories): 22 kcal
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Iodine: 0.1 mcg
  • Iron: 0.7 mg
  • Magnesium: 9 mg
  • Manganese: 0.1 mg
  • Molybdenum: 0.2 mcg
  • Pantothenic Acid: 0.2 mg
  • Phosphorus: 27 mg
  • Potassium: 95 mg
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Saturated fat: 0 g
  • Selenium: 0.3 mcg
  • Sodium: 14 mg
  • Sugars: 0.3 g
  • Vitamin A: 117 IU
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 0.02 mg
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 0.04 mg
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 0.4 mg
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 0.2 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.06 mg
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate / Folic Acid): 10 mcg
  • Vitamin B12: 0 mcg
  • Vitamin C: 0.3 mg
  • Vitamin D: 0 IU
  • Vitamin E: 0.1 mg
  • Vitamin K: 56 mcg
  • Water: 89.3 g
  • Zinc: 0.3 mg

Interesting Facts

  • One of the oldest cultivated crops in the world, with records dating back as far as 4,000 BC.
  • An excellent source of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and protein.
  • It has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb to help treat ailments such as digestion problems, fever, and inflammation.
  • A rich source of chlorophyll, which is known to help detoxify the body and improve overall health.
  • A hardy crop that can withstand drought, pests, and disease and can grow in a variety of climates.
  • Popular choice for cattle and other livestock, as it is a nutritious, high-protein feed that is easy to digest.
  • Sprouts are a popular addition to salads, sandwiches, and other dishes, as they are low in calories and rich in nutrients.

Alfalfa In India

The Indian name for alfalfa is Lucerne. Alfalfa is a species of legume that is native to the Mediterranean region, but is also cultivated in many parts of the world, including India. In India, it is most commonly grown as a fodder crop for livestock, and is also used as a green manure and cover crop. It is also used to make hay, silage, and haylage. Indian farmers also use alfalfa as a rotational crop in order to improve soil fertility. Alfalfa is known to fix nitrogen in the soil, making it an excellent crop for improving soil fertility. As such, it is often used in rotation with other crops, such as wheat, maize, and cotton. What is Alfalfa called in different Indian languages?

  • Scientific Binomial: Medicago sativa
  • Common English: Lucerne / Alfalfa / Buffal Herb / Bastard medic
  • Ayurvedic: Vilaayatigawuth / Lasunghaas / Lusan / Vilayati Gavat
  • Unani: Barsem
  • Sanskrit: Ashvabala
  • Hindi / Urdu: Lusan ghas / Lasunghar / Wilayti gawuth
  • Bengali:
  • Marathi: Vilayati Gavat
  • Telugu: vulavalu
  • Tamil: Kudirai masal / Kutirai macal
  • Gujarati: Vilayati ghas
  • Kannada: lusarne soppu / Vilayti hullu
  • Malayalam:
  • Oriya: Dureshta
  • Punjabi / Sindhi:
  • Assamese:
  • Kashmiri:
  • Konkani:
  • Manipuri:
  • Dogri:
  • Bhojpuri:

History and Spiritual Belief

Alfalfa has been used for centuries in a variety of culinary, medicinal, and spiritual contexts. Alfalfa, as the name in Arabic signifies, is the king of all sprouts. Grown as a plant, its roots are known to burrow as much as 12 meters into the subsoil to bring up valuable trace minerals of which manganese is especially important to health and digestion; it is a vital component of human insulin. In many cultures, it is seen as a symbol of abundance and fertility, and has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including indigestion, arthritis, and even cancer. According to some spiritual traditions, alfalfa is associated with protection, prosperity, and new beginnings. In many cultures, it is also seen as a spiritual food, offering nourishment for the soul, as well as physical sustenance. The top five countries producing the most alfalfa are the United States, China, Australia, Argentina, and Turkey.

Alfalfa Sprouts

Seeds make excellent sprouts. Alfalfa is a member of the legume family and is high in protein and other essential nutrients. It is often used in salads, soups, casseroles, and other dishes. It can also be eaten raw, sprouted, or dried. Alfalfa is a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Alfalfa sprouts are a nutritious and flavorful addition to many meals. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and they have a mild flavor that can be used to enhance salads, sandwiches, wraps, and other dishes. Alfalfa sprouts are also easy to grow at home, making them a great addition to any kitchen garden. You can sprinkle it on salads or add it to smoothies or shakes. Use alfalfa sprouts instead of lettuce, since they are far more nutritious.

How To Grow Alfalfa Sprouts?

  1. Soak the alfalfa seeds in a bowl of lukewarm water overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse the seeds with fresh water.
  3. Place the seeds in a sprouting jar or other container with a lid.
  4. Cover the container with cheesecloth or a mesh lid and secure with a rubber band.
  5. Rinse the seeds twice a day, leaving the sprouts in the jar in between rinsing.
  6. After 4-5 days, the sprouts should be ready to harvest.
  7. Rinse the sprouts thoroughly before eating or storing.

Health Benefits of Sprouts

  • Rich in Nutrients: An excellent source of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. They contain high concentrations of beta-carotene, vitamins A, B, C, E and K, as well as folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and amino acids.
  • High in Protein: A good source of protein. One cup of sprouts contains about 3 grams of protein, which is about 6 percent of your daily requirement.
  • Good Source of Fiber: An excellent source of dietary fiber, providing 4.5 grams of fiber per cup. This can help you feel fuller for longer, which can help you maintain a healthy weight.
  • May Help Lower Cholesterol: Contain phytosterols, which are plant compounds with similar structures to cholesterol. Studies have shown that phytosterols may help reduce levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol in the body.
  • May Help Prevent Certain Cancers: Contain saponins, which are plant compounds that have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer. Studies have shown that saponins may help stop the growth of cancerous cells in the body.
  • Lecerne important cholesterol lowering food. Taking capsule form of good quality alfalfa powder can be helpful when too much cholesterol is a problem.
  • Its main traditional use has been as a natural food supplement for debility and convalescence, aiding appetite and weight gain.

Alfalfa Juice

Alfalfa juice is a beverage made from the liquid extracted from the sprouts of the alfalfa plant. It is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes, and is believed to have numerous health benefits, such as promoting a healthy digestive system, improving skin health, and boosting energy levels. It may also help reduce inflammation and reduce cholesterol levels. To make alfalfa juice:

  1. Soak 1 cup of seeds in 2 cups of water overnight.
  2. Strain the soaked alfalfa and reserve the water.
  3. Put the soaked alfalfa in a blender and add 1 cup of fresh apple juice and 1 cup of filtered water.
  4. Blend until you get a smooth mixture.
  5. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the solids.

Alfalfa Leaves

Alfalfa is bitter and astringent, with cooling properties. It is high in chlorophyll and nutrients. It alkalizes and detoxifies the body, aids the liver, and is good for anemia, ulcers, diabetes, hemorrhaging, and arthritis. Alfalfa promotes pituitary gland function and contains antifungal agents.

  • Alfalfa leaves help to reduce blood cholesterol levels and clean plaque deposits from arterial walls.
  • It has been used to treat anemia, colitis, sciatica, and rheumatism.
  • Sip the infusion for a natural breath freshener.
  • Alfalfa is useful in the treatment of atherosclerosis, diabetes, drug addiction, ear problems, infection, lack of protein, sores, ulcers.
  • Rich chlorophyll content found in alfalfa was traditionally used for treating infections resulting from surgical incisions, bed sores and inner ear problems.
  • Alfalfa leaves improves anemia and fatigue with its rich mineral content and its phytosterols help nourish estrogen receptors.

Recent Research

Recent research has focused on identifying and characterizing the effects of various genetic and environmental factors on the yield, quality, and nutritional content of the crop. Studies have shown that improved management practices, such as timely planting and fertility application, can significantly improve alfalfa yields and forage quality. Additionally, researchers have investigated the effects of various herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides on alfalfa yield and quality. In order to further understand the effects of various genetic traits on alfalfa growth and yield, researchers have used omics-based technologies, such as genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics, to identify and characterize genes involved in yield and quality. Additionally, recent research has aimed to explore the potential of alfalfa as a feedstock for biofuels and bioplastics.

Side Effects, Dangers and Disadvantages

  • Alfalfa has been known to cause some mild side effects such as stomach upset, diarrhea, and bloating. It may also interact with certain medications, such as those used to treat high blood pressure.
  • Who should not take alfalfa? It is not recommended for people with autoimmune disorders or those taking immunosuppressants, as it may worsen the condition. It can also interfere with the absorption of certain medications, such as warfarin and cyclosporine.
  • It can contain high levels of the toxic compound L-canavanine. Long-term consumption of supplements can also lead to an increase in hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen, which can have hormonal effects.
  • People who are allergic to pollen, peanuts, and other legumes may experience an allergic reaction if they consume alfalfa.
  • It has a high sodium content, which can be a problem for people with high blood pressure. It also contains saponins, which can be toxic in large doses. Additionally, overconsumption of alfalfa may lead to an imbalance in the body’s electrolytes.


Q. What are the key differences between coastal hay, Timothy hay, alfalfa hay and straw?

Alfalfa is also great for improving the soil, as it contains nitrogen-fixing bacteria which helps to fertilize the soil. The root systems are also great for reducing soil erosion. Overall, it is an incredibly beneficial forage crop that has a range of uses. It is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, and can help to improve the soil, reduce the risk of health issues in animals, and provide a great source of animal feed.

  • Coastal Hay: Coastal hay is a type of grass hay that is high in protein and calcium. It is often used to feed animals such as horses, cows, goats, and sheep.
  • Timothy Hay: Timothy hay is a type of grass hay that is high in fiber and low in protein and calcium. It is often used to feed small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas.
  • Alfalfa Hay: Alfalfa hay is a type of legume hay that is high in protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients. It is often used to feed horses and other large animals.
  • Straw: Straw is a type of cereal grain residue that is low in nutrients. It is often used as bedding material for animals, but can also be used as a source of roughage.

Q. How to Use Alfalfa for Arthritis?

  1. Supplements: Supplements are widely available in the form of tablets or capsules. You can take these supplements daily to help reduce inflammation and support joint health. It is best to speak to your doctor before taking alfalfa supplements for arthritis.
  2. Tea: To make an tea, steep 2 teaspoons of dried alfalfa leaves in 8 ounces of hot water for 10 minutes. Strain the tea and drink it up to three times a day.
  3. Juice: You can also purchase juice from a health food store. It is a concentrated form of alfalfa and can be taken daily to reduce inflammation and boost joint health.
  4. Apply Topically: Make a paste of alfalfa powder and warm water and apply it to your affected joints. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off. Repeat this process two to three times a day to reduce inflammation and pain.

Q. What are common health benefits of alfalfa?
Most used as animal feed, alfalfa is equally nutritious for humans. The juice of alfalfa in combination with carrot and lettuce juice, taken daily also helps the growth of hair to a remarkable extent. The combination of these juices is rich in elements which are particularly useful for the growth of hair. While preparing juice, the leaves of the plant only may be used when it can be obtained fresh. Alfalfa is a useful food to supplement during menopause. Unlike soya, it does not inhibit the absorption of minerals such as iron and calcium. Alfalfa contain estrogenic isoflavones, which have led to its recent use for menopausal symptoms, especially in combination with sage.

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