Have you ever tried Alfalfa?
Alfalfa derived from the Arabic al-fac-facah (“father of all foods”) has been grown and consumed since 500 BC by the Chinese and Arabic people who first discovered it and is widely used as a natural home remedy to treat many ailments. It started becoming popular again in the 17th century and besides being grown in western Asia, it is also native in the Mediterranean region. Now the US is the largest alfalfa producer in the world where the alfalfa plant was introduced in 1860 and primarily grown in California, Wisconsin and South Dakota.
Alfalfa is famous for its tolerance of drought, heat and cold and that is the reason it can be sown in spring as well as in the fall. It can be grown in the northern cold mountains and valleys; as well as in Mediterranean and steaming hot desert climates! Because of its very deep rooted system, alfalfa can efficiently absorb many nutrients from the soil. It is a flowering plant of the pea family and its scientific name is Medicago sativa.
The flowers, leaves, tops, seeds and sprouts are used from alfalfa to treat various conditions. The flowers and leaves are used for tonic purposes in treating arthritis, gout and other blood conditions since it is a blood alkalinizer, as well as a natural detoxifier. The seeds of alfalfa are mostly used to treat hangovers and stomach aches while the sprouts are used in salad. Alfalfa’s tender shoots are consumed in some places as a leaf vegetable.
In addition, it is also available as a juice, since in Chinese medicine it is used to treat kidney and bladder stones. The root of alfalfa is also used in Chinese medicine to improve urine flow, reduce fever and treating jaundice in babies. You can also find dehydrated alfalfa leaf which is commercially available as a weight loss supplement in the form of powders, tablets, liquid extracts and tea which is widely touted globally as a health tonic.
Alfalfa does reduce uric acid
The leaves of the alfalfa plant are rich in minerals, essential amino acids and nutrients (phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and carotene which actively promote kidney function) and other minerals. All these minerals are diuretic in nature and, therefore help to remove fluid accumulations in muscle tissue and joints.
Alfalfa is an excellent natural source of most vitamins: A, B1, B6, B8, B12, C, D, E, K1, P, and U. Alfalfa is also higher in protein than any other plant food (15 to 22% by weight). Alfalfa works by helping to neutralize and reduce high uric acid levels in your blood, but it also has natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it a good choice to consume alfalfa for the gout sufferer. What alfalfa does very well is increase uric acid levels in your urine which can help reduce the excess amount of uric acid available to crystallize and give you a gout attack.
Most studies done on alfalfa with animals and humans indicate alfalfa supplements may reduce levels of blood sugar and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the so-called bad cholesterol, according to the US National Institutes of Health. So be aware that there aren’t any studies proving that alfalfa is a cure-all for gout but again it there’s definitely no harm in using it in your diet. I personally use it in my salads and sandwiches and I’m starting to see more and more restaurants adding alfalfa as an ingredient in salads and sandwiches, it’s finally mainstream.
Finally, make sure to speak with your doctor before adding alfalfa in your diet and deciding which form you choose to consume it as, so it doesn’t interact with any other drugs or therapies you may be involved in and harm your health. If you suffer from gout, you should consume at least fresh alfalfa making it a health food for the gout sufferer.
Posted by Spiro Koulouris