Guest Author - Linda Heywood
Alfalfa is a member of the pea family, it is also known as Lucerne grass. Its botanical name is Medicago Sativa. The Arabs fed alfalfa to their horses to make them run faster. They named it ‘father of foods’. The roots of the alfalfa plant can grow by as much as forty meters into the earth and it can live for as long as twenty years given the right climate and conditions. Alfalfa is one of the richest mineral foods available in a balanced form. Its nutrients are easily absorbed into the body.
A sprouted seed is the general food form in which alfalfa is eaten by humans. Sprouting is the process of germination of seeds which after a few days can be eaten cooked or raw. Sprouted seeds are rich in enzymes and highly nutritious. Always buy organic sprouts of any kind. There are genetically modified alfalfa seeds in the market place that are treated with a broad spectrum herbicide known as Roundup Ready, so only buy organic sprouted alfalfa seeds from a health food shop or super market. Or sprout your own from organic seeds from a reputable organic seed retailer.
Sprouted alfalfa seeds contain calcium, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, iron, isoflavones, sodium, vitamins and essential enzymes. The minerals are alkaline and have a neutralising effect on the stomach and intestinal tract. Alfalfa is a diuretic, it also stimulates the function of the pituitary gland and it is anti-fungal.
Alfalfa, barley-grass, wheat-grass and spirulina all contain chlorophyll and have been found to aid the healing of stomach ulcers. Arthritis sufferers have been helped by alfalfa which is a natural mineral supplement. Below is a list of other health conditions found to be aided by these plants due to their chlorophyll content.
High blood pressure
Pus formation reduced
Body and breath odour
Young alfalfa leaves are used in Chinese herbal medicine to aid the digestive tract and in Ayurveda it is used to treat poor digestion. Alfalfa can be bought from health food shops in the form of organic sprouts, powdered herb which is available also in tablets and capsules or liquid extract. Use alfalfa sprouts in salads or in sandwiches and sprinkle on some hemp hearts for a nutritious meal.
Alfalfa plants, seeds and sprouts all contain L-cavanine, an amino acid. It can cause recurrence in Lupus patients, spleen enlargement and abnormal blood counts. To remedy this try heating the alfalfa sprouts in stir-fry. Alfalfa has a high vitamin K content which could make Warfarin less effective. Alfalfa seeds or sprouts should not be eaten by pregnant or nursing women as some of its elements have an estrogenic effect.
Why not give living food a try? Alfalfa sprouts are the perfect way to introduce living food into your diet. They are tiny mineral powerhouses and provide a tasty alternative to lettuce.
Live life for the moment.
"Better than a thousand useless words is one single word that gives peace."