ALFALFA: “Hope for the Heart”
Anesthetic, Appetite Simulator, Arthritis Pain, Bad Breath, Cancer, Cholesterol, Digestion, Fluid Retention, Heart Disease, Stroke
Also Known As:Buffalo Grass, Chilean Clover and Lucerne (British)
It is said that healing powers are contained within the leaves of the alfalfa. In the USA, sprouts of the herb are sprinkled over salad to increase flavor. Spain was first to introduce it to America.
This plant has been used by farmers all over the world to feed cattle. The Chinese enjoy preparing the leaves of this herb to eat as a vegetable while physicians, Chinese and ancient India Ayurevidcs used it to stimulate appetite and treat digestion disorders.
Use the sprouts to dress up salads. Alfalfa capsules and tablets are sold at herbal outlets and natural food stores. Follow the directions on the packaging.
When used as a bulk herb, prepare an infusions using 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried leaves per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 to 20 minutes. Enjoy up to 3 cups daily. The taste of alfalfa is similar to chamomile tea with a slight bitter after taste and has a hay-like aroma.
USE: (Grow Your Own)
Alfalfa is a deep-rooting, bushy perennial that grows up to 3 feet and resembles a tall clover. Growing your own is very easy. They bloom from May through October. Colors range from pale blue, lavender or yellow. Loamy soil prepared with manure and rock phosphate or clay is used for planting. Sow seeds in rows that are about 18 inches apart.
Water plants regularly when they are young. As they mature, they become more drought tolerant. Harvest plants as they bloom. Cut them within 3 inches from the ground. Be sure to hang them for drying.
The seeds of the alfalfa should not be eaten. They contain high toxic levels of amino acid which can cause blood disorders. Alfalfa is on the Food and Drug Administration’s list of herbs that are regarded as safe.