10 Best Uses for Alfalfa
|By Petra Trudell, Managing Editor on Tuesday, September 4, 2012|
|Get to know alfalfa, the one herb with many benefits for you. Learn more about how alfalfa supplements protect the heart, kidneys and everything in between.||
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is an herb with a variety of uses that have made it a popular choice for the health conscious. Found throughout the world, alfalfa is actually a member of the pea family and while the plant is often grown as feed for cattle, the seeds, leaves and sprouts are used both as food for humans and for medicinal purposes.
Interested in trying out some alfalfa? Supplements are available in capsules, tablets, liquid or tea form. Here are 10 reasons alfalfa is worth giving a shot:
1. Kidney Function -- Alfalfa supports the proper function of the two kidneys and may help prevent the development of kidney stones, which can be incredibly painful, as well as help dissolve them.
2. Nutrition -- If you're missing out on key nutrients from day to day, alfalfa is rich is vitamins like A, C, E and K as well as the minerals calcium, iron, potassium and phosphorus. This plant also contains protein, fiber, digestive enzymes, amino acids and plenty of chlorophyll.
3. Bladder and Prostate Function -- Take alfalfa to keep the urinary system on track and functioning correctly and prevent infections of the bladder and/or urinary tract. Alfalfa also helps to increase urine flow, which can be affected by age.
4. Arthritis -- Patients with various forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, can benefit from alfalfa. A traditional herbal remedy in various parts of the world, alfalfa tea is said to help relieve the pain.
5. Digestive Health -- If you're experiencing digestive issues, alfalfa can help the body better break down food and absorb its nutrients, preventing symptoms and increasing nutritional gain. The various nutrients and enzymes in alfalfa are responsible for these results.
6. Lowering Cholesterol -- For individuals with high levels of "bad" (LDL) cholesterol, alfalfa has shown to be effective in stopping the absorption of cholesterol in the gut, helping naturally bring down levels of this harmful cholesterol. It's not been shown to have any effect on "good" (HDL) cholesterol.
7. Diabetes -- Alfalfa can be taken to regulate blood sugar levels, lowering the amount of glucose in the blood. If you have diabetes, be sure to keep a close eye on your blood sugar while taking an alfalfa supplement.
8. Respiratory Problems -- Anyone who suffers from allergies or asthma can use alfalfa as a way to find relief. The chlorophyll in alfalfa improves the health and function of the sinuses and lungs, protecting you from infection and boosting recovery time.
9. Cardiovascular Protection -- In addition to lowering cholesterol, which benefits the heart, alfalfa helps out the heart by boosting circulation and inhibiting plaque formation within the arteries that can lead to conditions like coronary artery disease.
10. Prevent or Correct Anemia -- Someone is often diagnosed as anemic when they have too little iron in their blood. Naturally rich in this important mineral, alfalfa can be beneficial in correcting an deficit imbalance.
As always, check with your doctor before adding alfalfa to your routine, especially if you've been diagnosed with and are being treated for any of the conditions listed above. Don't take alfalfa without the permission and monitoring of a physician if you're taking blood thinners, contraceptive drugs, estrogen pills, immunosuppressants or any medication that makes you more sensitive to sunlight.
Stock up on your alfalfa products today at eVitamins and check back next week to learn about another versatile supplement!
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