Alfalfa Herb, Supplement and Tea Benefits

Although alfalfa is a food crop for animals, it also has been employed as an herbal medicine for at least 1500 years. Ingestion of alfalfa seeds or sprouts may be associated with a decrease in blood cell production while the leaves and stems provide a good source of protein as well as vitamins and minerals.

The most promising value for alfalfa is in the area of supporting healthy cholesterol levels.

Alfalfa may also have some ability to enhance immune system function. Alfalfa seeds are also used as a folk remedy for asthma or other breathing conditions. Chemicals in alfalfa have mild diuretic properties, which may promote the loss of water from the body. Therefore, alfalfa may relieve swelling caused by excess water accumulation. Because other components of alfalfa may act somewhat like the female hormone estrogen, it has been suggested as potentially useful in menopause as well.

Dosage and Administration

Used for cholesterol reduction in adults, a recommended dose of alfalfa is 40 mg of alfalfa seed or 5,000 mg to 10,000 mg (5 grams to 10 grams) of dried alfalfa leaves and stems three times a day. Dried alfalfa may be taken as capsules, tablets, or tea made from dried alfalfa soaked in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes, then strained before drinking.