• Jayne Tamburello

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)

Monograph: alfalfa

I. Botanical Nomenclature:

Name: Medicago sativa

Family: Fabaceae

Common: alfalfa

II. Definition of drug: leaf (not sprout)

IV. Taste/Odor/Energetics: neutral

V. Summary of physiological actions:

  • Gentle alterative; rich in vitamin K (so potential co with cumadin); vitamin K helps with clotting

  • Some cholesterol elimination although need a high quantity (5-10 grams TID)

  • as a digestive tonifying agent that strengthens and invigorates and appetite stimulant

  • in the treatment of dyspepsia and/or indigestion or upset stomach and for the relief of pain from arthritis

  • to promote the appetite and weight gain

VI. Key constituents: enzymes, phytoestrogens, flavonoids, saponins

VII. Pharmacology:

Some hypoglycemic benefit (so good for blood lipids)

IX. Specific indications:

  • nourishes the liver and the blood

  • helps tone the digestive "qi' and promotes absorption of food

  • promotes detoxification of kidneys

  • helps to relive depression and reduce pain

XI. Preparation and Dosage:

  • dried herb: 5 g to 10 g, 3 times per day

  • fluid extract: 5 g to 10 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day (1:1, 25% ethanol)

XII. Safety:

potentially estrogenic; can bring on a period if taken in concentrated form

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