“Are you talking about the hay for cows?” was the bewildered question from an elderly gentleman a few years ago when I recommended this herb to him? I still laugh about it today, and while I would not recommend nibbling on some hay, Alfalfa is recommended for humans for much of the same reason for animals: it is highly nutritious. Humans cannot digest the Alfalfa plant in a way that helps us gain energy or calories the way cattle can, but supplemental Alfalfa is a rich source of vitamins and minerals.
Alfalfa is in the Legume family and has been cultivated for livestock since ancient history. It was first cultivated in Ancient Persia (modern day Iran) and introduced to the Greeks when Persia invaded Greece in about 490 B.C. The use spread across Europe and then in the 19th century Spanish colonies introduced Alfalfa to the Americas.
Known as “The King of Herbs”, Alfalfa grows in arid places with its deep root system able to reach water sources that other plants cannot. This may be the reason the Alfalfa plant is so rich in minerals and vitamins A, C, and K. Alfalfa is a great source of iron, and in my opinion, a great supplement for low iron conditions without the harsh side effect that can occur with Iron supplements.
Diet is an important factor in the healing process and eating highly nutritious foods is imperative. Alfalfa can increase the appetite, making it easier to eat nutritious foods, especially for the elderly. It is also referred as a “Super Food”. According to Registered Herbalist, Steven Horne, this is a term applied to nutritionally dense foods that have medicinal value. Whenever I see Alfalfa in any herbal formula or meal replacement, I know that unless the product is of overall poor quality, it will have great nutritional value.
I consider this herb an excellent option for nutritional support for the elderly (like my bewildered friend at the beginning of this article 😊) or anyone healing from surgery or illness.
Alfalfa is also a great supplement to support the Pituitary gland. The Pituitary gland is considered the “master” gland for good reason. Located at the base of the skull, this gland receives messages from the brain and then secretes hormones to regulate hormone production in other glands. In this process, it controls hormonal functions such as growth, body temperature, and thyroid activity, just to name a few. Nutritionally supporting this gland can be key in bringing hormonal balance to the body.
With its great nutritional profile, there is good reason for Alfalfa to be considered “King of the Herbs”.
We here at The Health Patch would be happy to help you find the right supplements for you.
Health and Blessings,
Kimberly Anderson, ND