Somewhat resembling clover, with clusters of small purple flowers,
Alfalfa is a hearty plant, resilient to droughts and frequently relied
upon as a source of food for cattle. Indeed, it is one of the highest
yielding harvest plants, frequently utilized in hay fields. In human
consumption, it is most often used in salads and sandwiches. The tender
shoots are also often eaten, serving as a nutritious leafy vegetable.
Traditionally, Alfalfa has been found in Chinese medicine as an aid in
problems that involve the digestive track as well as the kidneys.
Similarly, Hindu Ayrvedic physicians have utilized Alfalfa leaves in
treating poor digestion, as well as using the plant to create a
poultice for boils. They had also thought of it as a potent aid in
treating arthritis and water retention. More commonly these days it is
viewed as a Dietery supplement, as which it is most frequently taken as
a tablet, powder, or tea.
In modern holistic medicine, Alfalfa leaf has been suggested as a
supplement for anemia and diabetes, and has also been used to aid in
stimulating appetite and weight gain. It is also sometimes used in
treating indigestion and bladder problems, as a diuretic. Othrwise it
is said to help with increasing lactation and soothing the symptoms of
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).
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