Alfalfa | Medicago Sativa

Other Names

Medicago sativa, lucerne, holy-hay, and trefoil, Feuille de Luzerne, Grand Trèfle, Herbe aux Bisons, Herbe à Vaches, Lucerne, Luzerne, Medicago, Medicago sativa, Phyoestrogen, Phyto-œstrogène, Purple Medick, Sanfoin.


Being an herb, it is one of the oldest cultivated plants with historical uses in hay and sometimes as food for people. In fact, its name is derived from the Arabic phrase al-fac-facah meaning “father of all foods”.

It is known for its tolerance during extreme hot weathers and surprisingly, even during the cold. It has a consistent productivity and quality of its herbage. It possesses a good value in soil improvement.

It grows from 30-90 centimetres and up to three feet tall. As it grows, numerous stems arise from its crown buds, producing small flowers from the upper bud axillaries of the stems. The flowers can pollinate even in dry weather with the help of insects and can abundantly produce coils like legumes containing seeds.


Noted as fit for human consumption, it contains saponine, canavine , beta-carotene and vitamins C, E and K and sometimes traces of vitamin A.

BUY Alfalfa 

Collection period

Late August and early September

Used Parts

Bark and fruit


The Alfalfa’s parts are usually used in making tea and some are powdered into food supplements because of its vitamin contents.

Alfalfa is usually recommended as a nutritive and is effective in regulation of malnutrition, prolonged illness and debility.

The sprouts and leaves help lower bad cholesterol levels, also reducing atherosclerosis or buildup of plaque on the artery walls.

The herb is also used to address poor digestion and arthritis. Anemia can also be addressed with the use of Alfalfa and to increase milk production in aid of mothers who are breastfeeding infants.


The sprouts can be found in salad bars and groceries. The leaves, seeds and parts of the herb are powdered and used in manufacturing tablets and capsules. It can also be made into a tea.


Alfalfa has had considerable value as food centuries ago. Today, it is still recognized as a food supplement ingredient

Side Effects

No matter how helpful and diverse Alfalfa can be in its applications, it still has to be regulated. Excessive consumption may cause red blood cells breakdown. Alfalfa also contains canavanine which can aggravate lupus. Canavine and its active saponins can also harm pregnant women.


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  • “The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species”.·

  • “Definition of lucerne in English”. Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 10 August 2013.·

  • “alfalfa (plant) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia”. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.·

  • “CELL BIOLOGY & MOLECULAR GENETICS”. Retrieved 19 April 2013.·

  • “Understanding Autotoxicity in Alfalfa”. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.·

  • “SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE MANAGEMENT GUIDES”. Kansa Rural Center. Retrieved 19 April 2013.·

  • “Alfalfa in the South”. Retrieved 19 April 2013.·

  • “A”. UKY. Retrieved 19 April 2013.·

  • “Alfalfa for Dairy Cattle”. Retrieved 19 April 2013. ·

  • “How Stuff Works -Alfalfa: Herbal Remedies” Health. Retrieved 6 February 2014

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