Scientific name Medicago sativa , alfalfa is a medicinal plant that belongs to the legume family. With a pleasant flavor, alfalfa is used in food and its name derives from the Greek, which means “the best food”.Alfalfa apparently originated in south-central Asia, being first cultivated in Persia. It is an evergreen foliage that normally lives between four and eight years, but which can live longer depending on the climate and variety. With a height of approximately one meter, the plant is intensely produced in Brazil.

Benefits and properties

Alfalfa is normally used to feed animals, but it is also an excellent food for people as it is highly nutritious and tasty. Older people used alfalfa as a natural medicine to fight gastric ulcers, in addition to the pain caused by arthritis and to eliminate fluid retention. Alfalfa is currently being used as a proven natural medicine by scientists against heart disease, stroke and cancer.

According to animal studies, alfalfa helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, as well as deposit plaque on artery walls. As a form of cancer prevention, the plant adheres to cancer cells in the intestine, making it easier for the body to expel them.

Alfalfa also helps fight bad breath and works by lowering blood sugar levels. It can also be used to fight kidney problems, bladder diseases, prostate problems, asthma, arthritis, stomach upset and ulcers.

The plant can also be used to treat anemia, scurvy, circulatory problems, lack of appetite, cystitis, rheumatism, tranquilizers, among others.


Despite being usually consumed in the form of a salad, alfalfa seeds should be avoided, according to the book “Healing Herbs”, by Michael Castleman, since it has a toxic amino acid that can bring health problems.

Consumption should be avoided by pregnant women, as it can cause abortion – due to the toxicity of the seeds -, and can cause anemia. Patients who consume anticoagulant medications should not use alfalfa natural medicine, as it is rich in vitamin K.

It is even believed that it may end up cutting off the effect of contraceptive medications. It is important, therefore, that women who consume the plant and/or contraceptive drugs use other methods of protection.

How to make alfalfa tea?

To prepare the tea, you should use dried alfalfa leaves, which should be dried in the shade. You will need:

– 2 tablespoons of herb
– 1 liter of water

In a container, put the water and bring to fire. When it starts to boil, add the herb and wait approximately three minutes. Then turn off the heat and cover, letting the mixture sit sweltered for 10 minutes. Then strain and consume.

The proper way to consume it is a cup of tea for four days a week, every other day. It is recommended that the dose be repeated for more than a week.