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Alfalfa ( medicago sativa ) is a sacred herbal medicine used for centuries. The scientific name is not to be confused with mexican Sativa ;) The herb has also has acquired the common nickname of Lucerne. This herbal medicine has been cultivated and prized sense at least the era of both the ancient Greeks and Romans. Thanks to phytochemistry, we can understand how its complex phytochemicals act in terms of pharmacology. I personally like to combine it with Anise seed and African Wormwood. Interestingly I've seen a few Absinthe recipes that called for both of these herbs! ( Well, all Absinthe calls for artemesia afra, so that's not uncommon! ) For whatever reason, they seem to synergize well to me.
Alfalfa herb has been grown throughout the world as a forage crop for cattle, or as hay or silage. Of all the hay crops out there, it's believed to have one of the highest feeding values. I think it's worth growing if you live on a farm because of this. For the most part, it's used to feed dairy cows. I think it would be cool to have farm animals just as friends, and to grow them really good organic food, and show them love. It contains high amounts of protein and digestible fiber. This makes it great for feeding horses, sheep and goats. Other animals that benefit include rabbits, poultry, and human beings. If you have animals as friends they might enjoy it!
It's known by alternative healers in herbalism and various cultures for its high protein, calcium and mineral content. The plant is loaded with B vitamins, vitamin C, D, E, and K. For more than 1,500 years this herb has been used in the art of herbal medicine. You can see my citations at the bottom of every page to confirm that these statements are in fact true. Although herbal medicine is believed to be a natural form of healing, you should still consider precautions, interactions, and possible side effects before use. The ancients who utilized these tools were very knowledgeable of such things. It's the modern phytochemical studies that teach us which potentially pharmacological chemical constituents that they create and contain.
Even the ancient Chinese physicians used it to treat disorders related to the digestive tract and kidneys. Because of this I believe that Alfalfa and Ginger work great together. Ayurvedic physicians used the plant for treating poor digestion as well. A cooling poultice can be made from the seeds and used for boils. In those times, it was also prized for dealing with arthritis and water retention. Other studies look into the anti-inflammatory properties its phytochemicals show potential for. Always talk with a doctor first.. I prefer a health care professional that only resorts to pills as a last ditch effort. In my opinion, a good doctor will take your diet and lifestyle into consideration rather than exploiting your desire to be healthy by over-loading you with potentially un-necessary pills.
It's used in the form of tea by herbalist for: lowering cholesterol levels, as a way to keep calcium in bones and out of artery linings, to help lower blood sugar levels, to aid in the treatment of upset stomach, in the treatment of arthritis and is used as a diuretic for conditions of the kidney and bladder. It's also used to stimulate the immune system and purify or detox the blood in herbalism. I personally take it along with calcium and vitamin D for my teeth and bones. Consult with a trained health care professional first and always look into what you read on the internet further.
If you live in an area where droughts are common, this is an ideal crop for you. It can either be sown in the spring or fall and grows best in well-drained soils that have a ph of 6.8-7.5. The species requires adequate amounts of both potassium and phosphorus to grow well. When cultivating anything, it is best to use an organic growing medium. Cultivating this species can be beneficial for your soil as well. The species contains a bacteria in its root nodules known as Sinorhizobium meliloti, that has the ability to fix nitrogen. This means the it has a natural ability to increase nitrogen in soil.
Why Go Organic?
Growing organically is beneficial for both the plant, the person consuming the medicine, the earth, and all other life forms on the earth. Organic gardening is a very simple concept that involves using nothing but pure nature as the solitary source of food and nutrients for your garden. Remember the concept of "you are what you eat." This concept applies to your garden as well. If you consume what you grow, you are consmimg what they were fed.
More Than Just A Weed
A lot of people may see a wild flower and think of it as "just a weed." What these individuals fail to realize is that many of these "weeds" have great cultural significance around the world. The historic use of alternative medicine dates back hundreds of thousands of years, even in the time period of B.C. Now that you know the wide range of history surrounding this herb, it should be obvious that "weeds" are worthy of respect and life just as any other creature on the planet.
There are companies out there who manufactures weed killers and other poisonous and hazardous chemicals designed to destroy these sacred gifts. I think these products are also bad for the environment in general and contaminate the earth, including natural sources of water around the world. When you spread these chemicals, you're essentially destroying life as we know it.
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