Friday, November 8, 2013

Alfalfa

Man. I know this sounds weird, but I have a lot of good memories that involve alfalfa. Such as:

  • Picking them for my mom as beautiful flower bouquets
  • My littlest sister eating the flower heads like they were candy and my best friend thinking it was super weird
  • Tossing bales of sweet smelling alfalfa hay for our horses
  • Playing dress-up in our field of alfalfa 
  • My dad eating egg sandwiches piled high with alfalfa sprouts
  • My first "awesome" nature photo of alfalfa with a film camera when I was in 9th grade 
Suffice it to say, I have been around alfalfa a lot in my life. It's good stuff!!


Properties:
Medicago sativa

  • Tonic
  • Diuretic
  • High in vitamins:
    • A
    • B1
    • B2
    • K
    • A
    • D
  • Good source of:
    • Chlorophyll
    • Calcium
    • Magnesium
    • Potassium
    • 8 essential amino acids

Helps With:

Alfalfa is an amazing blood purifier and helps to alkalize the body. (With our modern diet most people are too acidic.)

Works to detoxify the body from impurities.

Acts as a general tonic for the kidneys.

Fights anemia by purifying the blood and also promotes normal blood clotting.

Stimulates the immune system due to all the wonderful nutrients.

Can be useful in dealing with endometriosis because alfalfa contains phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are the natural plant hormones which are related to estrogen. Apparently they work by blocking the estrogen receptor sites which reduces the effect of a woman's own hormones. 

Due to the high mineral content, alfalfa has been known to help with conditions such as arthritis, intestinal ulcers, liver disorders, bleeding gums, body and breath odor, and even cancer.



Tidbits:

The Arabs called alfalfa "the father of all herbs".

Don't eat the unsprouted seeds because they contain a toxic amino acid called L-canavanine. 

Eating sprouted alfalfa seeds are super healthy. In fact, the vitamin content is greatly increased in the sprouts versus the mature plant.


Getting More:

  • Drink alfalfa tea (or mix with other herbs so it's more palatable)
  • Take alfalfa tablets
  • Grow some alfalfa sprouts and eat them on sandwiches, in salads, etc.
  • Make a tincture and include alfalfa

To make alfalfa sprouts:
You will need:
  • 2 Tablespoons alfalfa seeds
  • Water
  • Glass jar
  • Either a special sprout lid, or you can use a clean rag with a rubberband.

Place the seeds in the glass jar and cover them with a few inches of warm water. Secure the lid (or cloth) and allow the seeds to soak overnight which helps jump start the germination process. In the morning, pour off the water and rinse them with fresh water. Place the jar upside (I place a thick rag underneath to soak up the excess water) and for the next several days, rinse them with clean water. Generally I rinse them 3 times per day but depending on the temperature of your house you might have a little wiggle room. 


My little sprouty sprouts that are almost ready...

Rinsing them keeps them moist and growing, plus ensures that no bad bacteria can take root.

After a few days your sprouts will be ready. They are ready when they develop little baby leaves. Super cute. :) If you wish to enhance the chlorophyll content, place them in direct sun (still in the jar) for a few hours. The baby leaves will turn a darker green so you will know it's working.

Store in the fridge and eat within a few days.



Bethany
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Disclaimer:
In order to protect myself from people who might take any information I have written out of context or use it in any way I do not intend...I must say the following: I am NOT a doctor. I take no responsibility for what you do or not do with any information I have written. My opinions and writings should not take the place of a  doctor...consult one of those if you need medical advice. Pretty much...please use common sense and I strongly suggest you do your own research as well. It's empowering!


1 comment:

  1. Loved reading your alfalfa memories. :) We don't seem to have any alfalfa growing on this property like we did in Montana. Maybe we should plant a little! Your alfalfa bouquets were so sweet and special -- sad I probably didn't ever take a picture of one. But your photograph is beautiful (as you know, since I have it framed and on the wall, lol)

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