Most of alfalfa's ancient healing uses have long been disapproved, but modern scientists may have discovered a potential healing benefit our ancestors never dreamed of: Alfalfa as an agent in the war against heart disease, stroke, and cancer, the nations top three killers.
Animal studies show that alfalfa leaves help reduce blood cholesterol levels and plaque deposits on artery walls. High cholesterol levels and plaque deposits lead to heart disease and stroke. Alfalfa sprouts produce a similar, but less significant, effect. Animal results don't necessarily apply to people, but one case report in the British medical journal (Lancet) documented a major cholesterol reduction in a man who ate large amounts of alfalfa.
One study suggests that alfalfa helps neutralize carcinogens in the intestine. Another, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, shows it binds carcinogens in the colon and helps speed their elimination from the body.
Alfalfa also contain two chemicals (stachydrine and homostachydrine) that promote menstruation and can cause miscarriage. Pregnant women should not eat alfalfa seeds.
Alfalfa is a source of chlorophyll, the active ingredient in most commercial breath fresheners. Sip an alfalfa infusion if you're concerned about bad breath.