Alfalfa Medicago sativa.Alfalfa Extract.
- Brief info and Basic Botanical Data of Alfalfa.
- Narrative Description of Alfalfa:Medicago sativa.
- Archeology Literature of Alfalfa.
- History of Alfalfa:Medicago sativa.
- Phytochemicals and Constituents of Alfalfa,Medicago sativa.
- General Uses.
- Actions of Alfalfa,Medicago sativa.
- Application of Alfalfa,Medicago sativa:Application scope.
- How Search engine think about Alfalfa.
- Research Update:Alfalfa Medicago sativa.
Alfalfa should not be eaten by pregnant women due to its ability to bring on menstruation (periods),Should Not be used during pregnancy.
Alfafa is contraindicated in patients with gout and systemic lupus erythematosus.The seeds contain a slightly toxic amino acid L-canavanine
Dosage:How much to take?
Dried alfalfa leaf is available as a bulk herb and in tablets or capsules. Alfalfa is also available in liquid extracts. No therapeutic dose of alfalfa has been established for humans. Some experts recommend 500-1,000 mg of the dried leaf per day or 1-2 ml of tincture.
To lower cholesterol in adults, a typical dose of alfalfa is 40 mg of alfalfa seed or 5,000 mg to 10,000 mg (5 grams to 10 grams) of dried alfalfa leaves and stems three times a day. Dried alfalfa may be taken as capsules, tablets, or tea made from dried alfalfa soaked in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes, then strained before drinking.
Daily Dose:For hyperlipoproteinemia:40 g of heat-prepared seeds 3 times a day at mealtimes.
Doses for other potential uses vary greatly. If you choose to take alfalfa, follow the directions on the package you purchase.
Side Effects and Cautions:
Moderate use of the dried leaves of alfalfa is usually safe. There have been isolated reports of persons allergic to alfalfa. Ingestion of large amounts of the seed and/or sprouts has been linked to the onset of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in animal studies. SLE is a dangerous autoimmune illness that is characterized by inflamed joints and potential kidney damage. The chemical responsible for this effect is believed to be canavanine. Persons with SLE or with a history of SLE should avoid the use of alfalfa products.
Major Side Effects:In a documented case, one individual who ate more than 100,000 mg (100 grams) of alfalfa seeds per day, experienced a condition known as pancytopenia. In this condition, normal production of both red and white blood cells decreases. Bleeding gums, bruising, fatigue, or less resistance to infections may result. When the individual stopped consuming alfalfa seeds, blood cell production gradually returned to normal.
Less Severe Side Effects:Allergic reactions to alfalfa have been reported. Alfalfa is a member of the same family of plants as peas, peanuts, and soybeans. Therefore individuals sensitive to one of those related plants may also be sensitive to alfalfa.
Precautions and Adverse Reactions:
Although alfalfa is harmless to most people when taken in the recommended quantities, people with the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) should not take any form of alfalfa. In a well-documented study, people with latent SLE reactivated their symptoms by using alfalfa. In another study, monkeys fed alfalfa sprouts and seeds developed new cases of SLE. People with other autoimmune diseases should stay away from alfalfa as a precautionary measure. In addition, some allergic reactions have been reported to alfalfa tablets contaminated with other substances.Taking alfalfa can make unprotected skin more sensitive to sunlight or artificial light in sun tanning parlors. If you use alfalfa, be sure to use sunscreen.
In studies, laboratory monkeys that regularly ate alfalfa seeds developed a condition resembling systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Case reports of lupus-like symptoms in humans who ate alfalfa seeds have also been published. In addition, consuming alfalfa seeds apparently caused symptoms of SLE to return in two individuals who suffered from SLE but whose disease was inactive. Although no corroborative clinical studies have been conducted in humans, individuals with SLE should not take alfalfa.
In animal studies, alfalfa caused the muscles in the uterus to tighten. Potentially, this tightening could cause a miscarriage, so alfalfa products should not be taken by women who are pregnant.
Since 1995, several instances of alfalfa sprouts or seeds that were contaminated with bacteria have been documented. Eating products contaminated with bacteria could cause diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, and vomiting. Because of this risk, consumption of alfalfa sprouts is not recommended for children, the elderly, or anyone with conditions that affect the immune system. Alfalfa seeds should also be avoided by these individuals.
Women with hormone-dependent conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and cancers of the breast, ovaries, or uterus should not take alfalfa due to its possible hormonal effects. Men with prostate cancer should also avoid taking alfalfa.
Although alfalfa is available as fresh or dried leaf, it is most often taken as a capsule of powdered alfalfa or as a tablet. When dried leaves are used, steeping one ounce of dried leaves in one pint of water for up to 20 minutes makes a tea. Two cups of this tea are drunk daily.In traditional Chinese medicine, juice squeezed from fresh alfalfa is used to treat kidney and bladder stones. To treat fluid retention, alfalfa leaves are added to a soup along with bean curd and lard.
Hypokalemia has been reported,and gastrointestinal disorders are possible,including E.Coli,Salmonella,and listerosis infections.
Moderate use of alfalfa products is not associated with side effects. A case of allergic reaction (from contamination with grass pollen) in alfalfa tablets has been reported. Eating alfalfa seeds or sprouts has been linked to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a condition characterized by inflammation of connective tissue. In two instances, alfalfa sprouts caused the recurrence of SLE in individuals who had been treated for the condition. Those diagnosed with SLE should avoid alfalfa products. Consuming large quantities of the seeds has also produced reversible blood abnormalities. The compound responsible for ill effects is canavanine.
Do not use in conjuntion with blood thinning agents, unless under the supervision of a trained expert. Contraindicated in bleeding disorders due to courmarin content.
Consumption of large doses of Alfalfa's saponins may cause red blood cells to break down and thus cause bloating (and weight gain and possibly anemia) in livestock and humans. Alfalfa sprouts and especially seeds (but not leaves) contain canavanine which may cause Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) and/or cause dormant Lupus to reactivate.
Alfalfa seeds can cause miscarriages in pregnant women as they are abortifacients. WARNING! Abortions of any kind can be hazardous to your health! Please consult the guidance of a qualified practitioner (doctor, midwife, etc..) if you seek an abortion!
Alfalfa can cause upset stomach and diarrhea. If you are expereincing either of these, stop using it, or use less. This herb is safe for most healthy, non-nursing, non-pregnant adults without lupus and/or anemia.
Safety Factors and Toxicity:
Generally regarded as safe by the FDA.Contact dermatitis has occurred in hypersensitive individuals. Alfalfa root saponins are hemolytic and may also interfere with the metabolism of vitamin E; however, above-ground parts have just the opposite effects.
The toxic effects of alfalfa root saponins have been shown to be counteracted by cholesterol and betasitosterol.
Interactions with Prescription Drugs:
Because alfalfa may have a lowering effect on blood sugar, alfalfa may increase the effectiveness of medications used for the treatment of diabetes. If you are taking insulin or oral medications for diabetes, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using alfalfa.
The possible diuretic effect of alfalfa could increase the effectiveness of "water pills". If you take a diuretic drug, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using alfalfa. Diuretics include Dyazide, furosemide, and hydrochlorothiazide.
Alfalfa contains large amounts of vitamin K, a substance that helps the blood to clot. When it is taken with antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs that prevent blood clotting, alfalfa may decrease the drug's effects and blood clots may form.
Antiplatelets include Plavix and Ticlid;Anticoagulants include heparin and warfarin
Chemicals in alfalfa may act like estrogen in the body. When it is taken at the same time as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or oral contraceptives, alfalfa may interfere with the way the body uses the drug. As a result, HRT or oral contraceptives may not be as effective, some women may experience increased side effects, and the risk of an unintended pregnancy may be slightly higher.
Because it may possibly enhance immune system function, alfalfa may interfere with the effects of drugs used to suppress the immune system after organ transplants or in other conditions. Taking alfalfa is not recommended for patients who take drugs such as:
azathioprine (Imuran);corticosteroids (dexamethasone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone,prednisone, and others);cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune);daclizumab (Zenapak);mycophenolate (CellCept);sirolimus (Rapamune);tacrolimus (Prograf)
Interactions with Non-prescription Drugs:
Alfalfa can increase the ability of blood to clot after an injury. Aspirin delays clotting, so taking alfalfa could interfere with the anticoagulant effects of aspirin. Alfalfa should not be used while aspirin is being taken on a regular basis.
Alfalfa has been shown to block the absorption of vitamin E from the diet. Even though no serious results have been reported, it is possible that a vitamin E deficiency could occur.
Interactions with Herbal Products:
Theoretically, if alfalfa is used with other herbs that affect blood clotting, bleeding or clotting may occur. Some of the most common herbal products that might inhibit blood clotting are:
Danshen;Devil's Claw;Eleuthero;Garlic;Ginger (in high amounts);Ginkgo;Horse Chestnut;Panax Ginseng;Papain;Red Clover;Saw Palmetto
Herbal products that might promote blood clots include nettles and plantain.
Drug Interactions:Major Risks:
Azathioprine and Cyclosporine:concurrent use may result in reduced immunosuppressive drug effectiveness and acute transplant rejection.
Clinical Management:Advise patients taking azathioprine or cyclosporine for transplant maintenance to avoid alfafa,including herbal teas and combination supplement products containing alfafa.If the patients are taking alfafa and either azathioprine or cyclosporine,discontinue alfafa and evaluate for signs and symptoms of tranplant rejection.
Drug Interactions:Moderate Risk:
Prednisone:Concurrent use may result in reduced prednisone effectiveness.
Clinical Management:Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus(SLE) should be advised to avoid use of alfafa until the nature of this phenomenon(i.e.,SLE activation) is known.Consumption of 8 to 15 tablets(dosage unspecified) daily has been associated with SLE activation overcoming the effect of established prednisone therapy.If you suffer from the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus,avoid alfafa;latent disease has been reactivated in people taking alfafa tablets.Experts hold the amino acid L-canavanine responsible for this reaction,it appears in all parts of the plant,but especially the seeds.2
Drug Interactions:Minor Risk:
Anticoagulants:Concurrent use may result in reduced anticoagulant effectiveness.
Clinical Management:The amount of alfafa taken in supplements and/or in the diet should be kept as constant as possible.Monitor the INR and adjust the dose of anticoagulant as necessary.2
1: Alfalfa Medicago sativa.Alfalfa Extract.
2: see PDR for Herbal Medicines 4th Ed.,under title "Alfafa",p15;The American Pharmaceutical Association Practical Guide to Natural Medicines,1st Ed,p27.
♥The article and literature was edited by herbalist of MDidea Extracts Professional.It runs a range of online descriptions about the titled herb and related phytochemicals,including comprehensive information related,summarized updating discoveries from findings of herbalists and clinical scientists from this field.The electronic data information published at our official website www.mdidea.com and www.mdidea.net,we tried best to update it to latest and exact as possible.
♣ last edit date: