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Alfalfa's Health Benefits

Updated on April 12, 2011


Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), also known as alpha-alpha (from the Arabic al-fal-fa "father of all foods") is a herbaceous plant belonging to the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae).

Native to Southwest Asia, has spread primarily in Italy Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Marche, Veneto.



The M. sativa is a perennial root system with taproot which can lead to a length of 3-5 m, has a basal crown from which arise more or less erect stems that can reach one meter tall, hollow inside.

The leaves are trifoliate and differ from those of the leaf clovers in the central but not sessile stalk. The inflorescence consists of a racemic zigomorfi flowers purple-blue. The fruits are legumes spiral containing 2-6 seeds. The seeds are very small (100 of them weigh 0.2 g)

Adversity Of Biotic

The adverse biological attacks are due to pathogens, parasites and pests.

Among the pathogens include Colletotrichum trifolii, Agent dell'antracnosi, Rhizoctonia violacea, an agent of evil vinato; Sclerotinia trifoliorum, agent of the evil of sclerotia. The latter two fungi attack the plant roots or the collar.

The first to hit spots in the field leading to tissue death and thinning. Pseudopeziza medicaginis agent instead of leaf blight.

Among the plant parasites that can affect alfalfa dodder can remember.

Among the pests include Phytodecta fornicata and Phytonomus punctatus both guilty of serious loss of forage quantity and quality.


Forage plant par excellence, can be used as crop hay, silage, dried to make flour.

As is the fodder species being used between pulses because of a high protein and vitamins (carotenes) and can be stored, usually in the form of hay or flour. Kiln-dried protein reaches values ​​worthy of a concentrated, up to 20%. The ensiling of medical infrequent, needs some things because of the low carbohydrate content

fermentable: the preappassimento, technique used for the production of haylage, the addition of lactobacilli and especially the mixture with a grass.

It is a nitrogen-fixing plants (for the presence of the bacterium Rhizobium meliloti) and therefore its cultivation also produces the result of re-enrich the soil with nitrogen, naturally, after the depletion data from previous crops of other families of plants.

Its success is also due to the characteristics of its reproductive cycle: it is capable of self-pollinated and after 3 months from sowing already produces seed.

Therapeutic Properties

It contains eight digestive enzymes, phytoestrogens, 40 different bioflavonoids (with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, strengthening of blood vessels), flavones (reinforcing the fragile capillaries), glycosides, alkaloids (support to the antibiotic, anti-inflammatories, favor the formation protein), amino acids , vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, minerals, trace elements, high levels of chlorophyll (excellent for the treatment of anemia).

It has deodorant properties (chlorophyll), antimicrobial (chlorophyll, vitamin A). Detoxifying the liver.

Excellent tonic Good amount of fiber (in the bud eaten in salads). Its content in vitamin K makes it suitable to strengthen the vascular system. Vitamin U hinders the formation of ulcers. Taken before meals increases the activity of gastro-intestinal tract. Taken after meals improves absorption of nutrients. Improve the quality and quantity of breast milk during lactation. Regulates the production of estrogens (isoflavones). Contains natural fluorides (strengthens the teeth).

The leaves feed the deepest level of the body, kidneys and intestines, excretory organs helping to rid the body of toxins intestinal tonic, nourishes the blood, good for combating fatigue, anemia, malabsorption, and acid stomach.


The name "alfalfa" (already in medical Latin and greek μηδική = Medik) has nothing to do with medicine, but from the Media (Persia), which was originally considered, "alfalfa" = "grass Media ".



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