How to Use Medicinal Herbs: Alfalfa
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- Healing Herbs: Alfalfa
Find out what alfalfa is, and how it can be used as a medicinal herb.
The Father of All Foods, alfalfa is a remarkable, earthy-flavored herb with a ton of nutritional benefits. Though many think of this plant simply as horse fodder, people from around the world have come to recognize its healthful potential. Because of this, it is no surprise to discover that people have devised a plethora of ways to consume this fantastic herb.
Alfalfa As a Supplement
By far the easiest method of consumption, pill-based alfalfa supplements are very popular, as they are not only easy to take, but easy to adjust to your own personal needs. Coming in a variety of different dosages and formulas, it isn't hard to slip it into your daily supplement regimen.
Alfalfa in Liquid Form
The debate over the effectiveness of liquid and pill-based supplements rages on; however, most proponents of the alfalfa plant swear that to get the maximum benefit, you are better off either eating the fresh plant or drinking its juices. There is no question that using a juicer to extract the fresh essence of the plant is a great choice. Unfortunately, the flavor may be distasteful to some, so to make it more palatable, mingle the juice with some fruit and milk in a blender, or toss a fruit salad with it. If you are a big tea drinker, you can also gently boil the leaves or make an infusion. To infuse the alfalfa tea, boil a half cup of water, place two or three tablespoons of alfalfa in a strainer, and pour the hot water over the herbs. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, and voila! alfalfa tea! Once again, this stuff may taste a little too earthy for some, so to make it a little tastier, feel free to add as much honey as you like.
Alfalfa in Homemade Beauty Concoctions
Considering the vast array of nutritional benefits in alfalfa, it is no surprise that this herb makes for a great homemade beauty enhancer. Many recipes consist of concoctions made with alfalfa tea; however, this plant can be crushed with a mortar and pestle or run through a blender. Whichever option you choose, you can easily mingle the altered alfalfa with things like coconut or olive oil, shampoo or conditioner, or simply place it directly on the skin or rinse it through your hair and scalp.
Alfalfa in Recipes
Though much of this plant is edible, most people prefer to use alfalfa sprouts in their dishes. This plant is often used in salads, to add a bit of texture to sandwiches, or to give stir-fries an added nutritional kick. If you have never used alfalfa sprouts before, give this recipe a try:
Alfalfa and Grilled Vegetable Sandwich
2 tablespoons of alfalfa sprouts
2 large slices of whole grain bread
1 teaspoon of Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of olive oil
4 slices of zucchini
4 slices of green, red or yellow peppers
3 sliced mushrooms
Pepper, salt, chopped basil and rosemary leaves to taste.
1. Thoroughly scrub all vegetables!
2. Thickly slice zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms.
3. Mix herbs and spices into olive oil, then lightly coat vegetables.
4. Grill zucchini for one minute, then add the peppers. Give the zucchini and peppers another minute to cook, then throw the mushrooms onto the grill and cook for yet another minute.
5. While your vegetables are on the grill, mix the Greek yogurt with minced garlic, and lightly coat both pieces of bread.
6. Once the vegetables are done, set them on a paper towel to drain a little. While they are draining, place your alfalfa sprouts on a neat bunch on top of one piece of bread.
7. Cover sprouts with grilled vegetables, then with the second piece of bread.
Although the ingredients list gives a rough sketch of what and how much to use, you can adjust the recipe to your own liking. Regardless of any additions or subtractions you make, be sure to add the crisp, tasty sprouts, as these not only add a lot of nice texture, but also pack a fantastic nutritional punch!