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What are the Benefits of an Alfalfa Dietary Supplement?

by
author image Susan DeFeo
Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey's "Cape May County Herald" for more than a decade and currently covers the family and pet beat for CBS Philadelphia. Her health, fitness, beauty and travel articles have appeared in various online publications. DeFeo studied visual communications at SUNY Farmingdale.
What are the Benefits of an Alfalfa Dietary Supplement?
Alfalfa dietary supplements may help relieve a variety of ailments. Photo Credit vitamins image by Horticulture from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Overview

Although ancient Arabs called alfalfa the "father of all foods," alfalfa supplements are not recommended as a primary treatment for any medical issue. Instead, alfalfa leaf tablets, which contain vitamins A, D, E and K, can be used in conjunction with traditional medicine techniques to help relieve a variety of health conditions including osteoporosis, arthritis and intestinal ulcers. Not everyone benefits from alfalfa supplements. Pregnant women, women with premenstrual syndrome, hay fever sufferers and people with autoimmune disorders should avoid taking the supplement. Check with your healthcare provider before beginning an alfalfa dietary supplement regimen.

Vitamin K-2 Benefits

According to Phyllis A. Balch, author of the book "Prescription for Herbal Healing," clinical trials conducted in Japan indicate that vitamin K-2, found in alfalfa leaves and other leafy green vegetables, yields partial benefits when used to treat osteoporosis. The supplement helps to decrease bone loss caused by estrogen deficiency by interacting with vitamin D to form new bone.

Balch further states, "Alfalfa is especially useful for replacing vitamin K that is depleted during treatment with a wide variety of drugs such as amoxicillan, gentamicin and tetracycline." Furthermore, vitamin K-rich alfalfa supplements aid in relieving nosebleeds by helping blood clot normally.

Arthritis

Alfalfa has a long history as a remedy for arthritis in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, according to Dr. C. Norman Shealy's book "Healing Remedies." It not only relieves inflammation, but it reduces fluid retention linked to arthritis. Washington State University calls alfalfa one of the best herbal remedies for arthritis, adding, "Clinical research suggests that at least one or two persons in 10 will respond very well to the use of alfalfa, experiencing an almost total reduction in painful symptoms."

Intestinal Ulcers

In addition to relieving arthritic pain, the Vitamins & Health Supplements website states that alfalfa's antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant qualities help heal intestinal ulcers. Rich in bioflavonoids and vitamin A, practitioners of alternative medicine have long used alfalfa supplements to treat intestinal ulcers with good results, according to Phyllis A. Balch. Bioflavonoids, a group of antioxidant plant compounds, work to build capillary strength and decrease inflammation of the stomach lining. While alfalfa's vitamin A yields benefits in maintaining the stomach's health, the supplement's enzymes help in food assimilation. Additionally, Washington State University praises alfalfa for its high concentration of easily digested and assimilated nutrients that act to alkalize and detoxify the body.

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