Alfalfa Against Autoimmune Diseases

Alfalfa is one of the most popular sprouts. They give salads that extra kick of freshness, have a pleasantly mild aroma, and can easily be grown at home. Their nutrient content includes almost all vitamins and minerals.

Alfalfa – “Father of Food”

Alfalfa is known to most people in sprouted form as tasty sprouts in salads or sandwiches. The actual plant, which is also known under the name alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), is not a modern phenomenon from the health scene, but an old useful plant from the legume family, whose origin in Asia dates back to the sixth century AD. reaches back. Alfalfa, translated from Arabic, means “father of all food,” based on the plant’s amazing nutritional value.

Alfalfa is a plant-based source of protein and is considered a true storehouse of vital substances. In addition to vitamins A, B1, B6, C, E, and vitamin K, the sprouts donate significant amounts of calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus as well as the essential amino acids tyrosine and tryptophan. The high proportion of secondary plant substances, antioxidants, and chlorophyll, which have a preventive effect on health, is particularly interesting for nutritional science.

Alfalfa – Beneficial for various diseases

Alfalfa’s high chlorophyll content makes it an alkalizing supporter of our acid-base balance. The liver in particular benefits from its detoxifying abilities. The antioxidants it contains also serve as free radical scavengers in our organisms and may even offer natural protection against radiation. Alfalfa is also said to have a blood-cleansing effect and protect against fungal infections.

But that is by no means the end of the range of applications for this power plant. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), alfalfa seeds are used to treat kidney stones, water retention, and swelling. They are also said to have anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, hemostatic, and appetite-stimulating properties, as well as being able to regulate cholesterol levels.

The proportion of plant hormones (phytoestrogens) in the alfalfa leaves can also benefit women with menopausal symptoms. The active ingredient coumestrol is said to naturally suppress hot flashes. From the group of secondary plant substances, there are other components of alfalfa that are causing a sensation in research laboratories: saponins.

Alfalfa – Saponins for a strong immune system

Scientists see the greatest health value of alfalfa sprouts in their saponin content, which increases by 450 percent during the germination process. Saponins are surface-active compounds that are particularly useful in the gut. A large number of bacteria in the intestine is always a danger to the immune system, which is mostly localized here.

According to the findings of Peter Cheeke, Professor of Comparative Nutrition at Oregon State University, saponins have a stimulating effect on the immune system. A toxic intestinal environment is said to be a trigger for inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Treatment with saponins can reduce the production of inflammatory toxins in the intestine. These secondary plant substances are also said to be effective against viruses and fungi by destroying harmful bacteria and promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria.

Saponins even take up with tumor cells. dr According to A. Venketeshwer Rao of the University of Toronto takes action against cancer in three ways. First, saponins flush pathogens out of the intestines and thus prevent their absorption through the intestinal mucosa. Specifically, they bind cholesterol in the gut, preventing it from entering the bloodstream and increasing the risk of cancer. They also bind bile acid, which could otherwise be converted into carcinogenic substances by certain bacteria in the intestine.

In view of the amazing performance of these secondary plant substances in the intestine and the associated strengthening of the immune system, the question arises to what extent the anti-inflammatory properties of saponins in particular can be effective against autoimmune diseases such as lupus.

Alfalfa – Natural Cure for Autoimmune Diseases?

A strong immune system is normally able to fight off harmful organisms before they can become dangerous to us. However, when the immune system is out of balance, diseases have an easy time. The disturbed balance in the body manifests itself particularly drastically in autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

In these diseases, the immune system mistakenly attacks its own body with antibodies. These antibodies cause inflammation, eat away at tissue and, in the worst case, can “systematically” damage entire organs.

It is all the more astonishing that saponin-rich plants seem to be able to counteract these destructive processes. In fact, the saponins found in alfalfa have shown promise in clinical testing as a treatment for autoimmune diseases.

This is the conclusion reached, for example, by an animal study by the National Taiwan University in Taipei. The immune systems of those laboratory mice that were given alfalfa sprout extract showed significantly fewer T cells than their comparison group. Accordingly, the symptoms typical of lupus decreased. In addition, not only did the test subjects fed with alfalfa increase their life expectancy but there were also fewer signs of infection in the blood and fewer cases of kidney disease.

For us humans, the lupus study is further confirmation of the tremendous healing powers of alfalfa sprouts. Whether you suffer from an autoimmune disease or not, alfalfa will strengthen your immune system. Your immune system will thank you!

Alfalfa sprouts germinate properly

Alfalfa sprouts are now available in every well-stocked supermarket. However, you get the highest vital substance content if you grow the sprouts yourself and eat them fresh as raw food. The germination itself is not only easy, but it is also a pleasure to watch the precious commodity grow!

Use a sprouted, sprouting tower, or an inverted, sealed mason jar. Take 1-3 tablespoons of organic alfalfa seeds and cover them in the germination container with cold water. Pre-soaking the seeds is not necessary due to their easy germination.

The water should be able to drain slowly through a hole in the germination tray. Ideally, rinse the growing seedlings with fresh water three times a day.

The seeds usually begin to germinate the very next day. After seven to eight days you will be able to enjoy all the green splendor. Only now has the toxin canavanine, a natural protection of the seed from being eaten, completely broken down! – Alfalfa is also available in concentrated form as a powder that you can use, for example, as a revitalizing ingredient for smoothies.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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