Alfalfa: myths and truths about its medicinal properties
The supplements and the medicinal plants have been gaining popularity in the field of health and medicine, offering a natural and complementary way to address various needs of the body and mind.
With growing awareness about the power of nature to nourish and heal, it is time to immerse yourself in this fascinating universe of therapeutic alternatives that promise to improve our quality of life, as long as it is under the supervision of a doctor.
This time we will focus on alfalfawhat are its benefits, its level of safety and effectiveness, contraindications, as well as its reaction when interacting with medications, foods and other medicinal herbs or supplements.
Alfalfa is a herb that some people consume as a source of calcium, potassium, match, iron and vitamins TO, c, AND and K.
This plant is most commonly grown as livestock feed. In humans, it is often consumed as a side dish and appears to prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the stomach.
People use alfalfa for high cholesterolthe diabetesthe indigestion and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Alfalfa leaves are possibly safe when used short term. But taking alfalfa in high doses or long term is likely not safe. Long-term use may cause reactions similar to the autoimmune disease called lupus in some people.
The use of alfalfa in amounts greater than those commonly found in foods may not be safe during pregnancy and the lactation.
It is worth mentioning that alfalfa can act as estrogen in the body.
Alfalfa can cause the immune system to become more active and this could increase symptoms of autoimmune diseases. If you have an autoimmune disease, avoid using alfalfa until you know more.
It may also have some of the same effects as estrogen. If you have any estrogen-sensitive conditions, do not use alfalfa.
Wafarin: LAlfalfa contains large amounts of vitamin K. The body uses vitamin K to help blood clot. By helping the blood to clot, alfalfa may lessen the effects of warfarin. Be sure to have regular blood tests. The warfarin dose may need to be changed.
Estrogens: Large amounts of alfalfa may have some of the same effects as estrogen. Taking alfalfa along with estrogen could change the effects of estrogen.
Diabetes medications: Alfalfa can lower blood sugar levels. Taking alfalfa along with diabetes medications can cause your blood sugar to drop too low. Closely monitor your blood sugar level.
Medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight: Some medications can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. Alfalfa can also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Using these products together may increase the risk of sunburn, blisters, or rashes when skin is exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothing when spending time in the sun.
Medications that lower the immune system: Alfalfa can increase the activity of the immune system. Some medications, such as those used after a transplant, decrease the activity of the immune system. Taking alfalfa along with these medications may decrease the effects of these medications.
Contraceptive pills: Large amounts of alfalfa may have some of the same effects as estrogen. Taking alfalfa along with birth control pills could decrease the effects of birth control pills. If you take birth control pills along with alfalfa, use an additional form of birth control, such as a condom.
Herbs that may increase sensitivity to sunlight: Alfalfa can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Using it with other products that also make the skin more sensitive to the sun could increase the risk of sunburn and other side effects. Examples of supplements with this effect include bishop's wort, chlorophyll, khella, and St. John's wort.
Herbs and supplements that can lower blood sugar: Alfalfa can lower blood sugar. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects could lower blood sugar too much. Examples of supplements with this effect include aloe, bitter melon, cassia cinnamon, chromium, and cactus.IronEating alfalfa can reduce the amount of iron absorbed by the body.
Vitamin E: Eating alfalfa could reduce the amount of vitamin E absorbed by the body.
With information from Medline Plus
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