Synonyms: Buffalo Herb, Father-of-all-Foods, Lucerne, Purple Medick
Family: Leguminosae or Fabaceae
Genus species: Medicago sativa
Type: Perennial herb
Part Used: Whole herb (aerial parts)
Location: widely cultivated
Actions: Alexeteric, alterative, anodyne, anticoagulant, antifungal, antihypercholesterolemic, antihyperglycemic, antihypertensive, antispasmodic, antithrombotic, aperient, blood purifier, cardiotonic, depurative, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, estrogenic activity, galactogogue, helps balance female hormones, helps neutralize the pH in the intestines, pituitary gland alterative, stomachic, tonic
Indications: Acne, agalactia, alkalosis, allergies, anemia, anorexia, arthritis, asthma, athlete's foot, avitaminosis, bleeding gums, body odor, bruise, burns, bursitis, cadmium toxicity, cancer, celiac disease, cirrhosis, colitis, colon disorders, constipation, cystic fibrosis, debility, debility of convalescence, diabetes mellitus, diverticulitis, dysuria, eczema, edema, epilepsy, fatigue, fever, gallbladder disorders, gastritis, gout, halitosis, hay fever, hemophilia, hemorrhoids, hypercholesterolemia, hyperglycemia, hypertension, hypoprothrombinemic purpura, indigestion, intestinal ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, lead poisoning, leg ulcers, liver disorders, mastitis, mercury poisoning, multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, pregnancy, rheumatism, scurvy, sexually transmitted diseases, varicose veins
Chemicals & Nutrients: beta-Carotene, Biotin, Boron, Calcium, Carbohydrates (41%), Chlorophyll, Choline, Cobalt, Fats (4%), Fiber (22%), Inositol, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, PABA, Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein (20%), Sodium, Sulfur, Tryptophan, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin U
Preparation & Dosages: (3x/Day)
Dried Herb: 5-10 g or as infusion
Liquid Extract: 1:1 in 25% alcohol, dose 5-10 ml
Contraindications: Persons with a history of SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus), anticoagulant drugs, estrogen therapy, oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy.
Drug Interactions: Coumarins may potentiate the actions of anticoagulants. Due to the diuretic action of this herb the following drug interactions are possible: increased risk of toxicity with anti-inflammatory analgesics; if hypokalemia occurs possible antagonism with antiarrhythmics and potentiation of muscle relaxants; antagonizes antidiabetic (hypoglycemic) drugs; may potentiate and/or interfere with antihypertensives; may potentiate lithium therapy; when taken with corticosteroids there is a risk for hypokalemia; may potentiate other diuretics and increase the risk of hypokalemia.
Due to the cardioactive chemicals in this herb the following drug interactions are possible: interference and/or antagonism with antiarrhythmics; antagonism of beta-adrenoceptor blocking drugs; potentiation of cardiac glycosides and increased risk of hypokalemia; when combined with depolarizing muscle relaxants there is a risk of arrhythmia; interference with nitrates and calcium-channel blockers; may increase the potential terfenadine has to cause arrhythmias.
Use of this herb may interfere with and/or reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives and sex hormones.
May potentiate antidiabetic (hypoglycemic) drugs.
Due to the antihypertensive (hypotensive) action of this herb the following interactions are possible: when taken with anesthetics an increased hypotensive effect; potentiation of antihypertensives; when taken with diuretics difficulty with diuresis and hypertension may result; antagonism of sympathomimetics.
Warning: l-Canavanine replaces Arginine in vital metabolic processes in the body and can thus cause a recurrence of quiescent systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Excess intake can lead to damaged red blood cells and interfere with utilization of Vitamin E. Avoid ingestion of seeds during pregnancy.
Note: Silkworm droppings (digested alfalfa) are now the major source of chlorophyll.