ALFALFA (Medicago sativa L.)


The Alfalfa is an excellent general stimulant. Its remineralising effects improve the problems of brittle nails and dull hair, split ends and brittle and the problems asthenia (general weakness).

Parts used: aerial parts

History and Origin:

Alfalfa, better known under the name alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is a plant native to western Asia. Grown for animal feed, it spread to the Middle East and throughout Europe.

It grows on clay and slightly acid soils, and can be satisfied with dry land as it is able to draw the elements it needs to more than a meter underground.

Young shoots are eaten alfalfa always in Asia and only since the 60s in the West.

Arab alfalfa recognize "the father of all foods" (al-fac-facah) and used it to feed the horses.

Recognized by herbalists for its nutritional qualities, it also contains remineralising powers.


Alfalfa is a perennial herb with erect stem from the base and then rower and angular. Its height varies from 30 to 90 cm. It has root nodules that testify to its symbiotic association with Rhizobium bacteria. The first sheet is red and white. The following leaves, alternate, are composed of three equal leaflets, glabrous, obtuse, slightly notched and serrated. Flowers, purple or bluish, gathered in elongated clusters. Flowering takes place between June and October.


Alfalfa is primarily used for its richness in minerals and trace elements: calcium, silica, iron, phosphorus and copper, zinc and selenium. These components make it a valuable aid in the fight against the problems of asthenia (general fatigue) and anemia. With it contains minerals, alfalfa is also very useful for brittle hair problems, dull hair and brittle nails. For several years it's also for its vitamin K content and its anti-haemorrhagic effect it is recognized.

A regular intake of alfalfa would prevent high cholesterol and atherosclerosis. A plant estrogen is also present in alfalfa: the cournestrol.

The hormonal activity of cournestrol associated with calcium and silica present in alfalfa is an interesting option for disorders related to menopause and prevention of osteoporosis.

Chemical composition of the aerial parts

  • Lipids

- Myristone, alfalfone

- Lecithin, phosphatidyl ethanolamine, phosphatidyl glycerol, phosphatidyl-inositol

- Carotenoids

- Sterols (sitosterol, stigmasterol, spinasterol)

- Quinones

  • Phenolic compounds: flavonoids: flavones (apigenin, luteolin, tricine), flavonols (quercetin, kaempferol), anthocyanins and flavanols - Phytoestrogens
  • Isoflavones: genistein-5-7-4-trihydroxyisoflavone, biochanin A, daidzein-7-4- dihydro-isoflavone, formononetin
  • Coumestans: coumestrol, 4-méthoxycoumestrol, 3-méthylcoumestrol, 11-12- dimethoxy-7-hydroxy-coumestane, lucernol, médicagol, sativol, trifoliol
  • Isoflavanones
  • Saponins (or saponin)
  • Vitamins D, E

Main pharmacological properties

  • Estrogenic

AFSSA (French Agency for Food Safety) considers alfalfa as a plant having estrogenic activity in vitro and in vivo due to the presence of coumestans. Indeed, coumestrol and 4-méthoxycoumestrol récepteursdes bind to estrogen and exhibit uterotrophic activity.

  • Metabolic regulator (cholesterol, glucose)


A study on monkeys shows that the saponins from alfalfa:

- Significantly decrease the intestinal absorption of cholesterol and total plasma ratiocholestérol / HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) - Cholesterol

- Increasing the fecal excretion of steroids and bile acids. Alfalfa in vivo prevents the oxidation of LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) via the action synergiquedes flavonoids and phytoestrogens.

Blood Sugar

Alfalfa is traditionally used in the treatment of diabetes. This action étémise demonstrated in vivo in diabetic mouse models. Alfalfa stimuleraitnotamment glucose incorporation in glycogen in the muscle abdominalet possess properties similar to those of insulin.

Other properties

Hemostatic, anti-fungal and anti-haemorrhagic.


Alfalfa does not endanger the recommended doses, with the exception of a few cases of allergy.


Hyperestrogenism, scalable genital cancers (breast or uterine estrogen-dependent).

Side effects

Rare cases of gastrointestinal disorders (diarrhea ...), dermatitis and arthralgia.

Drug Interactions

Alfalfa may counteract the anticoagulant action of drugs with a similar action.

Its effects on the regulation of cholesterol metabolism could be added to those of lipid-lowering drugs.

Main indications

> Teenager giving a false appearance infiltrated muscular, set late avecdysménorrhée dark, irregular cycle Long, who may be seborrhea or del'acné on the lower face

> Teenager acne who submitted epiphysitis of growth spurts

> Female hyperandrogenic, premenstrual acne with aggravation to cyclesirréguliers and / or long, associated with mastitis and sometimes premenstrual edema of the lower limbs sleeve not encompassing the feet

> Menopause with hypoestrogenism, nocturnal hot flashes, increased facial lapilosité


- Estrogen deficiency with signs of hyperandrogenism (seborrhea, acne lean subjects, abnormal hair ...): Alfalfa Hops aa +

- Acne teen (s) florid: Alfalfa + Nettle root

- Nails and brittle hair, epiphysitis growth in adolescents (e) potentiation of conventional treatment of spinal osteoporosis low level remodeling: Alfalfa + Horsetail

- Hyperandrogenic syndrome métaboliquedelafemmeménopausée: Alfalfa + Olivier

How to prescribe

In compounding

- Preparation of fluid extracts of fresh plants in Standardized glycerin solution (EPS): 1-2 teaspoons / day for 3 months to renew as clinically


1) AFSSA in collaboration with AFSSAPS, Report 'safety and bénéficesdes phytoestrogens provided by food "- Recommendations, March 10, 2005.

2) Bruneton J., 1999. Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry, plant médicinales.Tec and Doc; Cachan: Ed international medical, 3rd edition, 716-7..

3) P. Ginet, Medicago sativa L.: alfalfa, sold in pharmacies under the name alfalfa, pharmacy thesis, in February 2005.

4) AM Gray et al., 1997. Pancreatic and extrapancreatic effects of the traditional anti-diabetic plant, Medicago sativa (lucerne). Br J Nutr 78 (2):. 325-34.

5) Hwang J. et al., 2001. Soy and phytoestrogen alfalfa

Become extracts potent antioxidants low-density lipoprotein in the presenceof acerola cherry extract. J. Agric. Food Chem, 49 (1):. 308-14.

6) Malinow MR et al., 1981. Cholesterol and bile acid balance in Macaca fascicularis effects of alfalfa saponins. J Clin. Invest., 67 (1): 156-62.

7) Saloniemi H. et al., 1995. Phytoestrogen happy and estrogenic effect of legume fodder. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med, 208 (1),. 13-7.

8) Swanston-Flatt SK et al., 1990. Traditional plant treatments for diabetes. Studies in normal and streptozotocin diabetic mice. Diabetologia, 33 (8): 462-4.


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