Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre

We Take Care of Your Health Naturally, Using Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture and Western Herbal Medicine, Diet and Body Therapies.

Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre Logo
For Face-to-Face or Telehealth Appointments, Please Call:   (02) 45730784 

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)


Biological Name:
(Medicago sativa L.)

Leguminosae; (beans and peas)

Other Names:
Chilean Clover, Father of All Foods (Al-fal-fa), Lucerne, Purple medic.


Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is a perennial herb found on the edges of fields and is widely cultivated by farmers for livestock feed. It grows to a height of about 30 cm or more. The erect, smooth stem of Alfalfa grows from an elongated taproot and produces blue to purple flowers during the summer months. It produces a characteristic spirally coiled seed pods.
M. sativa is a legume with a long history of dietary and medicinal use.

M. sativa supplements taken by mouth appear to be generally well tolerated. However, ingestion of alfalfa tablets has been associated with reports of a lupus-like syndrome or lupus flares. These reactions may be due to the amino acid L-canavanine which appears to be present in alfalfa seeds and sprouts, but not in the leaves. There are also rare cases of pancytopenia (low blood counts), dermatitis (skin inflammation), and gastrointestinal upset

Active Compounds in Medicago sativa:

M. sativa is a medicinal plant used in traditional medicine due to being high in protein, calcium, and vitamins and its low percentage of cellulose. It contains many enzymes, including: amylase, invertase, and pectinase. Therefore it can be used as digestive aids [2]. More than 20% of dry weight of alfalfa is protein, and it is the best source of Arg, His, Asp, Phe, and Cys amino acids. M. sativa has an extremely high nutritive value, containing vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid, minerals, protein, and beneficial saponins [3,4].

Previous studies showed that adding alfalfa seed in human diet reduced triglycerides and LDL, improved HDL levels, and decreased blood glucose [5,6]. Therefore, alfalfa leaves are traditionally used as an effective treatment for diabetes [7,8]. Alfalfa causes stimulation of insulin secretion and also improves insulin function in reducing the plasma glucose, however, its effects on the blood lipids have not been investigated widely [1,9].

Alfalfa’s uses based on scientific evidence:

High cholesterol
: Reductions in blood levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (“bad cholesterol”) have been reported in animal studies and in a small number of human cases. High-density lipoprotein (“good cholesterol”) has not been altered in these cases. Although this evidence is promising, better research is needed before a firm conclusion can be reached [1].

Atherosclerosis (cholesterol plaques in heart arteries): 
Several studies in animals report reductions in cholesterol plaques of the arteries after use of alfalfa. Well-designed research in humans is necessary before a conclusion can be drawn.
Studies in rats showed reductions in blood sugar levels following ingestion of M. sativa.

Aqueous M. sativa extract significantly reduced glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels in the diabetic rats but enhanced high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. ALT and AST liver enzyme levels were also reduced in blood. Histological examination showed that the aqueous M. sativa extract caused reconstruction of damaged liver and enhanced Langerhans islets’ diameter in pancreas. Therefore, all signs of diabetes were improved by oral administration of alfalfa [1].

Traditional Uses in Herbal Medicine:

  • Immune disorders:
 Allergies, Breast cancer, Cervical cancer, Hay fever, Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Digestive disorders:
 Appetite stimulant, Gastrointestinal tract disorders, Indigestion, Stomach ulcers.
  • Lung disorders:
 Asthma, Cough.
  • Skin disorders:
 Boils, Insect bites, Skin damage from radiation, Wound healing.
  • Uro-genital disorders:
 Bladder disorders, Diuresis (increasing urination), Kidney disorders, Prostate disorders.
  • Nutritional uses:
 Antioxidant, Convalescence, Nutritional support, Scurvy, Vitamin supplementation (vitamins A,C,E,K).
  • Gynaecological / Mestrual / Pregnancy:
 Increasing breast milk, Estrogen replacement, Menopausal symptoms, Uterine stimulant.
  • Cardio-vascular disorders:
 Blood clotting disorders.
  • Hepatic / Liver problems:
  • Other:
 Convalescence, gum healing after dental procedures.
At Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre we have a large range of herbal teas available


1. Amraie, E., Farsani, M. K., Sadeghi, L., Khan, T. N., Babadi, V. Y., & Adavi, Z. (2015). The effects of aqueous extract of M. sativa on blood glucose and lipids in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Interventional medicine & applied science, 7(3), 124–128. https://doi.org/10.1556/1646.7.2015.3.7

2. Elakovich SD, Hampton JM. Analysis of coumestrol, a phytoestrogen, in M. sativa tablets sold for human consumption. J Agric Food Chem. 1984 Jan-Feb;32(1):173-5. doi: 10.1021/jf00121a041. PMID: 6707329.

3. Zargari A. Therapeutic Plants. 1st. Tehran: Tehran University Press; 1996. pp. 642–646.

4. Hong YH, Chao WW, Chen ML, Lin BF. Ethyl acetate extracts of M. sativa sprouts inhibit lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in vitro and in vivo. J Biomed Sci. 2009 Jul 14;16:64.cdoi: 10.1186/1423-0127-16-64.

5. Asgary S, Moshtaghian J, Hosseini M, Siadat H. Effects of M. sativa on lipoproteins and fatty streak formation in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2008 Oct;21(4):460–464.

6. Mehranjani MS, Shariatzadeh MA, Desfulian AR, Noori M, Abnosi MH, Moghadam ZH. Effects of Medicago sativa on nephropathy in diabetic rats. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2007;69:768–772.

7. Lust JB. The Herb Book. London: Bantam Books Inc.; 1986.

8. Gray AM, Flatt PR. The traditional plant treatment, Sambucus nigra (elder), exhibits insulin-like and insulin-releasing actions in vitro. J Nutr. 1997;78:325–334.

9. Winiarska H, Dworacka M, Borowska M, Bobkiewicz-Kozłowska T, Gorecki P. The effects of plant extracts of Medicago sativa and Trigonella foenum-graceum on postprandial glucose levels in type 2 diabetic rats. Herba Polonica. 2007;53:34–44.

Disclaimer information for users of the Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre, Namaste Yoga Kurrajong and The Herbal Health Coach website.
Page last updated: 26th June 2020

Information provided for education and research information only
The information on this website is presented by Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre for the purpose of disseminating health information free of charge for the benefit of the public.

While Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre has exercised due care in ensuring the accuracy of the material contained on this website, the information on the site is made available on the basis that Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre is not providing professional advice on a particular matter.

This website is not a substitute for independent professional advice. Nothing contained in this site is intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional’s advice.

Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.

Quality of information
Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre makes every effort to ensure the quality of the information available on this website and updates the information regularly. Before relying on the information on this site, however, users should carefully evaluate its accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance for their purposes, and should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances. Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre cannot guarantee and assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, currency, completeness or interpretation of the information.

The material may include the views or recommendations of third parties and does not necessarily reflect the views of Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre or indicate a commitment to a particular course of action.

Links to other websites
This website contains links to other websites which are external to Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre. Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre takes reasonable care in selecting linking websites but Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre accepts no responsibility for material contained in a website that is linked to this site. It is the responsibility of the user to make their own decisions about the accuracy, currency, reliability and correctness of information contained in linked external websites.

Links to external websites are provided for the user’s convenience and do not constitute an endorsement or a recommendation of any third party products or services offered by virtue of any information, material or content linked from or to this site. Users of links provided by this site are responsible for being aware of which organisation is hosting the site they visit.

Views or recommendations provided in linked sites may include the views or recommendations of third parties and do not necessarily reflect those of Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre or indicate a commitment to a particular course of action. .

Kurrajong Natural Medicine Center will be closed from 24th Dec. 2023 to January 9th Inclusive.

We’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.