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Guide to Vegatables

Alfalfa - A Medicinal Herb

Using Alfalfa as a Medicinal Herb Remedy

Alfalfa (Medicago satina) is nutritionally one of the most versatile herbs yet discovered. It is a leguminous herb which grows up to 50 cms in height. It has rich green alternate leaves, purplish flowers and adapts itself to widely varying conditions of soil and climate.

Alfalfa appears to have been discovered by the Arabs who called it the "king of kings" of plants and the "father of all foods". They have used it for centuries to feed thoroughbred horses. The Persians recognized it as a healing grass.

Alfalfa is a native of Europe. It is now widely cultivated in the temperate regions, the subtropics and at higher altitudes in the tropics. It is grown throughout India. Alfalfa is a valuable source of vitamins A,B,D,E and G. It also has some vitamin C and K. The rich quality, quantity and proper balance of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, chlorine, sodium, potassium and silicon is of special value in alfalfa. All these elements are needed for the proper functioning of the various organs in the body.

Investigations made by the US Department of Agriculture have revealed that alfalfa contains one and a half times more protein than grains like wheat and corn and that its carbohydrate content is only half of that found in grains. The alfalfa proteins contain essential amino acids such as arginine, lysine, theronine and tryptophane. These amino acids supplement any deficiencies due to lack of essential nutrients in the diet.

Alfalfa is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber and chlorophyll. These nutrients have induced nutritional authorities to experiment with alfalfa as a ready form of easily digestible food and as a protein concentrate for supplementing protein deficient foods such as vegetables.

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