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| What Does Alfalfa Do? |
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Peggy Manners
Posted on: September 6, 1998
What does alfalfa do?
Alfalfa is a plant with many uses. It is, of course, an important forage crop in agriculture, supplying nutrition for livestock. It is also important as a cover crop, helping to improve the soil through its association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria on the roots, and by adding organic matter to the soil when plowed under.
Alfalfa is commonly consumed by humans as alfalfa sprouts for its nutritious value. Sprouts are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, and of enzymes and other biochemicals that enhance health. Sprouts are delicious in salads and sandwiches.
Alfalfa is also an important medicinal herb. It stimulates the appetite and acts as a diuretic and tonic. The tea made from the leaves mixed with mint is a delicious nutritious tea for everyday use. According to the herbalist, John Lust, this tea taken everyday will "improve your appetite, relieve urinary and bowel problems, eliminate retained water, and even help cure peptic ulcers."