Botanical NameMedicago sativa L.
SynonymsMedica sativa Lam., Medicago afganica (Bordere) Vassilcz., Medicago beipinensis Vassilcz., Medicago grandiflora (Grossh.) Vassilcz., Medicago ladak Vassilcz., Medicago praesativa Sinskaya, Medicago sogdiana (Brand) Vassilcz., Medicago tibetana (Alef.) Vassilcz.
Regional NameEnglish : Alfalfa, buffal herb, lucerne, purple medic, Hindi : Iasunghas, Rizka, Sanskrit : Asva, Asvabala, Asvaksura, Methika, Kannada : Kudure masaale, kudure masaale soppu, kudure soppu, loosaran, loosarne soppu, vilaayithi hullu, vilayatihullu, Marathi : Lasun-ghas, lujen, vilayatigavat, Tamil : Kutirai macal.
DescriptionIt is a perennial herb, found in North America, followed by Europe, South America and Asia. Alfalfa is grown in many other parts of the world, from China to Spain, Sweden to North Africa. Outside of cultivation alfalfa occurs as a weed throughout Asia, Europe and America and mountainous regions of Iran, Afghanistan and adjacent localities. Within India, it is cultivated throughout. It has erect stems up to 60 cm tall with many branches. The leaflets are 5-20 mm long and dentate (toothed) at the apex and sometimes at the base. The flowers are papilionaceous, The calyx, the outer whorl of floral organs, has teeth which are as long as the floral tube (corolla). The corolla is composed of petals fused into a tube which is 6-12 mm long.
PhytoconstituentsAlfalfa contains many essential vitamins and minerals, including A, D, E, K, and even the full family of B vitamins; biotin, calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, potassium and many others, as well as being very high in protein, especially when dried.
Ayurvedic PropertiesRasa : Tikta, Katu, Kasaya, Guna : Snigdha, Tiksna, Virya : Usna, Vipaka : Katu, Karma : Vatahara, Kaphahara, Rasayana, Ubhayatobhagahara.
Ayurvedic ApplicationsAnaha, Arsa, Grdhrasi, Gandamala, Gulma, Jvara, Kandu, Kaphavataja roga , Krmi, Kustha, Sotha, Prameha, Raktavikara, Tvak roga, Udara , Udavarta,Vrana.
Medicinal UsesThe alfalfa plant has beneficial healing properties against bad breath, sore or achy joints, imbalanced skin conditions, and it even increases immune system. It is very good for detoxifying and better purifying the blood. It is used for kidney conditions, bladder and prostate conditions, and to increase urine flow. It is also used for high cholesterol, asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid, arthritis, diabetes, upset stomach, and a bleeding disorder called thrombocytopenic purpura. Regular consumption of alfalfa can lower blood pressure and balance hormones.