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ashvakshura - Medicago sativa

ashvakshura - Medicago sativa - Fabaceae

ashvakshura :

ashvakshura : Medicago sativa Medicago is an extensive genus of the family Leguminosae, comprising about 83 different species. Medicago sativa (Linn.) has long been used as traditional herbal medicine in China, Iraq, Turkey, India and America for the treatment of a variety of ailments.
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is a perennial herbaceous legume. Due to its high nutritional quality, high yields and high adaptability, alfalfa is one of the most important legume forages of the world. A major source of protein for livestock, it is a basic component in rations for dairy cattle, beef cattle, horses, sheep, goats and other classes of domestic animals . It is cultivated in more than 80 countries in an area exceeding 35 million ha (Radovic et al., 2009). World production of alfalfa was around 436 million tons in 2006 .
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa), red clover (Trifolium pratense), and white clover (T. repens) are the principal bloat-causing legumes. Alfalfa has been recognized for its superior yield and quality in seeded pastures. Alfalfa is the most productive and most widely adapted forage species and is considered the “queen of forages.” 


Alfalfa seems to have originated in south-central Asia, and was first cultivated in ancient Iran.[5][6] According to Pliny (died 79 AD), it was introduced to Greece in about 490 BC when the Persians invaded Greek territory. Alfalfa cultivation is discussed in the fourth-century AD book Opus Agriculturae by Palladius, stating: "One sow-down lasts ten years. The crop may be cut four or six times a year ... A jugerum of it is abundantly sufficient for three horses all the year ... It may be given to cattle, but new provender is at first to be administered very sparingly, because it bloats up the cattle."[7] Pliny and Palladius called alfalfa in Latin medica, a name that referred to the Medes, a people who lived in ancient Iran. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed, probably correctly, that alfalfa came from the Medes land, in todays Iran. (The ancient Greeks and Romans also used the name medica to mean a citron fruit, once again because it was believed to have come from the Medes land). This name is the root of the modern scientific name for the alfalfa genus, Medicago.

In ancient IndiaAyurvedic texts prescribe the use of Alfalfa seeds and sprouts for improving blood cell production and its leaves and stem as a good source of protein and minerals.[8]

The medieval Arabic agricultural writer Ibn al-Awwam, who lived in Spain in the later 12th century, discussed how to cultivate alfalfa, which he called الفصفصة (al-fiṣfiṣa).[9] A 13th-century general-purpose Arabic dictionary, Lisān al-Arab, says that alfalfa is cultivated as an animal feed and consumed in both fresh and dried forms.[10] It is from the Arabic that the Spanish name alfalfa was derived.[11]

In the 16th century, Spanish colonizers introduced alfalfa to the Americas as fodder for their horses. They were aware that alfalfa is better than grass as food for working horses (alfalfa had more energy).

In the North American colonies of the eastern US in the 18th century, it was called "lucerne", and many trials at growing it were made, but generally without sufficiently successful results.[6] Relatively little is grown in the southeastern United States today.[12] Lucerne (or luzerne) is the name for alfalfa in Britain, Australia, France, Germany, and a number of other countries. Alfalfa seeds were imported to California from Chile in the 1850s. That was the beginning of a rapid and extensive introduction of the crop over the western US States[5] and introduced the word "alfalfa" to the English language. Since North and South America now produce a large part of the worlds output, the word "alfalfa" has been slowly entering other languages.

Taxonomical Classification

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Medicago
Species: Medicago sativa

Allied species:

Beside alfalfa itself, which is perennial, there are three annual species that have been introduced into AmericaMedicago lupulina (Yellow Trefoil, Hop Clover or Hop Medic), Medicago denticulata (Bur Clover or Toothed Medic), and Medicago Arabica, also called Bur, Heart or Spotted Clover or Spotted Medic. All of these three species have some local and restricted forage value, and in places they are cultivated as forage plants; but the fact that they are not perennial plants renders them at once and for this reason inferior to Medicago sativa.


Sanskrit: अश्वाबला ashvabala asva, asvaksura, methika
English: alfalfa , bastard medic, buffal herb, lucerne, purple medic, sand lucerne
Hindi: लुसन घास lusan ghas , Rizka
Marathi: विलायती गवत vilayati gavat , lasun-ghas, lujen
Oriya: ਦੁਰੇਸ਼ਤਾ dureshta, ਸਿੰਝੀ sinjhi
Gujarathi: વિલાયતી ઘાસ vilayati ghas
Tamil: குதிரை மசால் kutirai macal
Kannada: ಲುಸರ್ನೆ ಸೊಪ್ಪು lusarne soppu, ವಿಲಾಯಿತಿ ಹುಲ್ಲು vilaayiti hullu , kudure masaale, kudure masaale soppu, kudure soppu, loosaran
Punjabi: ਦੁਰੇਸ਼ਤਾ dureshta, ਸਿੰਝੀ sinjhi
Arabic: alfafa, alfalfa, alfasafat, fisfisat
Spanish: alfalfa de las arenas, alfalfa híbrida
French: luzerne bigarrée, luzerne intermédiaire
German: bastardluzerne, sandluzerne
Persian: isfist


The alfalfa varieties grown in Manitoba fall into two categories - Variegated or Flemish.

Variegated alfalfas (Medicago media) are derived from crosses between M. sativa (purple flowered) and M. falcata (yellow flowered) alfalfa. Their flowers range in color and can be purple, blue, yellow or white. The most cold-tolerant varieties grown in Manitoba are variegated. These have been bred to combine winterhardiness and drought tolerance with good yield and satisfactory regrowth.

Flemish type alfalfa (M. sativa) originated in northern France. They have purple flowers and are early growing, quick to recover after cutting and moderately winterhardy. Flemish alfalfas usually mature two to five days earlier than Vernal (a variegated type) and should be harvested several days earlier than variegated types to maintain quality.


 important European leguminous forage plant with trifoliate leaves and blue-violet flowers grown widely as a pasture and hay crop


Synonyms in Ayurveda: Asva/Asvaksura

Rasa: Amla
Guna: Laghu Ruksha
Veerya: Ushna
Vipaka: Amla

Alfalfa is a herb, whose leaves, sprouts and seeds are used to make various medicines. Alfalfa is used for bladder and prostate conditions, kidney conditions and to increase urine flow. It is also used for diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, upset stomach, and a bleeding disorder known as thrombocytopenic purpura. People also take alfalfa as a source of vitamins A, C, E, and K4 along with minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and iron.


Alfalfa is widely grown throughout the world as forage for cattle, and is most often harvested as hay, but can also be made into silage, grazed, or fed as greenchop.[18]Alfalfa usually has the highest feeding value of all common hay crops. It is used less frequently as pasture.[17] When grown on soils where it is well-adapted, alfalfa is often the highest-yielding forage plant, but its primary benefit is the combination of high yield per hectare and high nutritional quality.[19]

Its primary use is as feed for high-producing dairy cows, because of its high protein content and highly digestible fiber, and secondarily for beef cattle, horses, sheep, and goats.[20][21] Alfalfa hay is a widely used protein and fiber source for meat rabbits. In poultry diets, dehydrated alfalfa and alfalfa leaf concentrates are used for pigmenting eggs and meat, because of their high content in carotenoids, which are efficient for colouring egg yolk and body lipids.[22]Humans also eat alfalfa sprouts in salads and sandwiches.[23][24] Dehydrated alfalfa leaf is commercially available as a dietary supplement in several forms, such as tablets, powders and tea.[25] Fresh alfalfa can cause bloating in livestock, so care must be taken with livestock grazing on alfalfa because of this hazard.[26]

Like other legumes, its root nodules contain bacteria, Sinorhizobium meliloti, with the ability to fix nitrogen, producing a high-protein feed regardless of available nitrogen in the soil.[27] Its nitrogen-fixing ability (which increases soil nitrogen) and its use as an animal feed greatly improve agricultural efficiency.


Alfalfa can be sown in spring or fall, and does best on well-drained soils with a neutral pH of 6.8–7.5.[30][31] Alfalfa requires sustained levels of potassium and phosphorus to grow well.[32] It is moderately sensitive to salt levels in both the soil and irrigation water, although it continues to be grown in the arid southwestern United States, where salinity is an emerging issue.[33][34][35] Soils low in fertility should be fertilized with manure or a chemical fertilizer, but correction of pH is particularly important.[36] Usually a seeding rate of 13 – 20 kg/hectare (12 – 25 lb/acre) is recommended, with differences based upon region, soil type, and seeding method.[37] A nurse crop is sometimes used, particularly for spring plantings, to reduce weed problems and soil erosion, but can lead to competition for light, water, and nutrients


In most climates, alfalfa is cut three to four times a year, but it can be harvested up to 12 times per year in Arizona and southern California.[39][40] Total yields are typically around eight tonnes per hectare (four short tons per acre) in temperate environments, but yields have been recorded up to 20 t/ha (16 ts per acre).[40] Yields vary with region, weather, and the crops stage of maturity when cut. Later cuttings improve yield, but with reduced nutritional content.
 When alfalfa is to be used as hay, it is usually cut and baled.[49] Loose haystacks are still used in some areas, but bales are easier for use in transportation, storage, and feed.[50] Ideally, the first cutting should be taken at the bud stage, and the subsequent cuttings just as the field is beginning to flower, or one-tenth bloom because carbohydrates are at their highest.[51] When using farm equipment rather than hand-harvesting, a swather cuts the alfalfa and arranges it in windrows.[52] In areas where the alfalfa does not immediately dry out on its own, a machine known as a mower-conditioner is used to cut the hay.[49]The mower-conditioner has a set of rollers or flails that crimp and break the stems as they pass through the mower, making the alfalfa dry faster.[53] After the alfalfa has dried, a tractor pulling a baler collects the hay into bales.


Tender shoots of alfalfa are reported to contain per 100 g 52 calories, 82.7% moisture, 6 g protein, 0.4 g fat, 9.5 g total carbohydrate, 3.1 g fiber, 1.4 g ash, 12 mg Ca, 51 mg P, 5.4 mg Fe, 3410 IU Vit A, 0.13 mg thiamine, 0.14 mg riboflavin, 0.5 mg niacin, and 162 mg ascorbic acid

The herb contains carotinoids (including lutein), triterpene saponins, isoflavonoids coumarins, triterpenes (including sitgmasterol, spinasterol); also cyanogenic glycosides (corresponding to less than 80 mg HCN/ 100 g); pro-vitamins A, B6, B12, D, K, E and P; calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, magnesium, choline, sodium, silicon and essential enzymes. 

The seeds contain 33.2%protein and 4.4% mineral matter; saponins with the aglycones, soyasapogenol B and E and polymines, diaminopropane and norspermine. Two storage globulins, alfin and medicagin are found in the seeds. 

The flowers contain flavonoids, kaempferol, quercetin, myricetin and laricytrin. 

The fruits contain betaamyrin, alpha- and beta-spinasterol, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, myrsellinol, scopoletin and esculetin. 

The saponin, medicagenic acid, is found in leaves and roots (leaves 1.49%, roots 2.43% of dry matter) .

Alfalfa is a natural rejuvenator & known As a Father of All Foods. It is one of the best sources for protein Fibre vitamin A, C, D, E, K, P & B complex, Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin and Minerals calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, magnesium, choline, sodium, silicon and essential digestive enzymes and Amino acids.


Alfalfa contains vitamin K, an antihemolytic agent.

Vitamin K is found in many green leafy plants, but is especially abundant in alfalfa. The herb has therefore been effectively used in treatment of vitamin K disorders in man. When the delivery of bile to the bowel is hindered, as in obstructive jaundice or biliary fistula, a bleeding disorder may arise. Other bleeding disorders may result from the use of artificial formulas to feed newborns, protracted antibiotic therapy, pancreatic insufficiency, chronic diarrhea and steatorrhea, and from the misuse of anticoagulants, aspirin, and anticonvulsant drugs

Alfalfa has antibiotic properties

The saponins in alfalfa have been shown to be antifungal. This activity is concentrated mainly in the medicagenic acid fraction. Alfalfa has shown some activity against tuberculosis bacteria, while aqueous and volatile extracts of alfalfa are antibacterial against gram negative bacteria.

Alfalfa has antitumor action

Basic proteins (histones) displaying antitumor activity without undesired side effects occur in alfalfa. These substances contain high levels of l-lysine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid. Tumor stimulating fractions were also found, containing large amount of l-arginine. This basic relationship requires further study.

Other pharmacology of alfalfa

Tricin has been isolated from alfalfa and found to cause smooth muscle relaxation in guinea pig intestinal tissue, and to have some slight estrogenic property.

Alfalfa is highly nutritious

The nutrient content of alfalfa is one of the richest known, making it a useful livestock fodder and a highly recommended herb for the human diet as well.

Alfalfa root pharmacology

The hypocholesterolemic effect of alfalfa root saponins has been thoroughly established. Alfalfa root saponins can inhibit increases in blood cholesterol levels by 25% in experimental animals fed a high cholesterol diet.

Method of action

Alfalfa root saponins also have a hemolytic effect. It appears that this hemolytic effect is the result of a marked reduction in prothrombin factor concentration. In addition, they may interfere with the metabolism of vitamin E.

Parts used for medicinal purpose

Leaves, Seed, ,



  • For high cholesterol: a typical dose is 5-10 grams of the herb, or as a steeped strained tea, three times a day. 5-10 mL of a liquid extract (1:1 in 25% alcohol) three times a day has also been used.


Substitutes for Alfalfa sprouts include:
Mung Bean, Lentil, Radish or any fresh sprout

Galega - a potential alternative to alfalfa


An admixture of Melilotus alba seed in the seed of alfalfa is extremely difficult of detection to any but an expert. 

Commercial value:

Alfalfa, called the "Queen of the Forages," is the fourth most widely grown crop in the United States behind corn, wheat and soybeans and double the cotton acreage. Although there is no published value for alfalfa hay the estimated value is $8.1 billion. There are 23.6 million acres of alfalfa cut for hay with an average yield of 3.35 tons per acre. The estimated value of alfalfa hay is $102.50 per ton. Alfalfa meal and cubes are exported to other countries with a value of $49.4 million to the U.S. economy. Alfalfa is sometimes grown in mixtures with forage grasses and other legumes. The acreage of all hay harvested including alfalfa per year is 60.8 million with an estimated value of $13.4 billion. When the value of alfalfa as a mixture with other forages is considered the acreage and value of hay is approximately equal to wheat and soybeans.
One of the most important characteristics of alfalfa is its high nutritional quality as animal feed. Alfalfa contains between 15 to 22% crude protein as well as an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Specifically, alfalfa contains vitamins A, D, E, K, U, C, B1, B2, B6, B12, Niacin, Panthothanic acid, Inocitole, Biotin, and Folic acid. Alfalfa also contains the following minerals: Phosphorus, Calcium, Potassium, Sodium, Chlorine, Sulfur, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese, Iron, Cobalt, Boron, and Molybdenum and trace elements such as Nickel, Lead, Strontium and Palladium. Alfalfa is also directly consumed by humans in the form of alfalfa sprouts. According to the International Sprout Growers there are approximately $250 million dollars worth of sprouts sold in North America. Alfalfa juice is used in some health food products.


Alfalfa is a perennial herb with stems erect or sometimes prostrate, 0.3–1 m long, 5-25 or more per crown, much-branched, 4-angled. Rhizome is stout, penetrating the soil as much as 7-9 m. Stipules are united up to 1/3-1/2 of the length - free portion is triangular-lanceshaped, tapering, basally entire or with 1–2 teeth. Leaves are trifoliolate - leaflets are obovate- oblong, ovate or linear, tapering to base, toothed above middle, 1-4.5 cm long, 3–10 mm broad, smooth or appressed hairy, paler green beneath. Flower racemes are oval or rounded, 1-2.5 cm long, 1-2 cm broad, arising in leaf axils, 5-40-flowered. Stalk carrying the cluster is slender, firm, always exceeding the subtending leaf. Sepal cup is tubular, with linear- subulate teeth longer then tube. Flowers are yellow or blue to purple or violet, 6-15 mm long. Bracteoles are whitish, linear-subulate, mostly equaling the flower-stalk. Pod is 3-9 mm in diameter, with 2-3 spirals, prominently net-veined. Seeds are 6 or 8 per pod. Alfalfa is widely grown throughout the world as forage for cattle, and is most often harvested as hay. Alfalfa has the highest feeding value of all common hay crops, being used less frequently as pasture. Flowering: May-July.

Geographical distribution:

During the early 2000s, alfalfa was the most cultivated forage legume in the world.[59] Worldwide production was around 436 million tons in 2006.[59] In 2009, alfalfa was grown on approximately 30 million hectares (74,000,000 acres) worldwide; of this North America produced 41% (11.9 million hectares; 29,000,000 acres), Europe produced 25% (7.12 million hectares; 17,600,000 acres), South America produced 23% (7 million hectares; 17,000,000 acres), Asia produced 8% (2.23 million hectares; 5,500,000 acres), and Africa and Oceania produced the remainder.[60] The US was the largest alfalfa producer in the world by area in 2009, with 9 million hectares (22,000,000 acres), but considerable production area is found in Argentina (6.9 million hectares; 17,000,000 acres), Canada (2 million hectares; 4,900,000 acres), Russia (1.8 million hectares; 4,400,000 acres), Italy (1.3 million hectares; 3,200,000 acres), and China (1.3 million hectares; 3,200,000 acres)


Alfalfa is a perennial forage legume which normally lives four to eight years, but can live more than 20 years, depending on variety and climate.[13] The plant grows to a height of up to 1 m (3.3 ft), and has a deep root system, sometimes growing to a depth of more than 15 m (49 ft) to reach groundwater. Typically the root system grows to a depth of 2–3 metres depending on subsoil constraints.[13] Owing to deep root system, it helps to improve soil nitrogen fertility and protect from soil erosion.[14] This depth of root system, and perenniality of crowns that store carbohydrates as an energy reserve, make it very resilient, especially to droughts. Alfalfa is more drought-hardy than drought-tolerant and the persistence of the plant also depends on the management of the stand.[13] It has a tetraploid genome.[15]

Alfalfa is a small-seeded crop, and has a slowly growing seedling, but after several months of establishment, forms a tough "crown" at the top of the root system. This crown contains shoot buds that enable alfalfa to regrow many times after being grazed or harvested; however, overgrazing of the buds will reduce the new leaves on offer to the grazing animal.

This plant exhibits autotoxicity, which means it is difficult for alfalfa seed to grow in existing stands of alfalfa.[16] Therefore, alfalfa fields are recommended to be rotated with other species (for example, corn or wheat) before reseeding.[17]

Plant conservation:

Widespread in cultivation.

General Use:

  • Dye/tanning
  • Flour/starch
  • Fodder/animal feed
  • Forage
  • Soil improvement
Alfalfa plant contains many essential nutrients. The roots of the plant can borrow up to the depth of almost twelve meters into the soil, and bring up trace minerals, which are of great importance to health. The alfalfa plant supplies almost all the vitamins, namely, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamins C, E, and K. It is high in protein and calcium. The sun-dried hay of alfalfa is said be a good source of vitamin D, vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. These nutrients make alfalfa have enormous health benefits. The best way to have alfalfa is in the form of sprouts that have been rinsed thoroughly to remove mould. Alfalfa seeds should not be eaten unless sprouted because they contain high levels of the toxic amino acid, canavanine. You can also take it in the form of a tablet.

Therapeutic Uses:

relieve water retentionarthritisulcerspurifying the bloodfood digestionassimilationkidney problems
Kaphvatshamak, rochan, hridya, twakroghara, jwaraghna.

Systemic Use:

Digestive system: it is a specific remedy for diarrhea and dysentery.
Respiratory system: it is useful in phthisis pulmonalis and skin diseases


Fruit is cholagogue, cooling, demulcent, emollient and anti scorbutic. Bark and leaves are astringent. Oil is emollient and soothing

Makes skin radiant

The chlorophyll in alfalfa is rich in Vitamin A and enzymes. This makes skin radiant on the outside and healthy on the inside.

Improves hair health

Vitamins B1 and B6 present in alfalfa result in excellent hair growth. It also improves the texture of hair. Alfalfa also contains enzymes that prevent baldness and hair loss. The presence of proteins helps hair growth while the presence of minerals such as calcium, zinc, silica make hair stronger and better. Silica prevents hair loss and baldness.

Helps prevents cholesterol

Alfalfa reduces bad cholesterol in the body and prevents cholesterol keves in the body from going too high, thereby also reducing the risk of heart diseases.

Used in treatment for digestive problems

Alfalfa is an effective treatment for digestive problems. It prevents indigestionbloatinggastritis, stomach ulcers, nausea, etc. alfalfa has a high fibre content and therefore also reduces chronic constipation.

Helps clean the body

Daily intake of alfalfa can greatly detoxify and cleanse the body from the inside.

Used to prevent cancer

Risk of cancer can be reduced by the consumption of alfalfa daily. It contains an amino acid called canavanine which is known to prevent the risk of cancer. It also helps in the binding of carcinogens that are present in the colon.

Maintains kidney and urinary health

Alfalfa has diuretic properties which help prevent any problems in the kidney such as water retention. Alfalfa is also known to prevent UTI or Urinary Tract Infection.

Reduces bleeding

Alfalfa is rich in chlorophyll, iron and Vitamin K. These help in producing extra blood in the body and the plant is also used to treat nosebleedsanemiableeding gums and poor clotting of blood.

Lowers blood sugar

Phytonutrients in alfalfa such as L-canavanine and chlorophyll help in increasing immunity. It also lowers blood sugar, prevents Type-II diabetes, adult-onset diabetes and many more.

Prevents kidney stones

Alfalfa also prevents kidney stones and gravel, arthrosis, arthritis, oedema, heavy metal poisoningvaricoseulcers, etc. It is also used to treat loss of energy, fatigue, nausea, memory weakness and decrease in alertness, decreased thyroid function, brittle nails, split hair ends, night blindness, dental problems and lessened production or poor quality of breast milk.

Clinical trials:


FRRL geneticists Ivan Mott and Mike Peel participated in an ARS alfalfa research strategic planning event in Minneapolis, MN in January, 2013. Alfalfa researchers from across the United States gathered to coordinate and prioritize ARS research directed toward alfalfas improvement, increased utilization, and environmental benefits. Alfalfa is the 4th most produced crop in the US. Research by Drs. Peel and Mott to develop and characterize salt-tolerant and grazing-tolerant rhizomatous alfalfa was included in the 2013 USDA ARS 


Pregnancy or breast-feeding: Using alfalfa in amounts larger than what is commonly found in food is POSSIBLY UNSAFE during pregnancy and breast-feeding. There is some evidence that alfalfa may act like estrogen, and this might affect the pregnancy.

“Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Alfalfa might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. There are two case reports of SLE patients experiencing disease flare after taking alfalfa seed products long-term. If you have an auto-immune condition, it’s best to avoid using alfalfa until more is known.

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Alfalfa might have the same effects as the female hormone estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t use alfalfa.

Diabetes: Alfalfa might lower blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes and take alfalfa, monitor your blood sugar levels closely.

Kidney transplant: There is one report of a kidney transplant rejection following the three-month use of a supplement that contained alfalfa and black cohosh. This outcome is more likely due to alfalfa than black cohosh. There is some evidence that alfalfa can boost the immune system and this might make the anti-rejection drug cyclosporine less effective.

Toxicity studies:

Raw alfalfa seeds and sprouts contain the amino acid canavanine which can have a toxic effect in primates, incl humans, and can result in lupus-like symptoms in susceptible individuals. The effects can be reversed by stopping the consumption of alfalfa.

Use in other system of medicine:

Alfalco Alfalfa Tonic is a homeopathic formulation recommended to help relieve fatigue, restore mental alertness and reduce difficulty falling asleep.


Alfalfa, also called lucerne (Medicago sativa) is an important forage crop in many countries throughout the world. Alfalfa belongs to the plant family Leguminosae, also known as Fabaceae and, like all legumes, it has the ability to fix nitrogen from the air. As a result, alfalfa is incredibly high in protein. Beyond its use in animal feed, the seeds of alfalfa can be sprouted and eaten by humans.

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