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Chemical constituants of ashvakshura - Medicago sativa

ashvakshura - Medicago sativa - Fabaceae

ashvakshura :

ashvakshura : Medicago sativa


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.

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