Alfalfa

Also indexed as:Lucerne, Medicago sativa
Alfalfa: Main Image© Steven Foster
Common names:
Lucerne
Botanical names:
Medicago sativa

Side Effects

Use of the dried leaves of alfalfa in recommended amounts is usually safe. There have been isolated reports of people who are allergic to alfalfa. Ingestion of very large amounts (the equivalent of several servings) of the seed and/or sprouts has been linked to the onset of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in animal studies.21 It has also been linked to the reactivation of SLE in people consuming alfalfa tablets.22 SLE is an autoimmune illness characterized by inflamed joints and a high risk of damage to kidneys and other organs. The chemical responsible for this effect is believed to be canavanine.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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