Alfalfa is one of the oldest crops grown and is referenced in writings as far back as 1300 B.C. It has been used as food for both people and animals because of its exceptional health benefits. Alfalfa supports healthy fertility and milk supply and can be used to increase your milk production. Its origin seems to be from Turkey and Iran, but it traveled with people and is now found all over the world. Many cultures have traditionally used it as medicine for various health concerns.
In this article, we'll explore:
About the plant and how it grows
The many health benefits of Alfalfa
Some easy ways to incorporate it into your diet
Using it to increase your milk supply and support lactation
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is a flowering perennial herb. It typically has small purple flowers. It has a deep root system reaching at least 6 feet down into the soil to access water during drought conditions. Because it is so tolerant, it is probably how it became a popular crop able to be grown in so many places around the globe.
Alfalfa is a phytoestrogen meaning it can mimic estrogen and attach to receptor sites in our body. It is considered a superfood because alfalfa has a high vitamin and mineral content that supports fertility, lactation and detoxification.
Growing alfalfa sprouts is fun and easy. Try adding them to salads and other dishes. The leaves can be used to make tea, but some people find it slightly bitter unless combined with other ingredients.
Vitamins in 1 cup of alfalfa sprouts provide you with: (1)
Vitamin K 13%
Vitamin C 5%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 2%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 2%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1%
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) 2%vitamin B6 2%
Minerals in 1 cup of alfalfa sprouts provide you with: (1)
Benefits of Alfalfa during pregnancy:
Taken during pregnancy, it helps prepare the body for birth. High vitamin K helps reduce bleeding risks during and after birth preventing postpartum hemorrhage. (6) It has been shown to promote menses but is still considered safe during pregnancy.
It helps breast tissue development and the milk duct system to proliferate. If you experienced a low milk supply previously, it could be helpful to take alfalfa during pregnancy to encourage the growth of more breast tissue. Using alfalfa or a lactation supplement with alfalfa while breastfeeding can increase milk supply and increase the fat content of your milk. (2)
Increasing your milk supply with Alfalfa:
The pituitary gland is where lactation hormones like prolactin are made and stored. (4) Prolactin is a hormone responsible for making milk. Estrogen signals the pituitary gland to make and secrete prolactin. Because alfalfa is a phytoestrogen, it supports this process.
If you take alfalfa during your pregnancy to boost nutrition but do not experience low milk supply issues, you may need to reduce the amount of alfalfa you take after your baby is born. Too much alfalfa can lead to oversupply. If you begin to notice symptoms of engorgement, decrease how much you are consuming or supplementing.
Legendairy Milk Products that contain Alfalfa:
- Cash Cow can be used from 36 weeks pregnant and postpartum. It supports mammary growth and development prenatally and can increase milk production and enrich your milk after birth.
- Liquid Gold has Alfalfa as one of its ingredients, along with other powerhouse herbs, to increase milk production and flow.
Postpartum health benefits of Alfalfa:
Alfalfa has traditionally been used to relieve many conditions. It can act as a diuretic helping with edema and water retention after birth. It is known to lower blood pressure, help regulate blood sugar and lower cholesterol. (3) Because it is high in chlorophyll, it helps nourish and cleanse the body, supporting the liver and pituitary gland function.
Because Alfalfa is part of the legume family, it should be avoided by people with lupus and autoimmune disorders.
People on certain blood thinning medications should avoid alfalfa due to its high Vitamin K content. The parent or the baby can experience diarrhea or loose stools. Reduce your dose of alfalfa if this happens.
Always check with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.
Alfalfa is a highly nutritious and beneficial plant that has been used for centuries for both food and medicinal purposes. Incorporating alfalfa into your diet or with one of Legendairy Milk’s lactation products containing it as an ingredient during pregnancy and postpartum can have numerous benefits, including supporting fertility, preparing the body for birth, increasing milk supply, and promoting postpartum healing. With its rich vitamin and mineral content, alfalfa is a superfood that can provide significant health benefits to both mother and baby.
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