Alfalfa toxicity


Is alfalfa toxic?

No, alfalfa is not a toxic plant. The leaves of the plant can be taken in the form of supplements or in small doses in the diet.

Germinated seeds are also taken, and are often added in salads.

However, alfalfa contains different substances with major contraindications.

* More information on Contraindications of alfalfa in the listing below.

What are the components of alfalfa?

Amino acids: arginine, asparagine (high concentration in seeds), cystine, histidine. Protein contains an amino acid called canavanine.

Canavanine is found throughout the plant: leaves (. 0.9 – 1.2 mg / g), stems (0.6 – 0.9 mg / g) and especially in seeds (5 – 14mg / g.). This component can trigger lupus erythematosus in people where the disease is dormant.

Vitamins: the plant is rich in vitamin B, vitamin C, provitamin A and vitamin K.

Organic acids: lauric acid, maleic, malic, malonic, quinic.

Alkaloids: Alfalfa contains pyllorridine alkaloids (stachydrine and homostachydrine) and pyridine (trigonelline, but only the seeds).

Coumarins: it contains medicagol, coumestrol, trifoliol, lucernol, sativol. Coumarins have blood-thinning effects.

Bioflavonoids: tricine, coumestrol, biochanin A, daidzein, genistein, formononetin. These components have estrogenic effect, and are used to treat menopausal symptoms. The same components plant contraindicated for hormone-sensitive people, such as pregnant women.

Phytosterols: campesterol, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, spinasterol, cicloastenol.

Saponins (2-3%): Alfalfa is rich in saponins (hederagenin, medicagenic acid, soyasapogenols AF), with properties to reduce cholesterol, since they form complexes with it in the intestine, so they are excreted, thereby reducing absorption.


Flavonoids: lutein, zeaxanthin.

Precautions with alfalfa

Do not take alfalfa during pregnancy: the plant has an estrogenic effect, acting as sex hormones in the body, so this could affect the normal cycle of pregnancy.

Do not take alfalfa if you have any autoimmune diseases: alfalfa may exacerbate or rekindle the symptoms of these diseases, even if the disease is latent. Treatment with alfalfa can influence steroid medication. It is also not recommended for people with compromised immune system, such as in the elderly.

* Alfalfa has other important contraindications. Read all Contraindications alfalfa will find in the menu listing below.

More information about alfalfa.

This article was endorsed by Vicente Martínez Centelles - Founder of the web and director. Teacher of natural sciences, expert in plants, natural remedies and botanical photography.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

14 May, 2021

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