HomeHerb DatabaseMu-su Sunday, July 21, 2024  
Herb Database  
Search eMedicinal.com

Advanced Search
Herb Database
Top 10 Herbs Searched For
1. Jordan Almond
2. Linden Flower
3. Saw Palmetto
4. Aloe Vera
5. Ginseng
6. Black Cohosh
7. Bilberry
8. Feverfew
9. He shou wu
10. St. John's Wort

Herbs From Home!
Sign up for our herbal newsletter!
Send Page To a Friend!
Share the wealth of herbal knowledge! Please click below to send this page to your friends!


  • Medicago sativa L.
  • Leguminosae
  • Pea family

Common Names

herbsBuffalo herb
herbsPurple medic

Parts Usually Used

Flowering plant, leaves petals, flowers and sprouts.

Description of Plant(s) and Culture

A deep-rooted perennial plant (Medicago sativa) of the pea family with small divided leaves, purple cloverlike flowers (violet-blue) in loose heads, 1/4 to 1/2 inches long, and spiral pods loosely twisted, used extensively for fodder, pasture, and as a cover crop. The erect, smooth stem grows from an elongated taproot to a height of 12 to 18 inches. Leaves clover-like, but leaflets elongate. Leaflets: 3-toothed above; flowers: violet; Calyx: 5-toothed; Corolla: papilionaceous, 6 lines long; Stamens: 9 united and 1 free; Pod: spirally coiled and without spines. Flowers June to August.

Where Found

Fields, roadsides. Throughout the United States. Often cultivated as a crop. Native to Asia.

Medicinal Properties

Alterative, antipyretic, diuretic, appetite stimulant, hemostatic

Biochemical Information

Contains organic minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium and almost all known vitamins, as well as very high in chlorophyll

Legends, Myths and Stories

First discovered by the Arabs, who dubbed alfalfa, this valuable plant, as the "father of all foods." According to an early Oriental herbarium, alfalfa tops the list of 896 plants cited, and originated in Persia. Alfalfa (M. sativa), a native of Asia, didn't reach North America until around 1850 or 1860. Native Americans adapted alfalfa quickly for human use, as well as for animals. In England and South Africa it is called Buffalo herb.

Called Mu-su, this is one of the plants said to have been brought to China by General Chang Chien of the Han dynasty. The mu-su is included among the vegetables, and was formerly extensively cultivated; and in some parts of China, is still grown. It is found growing almost of its own accord.

The first documented use of this herb by the Chinese dates back to the 6th century. Chinese healers use alfalfa to treat kidney stones and to relieve fluid retention and swelling. Chinese name: Muxu or zimu

The Sting Plant (Psoralea lanceolata) known as White alfalfa (Native American name "Pooy sonib") has fibrous roots that can be split exceptionally fine for string, nets, etc. Fragrant, and will not rot in water.


Alfalfa tea is commonly used as a beverage; it is also used medicinally. Nutritious fresh or dried leaf tea traditionally used to promote appetite, weight gain, diuretic, stops bleeding.

A source of commercial chlorophyll and carotene, both with valid health claims. Contains the anti-oxidant tricin.

Experimentally, antifungal, and setrogenic. Unsubstantiated claims include use for cancer, diabetes, alcoholism, arthritis, etc.

High in chlorophyll and nutrients. Alkalies the body and detoxifies the body, especially the liver. Good for all colon disorders, anemia, hemorrhaging, indigestion, vitamin or mineral deficiency, laxative, cystitis, blood purifier, gas, edema, diabetes, ulcers, and arthritis. Promotes pituitary gland function. Contains an antifungus agent.

Formulas or Dosages

Infusion: mix 1 tbsp. dried herb with 8 oz. of warm water. Drink 1 cup of this home brewed tea daily.

Fresh: toss alfalfa sprouts in a salad.

For relief of rheumatoid arthritis, take 9 to 18 alfalfa tablets daily.

Nutrient Content

Biotin, calcium, choline, inositol, iron, magnesium, PABA, phosphorus, potassium, protein, sodium, sulfur, tryptophan (amino acid), and vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, K, P, and U.

How Sold

Capsules: take 3 to 6 daily.


Alfalfa has been known to aggravate lupus and other auto-immune disorders. Avoid alfalfa is you have an auto-immune problem.

Consuming large quantities of Alfalfa saponins may cause breakdown of red blood cells, causing bloating in livestock (thus weight gain). Recent reports suggest that Alfalfa sprouts (or the canavanine therein, especially in the seeds), may be associated with lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus), causing recurrence in patients in which the disease had become dormant.

HomeForumHerbal LinksNewsletterSearch About UsContact Us
© 1997-2005 eMedicinal.com | Privacy Policy | Caution Disclaimer | Sitemap
Sign up for our newsletter or recommend us today!