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Medicago sinensis

According to Pliny, Alfalfa originally came from Medea, which gave it its Latin name. It was brought to the West by King Darius, who ruled Persia from 521 - 486 BC. The Persians esteemed it highly as fodder for their horses, attributing to it the power of making their animals swift and strong. It is still grown as forage and is believed to increase milk production in cows. Alfalfa is a highly nutritious plant - not just for animals. While people shun the fully grown plant because of the high fibre content, the sprouts have become a very popular as a healthy source of amino acids, minerals and vitamins, especially for vegetarians.

Hippocrates must have had Alfalfa in mind when he said: Let your foods be medicines (and you won't need any drugs). Alfalfa provides excellent nutritious supplementation suitable during convalescence or debility, in old age, puberty, or if suffering from anorexia. It is said to be able to help the body build cartilage and can be a supportive nutrient food when recovering from sports injuries or in cases of degenerative arthritis. Dried Alfalfa leaves can be powdered and sprinkled on food or infused as a tisane. In Chinese medicine Alfalfa is traditionally used to aid in the treatment of stomach ulcers. Like other members of the legume family, Alfalfa has some oestrogen-like compounds, which may have a supportive effect on hormone related issues, such as PMS or menopausal symptoms.

In western magical herbalism Alfalfa is used to increase the flow of money and to guard against financial pitfalls. Collect ritually burned Alfalfa ashes for inclusion in a dedicated amulet or to sprinkle them around the house. Alfalfa can also be used to increase vital Chi energy.