Using Alfalfa for Gout Relief and Prevention
Alfalfa is a perennial herb that has traditional use as livestock forage. It is a highly nutrient dense herb that has active chemicals that have diuretic uses and are beneficial for the treatment of kidney, bladder and prostate disorders.
Alfalfa for Gout Relief and Prevention
Alfalfa has been touted for its anti-arthritic and active chemicals that provide aid in sorting kidney disorders. A healthy kidney is essential for gout relief and prevention as the kidney is the primary organ responsible for the excretion of uric acid. Alfalfa can help stimulate a healthier and more efficient kidney. Additionally, alfalfa’s leaves have been recognized to have anti-arthritic properties that help with providing relief from the pain and swelling caused by arthritis diseases. Finally, Alfalfa is a nutrient dense herb that is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E and K4, as well as minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus and iron. These are essential nutrients for proper function of bodily systems.
Research Supporting Alfalfa and Gout Relief and Prevention
At this time, there is not enough reliable research on alfalfa’s effectiveness in treating gout.
Alfalfa is available in the grocery store in its sprout form and is highly dense in essential vitamins and minerals.
Alfalfa Supplement Variations
Alfalfa is available in supplement form as a capsule with dried and ground alfalfa leaf, or powdered alfalfa seeds.
How to Use Alfalfa for Gout Relief and Prevention
Alfalfa can be incorporated into your diet by adding fresh alfalfa sprouts to your salad, into a sandwich or wrap, or as garnish on any protein based dishes. It is subtle in flavor and will not add or take away from a dish. Additionally Alfalfa supplements can be taken on a daily basis based on the recommendations on your products label.
Alfalfa leaves are considered safe for usage, however alfalfa seeds may pose long-term unsafe side-effects. Alfalfa seeds may cause reactions that are similar to the autoimmune disease lupus erythematosus if taken for an extended period of time. In some individuals, alfalfa can cause the skin to be extra sensitive to sunlight and therefore they should wear sunblock. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult with their doctor about consuming alfalfa as it may effect pregnancy and the baby. Individuals with autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and others should avoid use of alfalfa as it can encourage these disease to be more active. Alfalfa may act as the female hormone estrogen and may increase the risk for individuals who are likely to develop hormone sensitive cancers. Alfalfa may lower blood sugar levels, if you currently have diabetes it is important to monitor your blood sugar levels.
Fresh alfalfa can be contaminated with bacteria such as S. enterica and E. coli, be sure to thoroughly wash your alfalfa sprouts prior to consumption.
Interactions with other Medications
Alfalfa interactions with the following mediations:
- Warfarin: Alfalfa contains large amounts of vitamin K, a compound that helps blood clot. Warfarin is designed to slow blood clotting, therefore alfalfa may interfere with the effectiveness of warfarin, decreasing its effects.
- Birth Control Pills. Alfalfa may act like estrogen in the body and may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. If taking Alfalfa regularly be sure to use an additional form of birth control such as a condom.
- Estrogen. Alfalfa may act like estrogen and may decrease the effects of estrogen pills.
- Immunosuppressant. Alfalfa may increase the effectiveness of the immune system, thus decreasing the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.
- Photosensitizing drugs. Some medications can increase your sensitivity to sunlight and alfalfa may also contribute to this sensitivity. If you are light skinned, be sure to wear sunblock and other sun protection to avoid damage from sunlight.