Monday, 24 July 2017

Herbal Therapy: Alfalfa, the Natural Anti Microbial Whole Food Medicine

Kyle J. Norton, Master of Nutrients
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published on line, including world wide health, ezine articles, article base, healthblogs, selfgrowth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
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Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bio science, ISSN 0975-6299.

The use of plants for healing purposes have been predated long before the existence of  modern medicine. Herbal plants have formed a fundamental sources for conventional medicine in discovery of single ingredient medication, including aspirin (from willow bark), quinine (from cinchona bark), and morphine (from the opium poppy)......

Alfalfa is a flowering plant in the genus Medicago, belonging to the family Fabaceae, cultivated all over the world as hay for cattle feeding, and used in traditional medicine over thousands of year to treat high cholesterol, asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, enhance digestive system, bleeding disorder, kidney and urinary tract infection, etc. North American aboriginal have used Alfalfa seed as food, such as making bread and mush.

Alfalfa may be a potential anti microbial agent used for treatment of infection or infectious related diseases.

According to the Via Orabona 4, Università, chemical compound saponins found in alfalfa family exhibited anti microbial activities in a selection of medically important yeasts, Gram-positive and negative bacteria.

Dr. Avato P, the lead author said, "(The anti micrbial)  Activity (of alfalfa)was especially high against Gram-positive bacteria (Bacillus cereus, B. subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis) with M. arabica being the species showing a broader spectrum of action. Discrete antifungal activity was also observed, mainly against Saccharomyces cerevisiae".

Furthermore, in the study of 40 steers fed either a sainfoin (hay or silage) or alfalfa (hay or silage) diet over a 9-week period, in vitro, alfalfa fed group showed a decline in fecal E. coli numbers marginally.

The study also suggested the result of decline of  anti E. coli number is due to the presence of  phytochemical phenolics in alfalfa.

In fact, The Karunya University in the investigation of Antimicrobial of Alfalfa(Medicago sativa) in various bacterial strain showed a positive effects of alfalfa seed extract in inhibition of 
 five bacterial strains namely Bacillus licheniformis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Lactococcus lactis, Klebsiella pneumonia. The efficacy also depend on concentration of extract with the maximum inhibition was seen in 300µg/ml concentration of extract.

There is no doubt that intake of alfalfa regularly may be beneficiary in reduced risk and treatment of microbial infection and diseases. But further human trials are necessary.

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(1) Antimicrobial activity of saponins from Medicago sp.: structure-activity relationship by Avato P1, Bucci R, Tava A, Vitali C, Rosato A, Bialy Z, Jurzysta M.(PubMed)
(2) Potential to reduce Escherichia coli shedding in cattle feces by using sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) forage, tested in vitro and in vivo by Berard NC1, Holley RA, McAllister TA, Ominski KH, Wittenberg KM, Bouchard KS, Bouchard JJ, Krause DO.(PubMed)
(3) Antimicrobial screening of Alfalfa(Medicago sativa) in various bacterial strains by G.SHEELA JOY1 , and Dr.PHILOMENA GEORGE2 *. *Professor, 1B.Tech.student Department Biotechnology, Karunya University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India 641114(IJPDA)