Alfalfa is a flowering plant in the pea family. The plant is grown all over the world. Its leaves, sprouts, and seeds have been used in some cultures to make medicine.
Alfalfa comes in a dried herb form, as a tea, and in capsules. It can be found in almost any drugstore or supermarket.
Alfalfa is rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K. There are people who believe alfalfa can be used to make hair look healthier and stronger. Some claim it can stop hair loss when used as a supplement. However, there isn’t much research in humans or animals into how and if alfalfa can really aid in overall hair health.
Benefits of alfalfa for hair
Alfalfa is considered a “superfood” because it’s loaded with the vitamins your body needs to generate new cells and boost your immune system. Its deep roots allow it to soak up tons of vitamins while it’s growing.
Alfalfa may be of particular interest if you experience hair loss. The link between nutrition and hair loss is well-documented in medical literature. When you aren’t getting enough vitamins in your diet, your body allocates the energy it would use to produce healthy hair and skin cells to your digestive and cardiovascular systems.
By taking alfalfa supplements or incorporating alfalfa sprouts into your diet, you could be ensuring that your body has what it needs to produce healthy cells for your hair and body. But if you’re already well-nourished, the Mayo Clinic notes that supplements might not make a difference.
Alfalfa contains high levels of antioxidants, like most herbs. Antioxidants fight the environmental factors that can make your hair and skin cells look prematurely aged. This is known as oxidative stress. Using alfalfa for hair could disrupt the oxidative stress on your hair cells and restore a glossy, youthful look.
How to use alfalfa for hair
One way to consume the maximum freshness and nutritional benefit of alfalfa is to drink it as a juice. Use a food processor or juicer to do this.
The taste of alfalfa juice alone is very strong. Diluting the taste with another kind of juice might make the drink tastier. Try combining a half cup of alfalfa sprouts with carrot juice, apple juice, or spinach juice for a potent and healthy cocktail.
Some people like to drink alfalfa tea. You can purchase alfalfa tea from your local health food store or online. You can also put dried alfalfa into a tea bag or tea ball and steep it in hot water for the same effect. Drinking alfalfa tea once per day should be enough to achieve a nutritional benefit from the vitamins in the alfalfa.
Alfalfa supplements are available to buy over the counter. Alfalfa supplements can be taken once daily as a way to:
- boost nutrition
- add fiber to your diet
- provide antioxidants for your cells to prevent oxidative stress
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t monitor the purity or quality of supplements. Talk with your doctor before you begin taking alfalfa supplements. Also make sure to check the individual dosing recommendation for the supplement that you buy. It’ll vary between manufacturers.
Potential risks and side effects
Alfalfa doesn’t pose much of a risk for most people. But there are some considerations you should keep in mind before you try it.
Alfalfa may behave like the hormone estrogen. This could cause harmful side effects for some people. Avoid alfalfa if you’re nursing, pregnant, or trying to get pregnant. Taking alfalfa along with birth control pills could also interfere with how effective your birth control is.
The high levels of vitamin K in alfalfa mean taking it with blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin) isn’t advised. Drugs that increase sensitivity to sunlight can also interact with alfalfa. This can lead you to be even more sensitive to sunlight than you already are.
If you’re taking any supplements or drugs to control blood sugar, be aware that alfalfa lowers blood sugar, too. Taking alfalfa along with any herbal or prescription drug that controls blood sugar might cause your blood sugar to drop too low.
If you’re receiving cancer treatment or using any other medications, talk to your healthcare provider first.
Alfalfa is incredibly rich in nutrition. It has a unique combination of vitamins, antioxidants, and immune-boosting properties. However, there’s very little research into how alfalfa may be used as a supplement for hair.
If you’re concerned about hair loss, follicle weakness, or dry hair, you may want to try alfalfa supplements or tea as a home remedy. Before you begin using alfalfa supplements, understand its possible side effects. Talk with your doctor to make sure alfalfa supplements won’t interfere with any medications you’re currently using.