I was first introduced to alfalfa during my youth when my mom started buying ‘sprouts’. They came in small, clear plastic containers and looked like so much fuzzy hair with little green tops. We added them to sandwiches mostly, though I have a feeling my mom may have been secretly adding it to other dishes as well, just to make sure her four ‘mac-n-cheese’ kids got enough greens.
Now, I take alfalfa powder supplements daily for one very important reason – allergies.
Just after sixth grade, my family moved to a small town at the foot of Mt. Diablo in the San Francisco Bay Area. I almost immediately began sneezing from allergies. I got them bad, too. Little did we know when we moved there that the area around Mt. Diablo is ranked as one of the worst in the world for seasonal allergies. I suffered almost constantly.
Allergy pills, like Benadryl or Sudafed, didn’t always help. My allergies were so bad that I had at least one sinus infection every year. My doctor finally convinced me to get a shot at the start of the allergy season, and I finally complied. Little did I know (because he didn’t inform me) that one of the side effects of Kenalog shots is a degradation in vision.
My vision got so bad I could barely drive at night, forcing me to have surgery to replace the lens. It was my eye doctor who told me about the Kenalog effect. I stopped getting those shots and went back to pills, though now I was taking them daily, even during the off-season for allergies. Problem solved, right?
Turns out some of the most common OTC drugs, like allergy meds, belong to a family of medications known as anticholinergic drugs. What’s wrong with that? Anticholinergic drugs have been linked to Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s and more. If you want to know more about that, read this report. And make sure you view this chart that lists the medications and their potential involvement in memory function disorders.
This left me with only one choice. I could either suffer with allergies now, or I could suffer with memory loss later. Great choice, right? Convinced there was another avenue out there somewhere, I started researching.
The first thing I came across was the potential benefits of local grown honey. (Read the blog I wrote about honey.) However, the benefits from honey, versus the impact of adding that much sugar (at least one tablespoon a day), natural or not, was not that much better of a trade-off.
That’s when a friend of mine told me she was taking alfalfa powder. And, though she was taking it for the nutritional benefits, one of the other benefits was that her allergies literally went away. And, guess what…so did mine. I barely even sneeze anymore. No pills, no added sugars. Not only has it stopped my allergies, but here’s a list of all of the other benefits alfalfa is known or believed to help with:
You can eat it raw, cook with it, take herbal supplements, or even brew it into tea. This tea is not only good to drink, but you can also put it in a spray bottle and fertilize your houseplants and garden. Irises and delphiniums especially love this spray.
Not a bad little herb to have around! Now if I can only find an herb that can give me back my vision…