Alfalfa Benefits for Skin + Tips on the Best Ways to Use the Herb

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You’ve probably heard of alfalfa in relation to healthy eating. Due to the fact that alfalfa is rich in potent antioxidants and vitamins, it’s often referred to as a superfood. However, just like with many of the other popular superfoods out there, alfalfa offers up a number of benefits when used topically too. Let’s take a look at closer look at exactly what alfalfa can do for your skin.

What is Alfalfa?

Alfalfa sprouts

Also known as lucerne, alfalfa is a flowering plant that’s grown all around the world.

Since it’s so nutrient-dense [1], the alfalfa plant has traditionally been used as a medicinal herb in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat everything from rheumatoid arthritis to digestive issues.

However, with more and more research on the ingredient’s beauty benefits starting to emerge, alfalfa extract is now being increasingly formulated into skin care products too.

How Does Alfalfa Benefit Skin Cells?

One of the main reasons that the skin care industry has been raving about alfalfa is because of its antioxidant content [2]. It’s loaded with powerful bioactive antioxidant compounds that effectively neutralize free radicals to prevent oxidative stress. As a result, this helps to eliminate and prevent fine lines, dark spots, and an uneven skin texture.

This is why you’ll often find alfalfa extract in anti-aging products, as well as formulas designed to negate the harmful effects of pollution and sun exposure.

However, that’s not all. Alfalfa can also help to alleviate dry skin and treat inflammation [3], making it useful for those dealing with acne, psoriasis, and rosacea.

Other Alfalfa Benefits Worth Knowing About

Not only are more and more skin care products now being formulated with alfalfa extract, but you’ll also find the ingredient in hair care formulas too.

It contains proteins that can help with hair thickness, along with vitamins, folic acid, and essential elements that promote blood circulation in the hair follicles and scalp. Its high iron content means that alfalfa is also a useful tool for preventing hair loss.

Using Alfalfa Extracts in Your Skincare Routine

The easiest way to add alfalfa into your skin care routine is to look for products that have been formulated with alfalfa extract. A serum would be your best bet – search for one that also contains vitamin C to ensure that your skin is fully cleared of free radicals, allowing your cells to function optimally.

Woman holding a bottle of serum with organic ingredients

If you want to make the most of the antioxidants in the ingredient, use your alfalfa products in the morning, rather than at night. This allows the ingredient to protect your skin from free radicals during the day, which is when your skin is most susceptible to environmental damage.

Taking Alfalfa Internally

Topical alfalfa is great, but consuming it enables you to double up on the dosage that you’re providing your skin. Many grocery and health food stores sell fresh alfalfa sprouts, although it’s also easy enough to buy some seeds and sprout them yourself at home). These can be added into pretty much every dish out there, giving each meal a nutritional boost.

Alfalfa supplements are another option, or you could also use it as a dried herb, which makes a fantastic tea.

Alfalfa Herbal Tea

If you decide to try making an alfalfa tea, consider adding in a few other skin-boosting herbs too. Raspberry leaf is a powerful anti-inflammatory, peppermint is loaded with antioxidants, and chamomile is a famous skin soother that also helps the nervous system.

All you need to do is mix your chosen dried herbs together and then add one teaspoon of this to some boiling water. Leave your mixture to steep for five minutes before drinking.

Related Article: Chamomile Tea Benefits for Your Skin, Body, Mental Health + Side Effects

Does Alfalfa Have Any Side Effects?

Topical alfalfa is generally safe to be used on all skin types, with no known side effects.

However, if you plan on eating or drinking alfalfa, you need to be a little more careful. Long-term consumption of alfalfa seeds can be dangerous during pregnancy. It has also been known to trigger menopausal symptoms, including night sweats.

It’s worth noting that alfalfa seeds contain an amino acid called L-canavanine. In the long-term, this could interfere with the autoimmune system, leading to an autoimmune disease known as systemic lupus erythematosus.

If your immune system is compromised in any way, alfalfa may not be the right ingredient for you. Speak to your doctor if you have any concerns.

Woman doing her daily skincare

FAQs

Is alfalfa good for skin?

Yes, alfalfa is fantastic for the skin, mostly because of its antioxidant content.

Do alfalfa sprouts have amino acids?

Yes, alfalfa sprouts contain four out of the nine essential amino acids.

Does alfalfa help with hair growth?

Yes, alfalfa is great for hair health and can help your hair to grow faster and thicker.

Summary

If you’ve been looking for a way to avoid harsh chemicals in your skincare, then it only makes sense to turn to natural ingredients, and alfalfa should be at the top of your list.

It may not be as well-known as some of the other plant extracts out there, but this is an ingredient that can help with everything from aging to acne, making it a must-have for just about everyone!

References

[1] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228088815_Chemical_composition_of_lucerne_leaf_extract_EFL_and_its_applications_as_a_phytobiotic_in_human_nutrition
[2] http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/jf0007028
[3] https://www.drugs.com/npp/alfalfa.html

About The Author

Avatar for Brenda Lawrence
Brenda Lawrence

I’ve been a writer nearly all my life and a professional one for almost ten years. My reviews are meticulously researched and fact-checked to allow you to find the brand or product that will meet your needs.

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