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Like many people, I've grown alfalfa as sprouts. But now I learn that it is the mature leaves which are used medicinally. (The sprouts are simply used as a dietary adjunct.) Has anyone grown alfalfa for the leaves - in the home garden, not as a fodder crop? When to sow the seeds? When is the best time for harvesting the leaves? What soil and climate conditions do the plants prefer? Has anyone used the leaves (not sprouts) for cooking - how?

And, since info on the WWW is conflicting, is alfalfa an annual or a perennial?
 

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Hi Colpeper,
Alfalfa is a perennial, some say to plaint in early fall. Yes you can eat it. I use the leaves in tea with some mint leaves.
It has also been said to put one leave in the new pot before you plant the plant.
Hope this helps,
John#4
 

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I've not tried to grow it. It frequently springs up voluntarily in my garden when I use stable waste for mulch. It makes a fine tonic. You harvest just before it blooms for the most potentcy. It dries well. Grows best out west where the climate is arid because it doesn't like overhead watering. It is usually flood irrigated. It can be fall sown about 6 wks before first frost, or early spring, late winter sown. It prefers a high pH, grows well in the alkaline soils out west. It is a perennial. To use it, I make a tea from the dried leaves. Expect the dried leaves would work in pretty much any place you would use parsley flakes. It has a nice green, fresh taste.
 

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Alfalfa sprouts have extremely high content of plant melanins. Plants which show immune response stimulation and anti inflammatory properties are high in melanins. These include ginseng, goldenroot, Echinacea, etc. The regular vegetables you eat do not contain appreciable amounts of these melanins.

It has recently been shown that the immune enhancing properties of the plants above are largely explained by the presence of these melanins.
 
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