Alfalfa

Other Names:

Lucerne, Purple Alfalfa, Purple Medick, Buffalo Herb

Benefits

  • Antidiabetic
  • Antiinflammatory
  • Diuretic
  • Antiulcer
  • Antioxidant

Alfalfa


Medicago sativa

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is known for its high nutritional value, and is an abundant source of protein, essential vitamins (including A, D, E, K and the full family of B vitamins) and minerals (biotin, calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, potassium). Alfalfa is also very high in chlorophyll, a green pigment that’s instrumental in photosynthesis and for promoting good health. Chlorophyll binds with toxic metals to hamper absorption, and research has shown it can do the same with some carcinogens and Candida albicans growth.

Egg quality
Supplementing the diet of egg-laying ducks with 3-9% alfalfa meal is beneficial for their immune system. The addition of alfalfa meal resulted in an increased intestinal microbial community diversity. Adding 0.05-0.15% aqueous alfalfa extract (AAE) to the diet of laying hens between 28 to 36 weeks of age was shown to increase shell strength and improve egg shell quality.

Reducing Salmonella typhimurium
Adding alfalfa meal as 25-50% of the diet of layer chicks helped to increase gastrointestinal VFA production and bacterial diversity which in turn can reduce colonization by Salmonella via natural competitive barriers.

Summary of Alfalfa-related Research in Poultry

FormSpeciesAmountTime periodResultsRef
ChoppedLaying hens20%42 daysalters positively the fatty acids composition, colour and cholesterol content of egg yolks; increases the content of saturated fatty acid in egg yolksS Carrasco et al., 2016
ExtrudedLaying hens20%42 daysalters positively the fatty acids composition, colour and cholesterol content of egg yolks.S Carrasco et al., 2016
PelletedLaying hens20%42 daysalters positively the fatty acids composition, colour and cholesterol content of egg yolks.S Carrasco et al., 2016
sproutsLaying hens40 g/d 66 daysreduced plasma and egg cholestrol; increased concentrations of n-3 PUFA, vitamins (?-tocopherol, ?-, ?-tocotrienol, retinol), carotenes (?-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin) and phytoestrogens (daidzein, equol, isolariciresinol) in eggsS Mattioli et al., 2016
ExtractBroilers0.06%42 daysMay decrease abdominal fat deposition and enhance immunity without an adverse effect on the performance.X Dong et al., 2007
MealQuails9%42 daysmay improve eggshell quality and reduced serum triglycerides and serum and egg yolk cholesterol without any adverse effect on performance.B Kocaoglu et al., 2007
Aqueous ExtractBroilers18.64%42 daysShowed mild protective effects against lead toxicityI Karimi et al., 2012

References

Mountain Rose Herbs