Alfalfa leaves, either fresh or dried, have traditionally been used as a nutritive tonic to stimulate the appetite and promote weight gain[222]. The plant has an oestrogenic action and could prove useful in treating problems related to menstruation and the menopause[254]. Some caution is advised in the use of this plant, however. It should not be prescribed to people with auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis[238]. See also the notes above on toxicity. The plant is antiscorbutic, aperient, diuretic, oxytocic, haemostatic, nutritive, stimulant and tonic[55, 165, 218]. The expressed juice is emetic and is also anodyne in the treatment of gravel[218]. The plant is taken internally for debility in convalescence or anaemia, haemorrhage, menopausal complaints, pre-menstrual tension, fibroids etc[238]. A poultice of the heated leaves has been applied to the ear in the treatment of earache[257]. The leaves can be used fresh or dried[238]. The leaves are rich in vitamin K which is used medicinally to encourage the clotting of blood[213]. This is valuable in the treatment of jaundice[213]. The plant is grown commercially as a source of chlorophyll and carotene, both of which have proven health benefits[222]. The leaves also contain the anti-oxidant tricin[222]. The root is febrifuge and is also prescribed in cases of highly coloured urine[218]. Extracts of the plant are antibacterial[218]. Used for asthma, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders (anti-ulcer) [301].

Additional Names
Common Names: Aloe Vera, Burn Plant, Lily of the Desert, Elephant’s Gall Latin Names: Aloe vera, Aloe barbadensis

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