Alfalfa & Kelp Health Benefits

Updated February 21, 2017

In recent years, kelp and alfalfa have been touted as superfoods because of their high vitamin and mineral concentrations. Kelp and alfalfa (sprouts) are available at health food stores in their fresh forms, but they are increasingly sold in powdered and capsuled forms as well. Some people take high concentrations of kelp and alfalfa to solve health problems. Kelp and alfalfa are often sold as a combination vitamin because they complement each other so well. Read on to learn more about kelp and alfalfa and how they can benefit your health.


Many years ago, Chinese physicians began prescribing alfalfa as a remedy for digestive tract problems. Alfalfa is native to western Asia, and physicians in India also prescribed alfalfa leaves and their flowering tops for indigestion. In the United States, 19th-century doctors prescribed alfalfa to stimulate lactation in nursing mothers.

Kelp has long been a staple in the Japanese diet because it is plentiful in the waters around Japan. Thyroid disease is practically unknown in Japan, and many researchers attribute this to the fact that the Japanese diet has traditionally included large amounts of kelp.


Alfalfa and kelp can make a significant difference in the health of those who have vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Because they are so rich in vitamins and minerals, alfalfa and kelp are ideal supplements to nearly any diet. Alfalfa is especially rich in Vitamin K, which many Americans do not get enough of. Kelp is very high in minerals, especially iodine, zinc and manganese. These minerals are very important for people with thyroid problems.


Alfalfa and kelp can both be found in powdered capsule form in health food stores or vitamin shops. In its fresh state, kelp is most often found in Asian markets. It can be cooked and eaten as a fresh vegetable. Dried kelp is used in sushi. Alfalfa has traditionally been an animal crop, but alfalfa sprouts are a very popular food. Alfalfa sprouts are delicious in salads and sandwiches.


The health benefits of alfalfa and kelp are many. Alfalfa can help resolve kidney problems, autoimmune problems, arthritis and whooping cough. It has also been shown to prevent strokes and lower cholesterol levels. Kelp can boost your immune system, improve energy levels and liver function, control your appetite and help with thyroid problems.


Within the last few years, high levels of arsenic have been found in kelp supplements. Arsenic is a heavy metal that is naturally present in the environment, but taken in high doses, arsenic is toxic. Researchers warn against taking high doses of kelp for this reason. The arsenic found in kelp supplements can cause memory loss, hair loss and extreme fatigue.

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About the Author

Rachel Terry has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Brigham Young University. She has been a freelance writer since 1998, authoring literary study guides, as well as articles and essays.