This flowering perennial in the pea family-the young plant resembles clover-originated in Asia, but is now grown worldwide as a forage crop. The Arabs, who fed it to their prized horses, named it alfac-facah or “father of all foods.” Traditional healers used it to treat the kidneys, bladder, and prostate, and to cleanse the bowels. The leaves offer anti-arthritic, antidiabetic, and antiasthmatic properties. Studies suggest the plant may reduce cholesterol levels and boost the immune system. Nutritionally, alfalfa contains chlorophyll; carotene; proteins; a host of minerals, including calcium, iron, and magnesium; all the B vitamins, and vitamins C, D, E, and K.