Alfalfa is a flowering plant in the pea family. It is used in homeopathic, Chinese and herbal medicines. (Alfalfa flowers, leaves, petals and sprouts are used in these medicines.)
Alfalfa has been used to detoxify the body.
It has been said to ease inflammation, balance hormones, lower cholesterol and promote pituitary gland function.
Bilberries are low growing shrubs closely related to blueberries and huckleberries. They are smaller in size than the blueberry, but similar in taste. The pulp of the fruit of the bilberry is red or purple in color, where the blueberry has a light green pulp.
Bilberries contain calcium, inositol, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sulfur, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, and C. They also contain anthocyanosides, beta-carotene, caffeic acid, caryophyllene, catechin and several other phytochemicals. The high levels of anthocyanin pigments, which help produce the deep blue color, are powerful antioxidants and have been said to lower risk for several diseases, such as those of the heart and cardiovascular system, eyes, diabetes and cancer.
Bilberries have been used to treat gastrointestinal illnesses, applied topically, or made into infusions and are also used as a tonic to prevent some infections and skin diseases.
Sources for this section on Bilberries:
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Third Edition, by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC