Medicago sativa L. - Fabaceae - alfalfa, lucerne, (Saat-) Luzerne, Alfalfa
Erect perennial herb, up to 1m high, native to Europe, temperate Asia, North Africa, naturalized in Northern America, widely cultivated; leaves trifoliolate, leaflets long ovate, obovate, to linear-ovate; heads or racemes with 5-30 flowers, variable in color, white, deep blue, to dark purple; legume tightly coiled, brown when ripe; seeds 10-20, yellow or brown, ovoid, 1-2.5 mm, smooth. http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200012215
„… important forage crop in many countries around the world. It is used for grazing, hay, and silage. The name alfalfa is used in North America. The name lucerne is the more commonly used name in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.“ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfalfa
„Beginning in the 1970s, alfalfa sprouts found a major use in human diets. When placed on salads or sandwiches, it supplies significant quantities of minerals, protein, and vitamins. In 1988, sprout production represented about 7% of the total alfalfa seed produced in the U.S. (Bass et al. 1988).“
[New uses for alfalfa and other„ old“ forage legumes., Bouton, J.H., Progress in new crops’.(Ed. J Janick) pp, 1996, 251-259] https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1996/V3-251.html
Experimental studies in primates ingesting alfalfa sprout seeds and L-canavanine (a potentially toxic antimetabolite of L-arginine, amino acid constituent of alfalfa) indicate a potential toxic and immunoregulatory role of L-canavanine in the induction of a systemic lupus-like disease. Patients with autoimmune diseases should avoid large ingestions of alfalfa sprouts.
[Dietary amino acid-induced systemic lupus erythematosus., Montanaro, A., Bardana Jr, E.J., Rheumatic diseases clinics of North America, 17(2), 1991, 323-332]
„Canavanine abundance in commercially grown sprouts varied according to the source; the young plant stored appreciable canavanine that ranged from 1.3 to 2.4% of the dry matter.“
[The natural abundance of L-canavanine, an active anticancer agent, in alfalfa, Medicago sativa (L.)., Rosenthal, G.A., Nkomo, P., Pharmaceutical biology, 38(1), 2000, 1-6]
Alcohols are the main volatiles of M.sativa sprouts. A product of the oxidation and cleavage of linoleic acid, 2-ethyl-1-hexanol, is the major component, followed by benzyl alcohol and hexanol. Volatiles include aldehydes like phenylacetaldehyde, benzaldehyde, (E)-2-hexenal, (E,E)-2,4-heptadienal, (E)-2-octenal, (E,Z)-nonadienal and (E)-2-nonenal, monoterpenes like linalool and menthol, norisoprenoids like β-cyclocitral and β-ionone, sulfur compounds like dimethylsulfide and dimethyltrisulfide, and aroma compounds like 2-sec-butyl-3-methoxypyrazine (green) and eugenol (spicy).
[Glycine max (L.) Merr., Vigna radiata L. and Medicago sativa L. sprouts: A natural source of bioactive compounds., Silva, L.R., Pereira, M.J., Azevedo, J., Gonçalves, R.F., Valentão, P., de Pinho, P.G., Andrade, P.B., Food Research International, 50(1), 2013, 167-175]
Masclef,A., Atlas des plantes de France, vol.2 t.75 (1890)