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December 3, 1982

Alfalfa Grass and Legume-Reply

JAMA. 1982;248(21):2837. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330210028024

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In Reply.—  There is much confusion about alfalfa, perhaps because there are two plants with this name—the grass (Phleum pratense L) and the legume (Medicago sative L). Obviously, allergic patients with legume sensitivities might be expected to react to the legume, and grass-sensitive patients may react to the grass. In the case of each of the four alfalfa tablets that we can identify by manufacturer, the content is identified only as alfalfa or alfalfa leaf, without indicating whether the source is grass or legume. In either case, there is no evidence of usefulness in the management of allergies, and the possibility of cross-sensitization does exist.