ALFALFA – My Unexpected Miracle for Motility Issues Living With Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

ALFALFA - My Unexpected Miracle for Motility Issues Living With Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

By Ellen Smith.

I live with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and sarcoidosis. Recently, I just endured my twenty-fourth surgery, to improve the quality and safety of my life. Two years ago, after a neck fusion, one of the unfortunate results was that my gut just totally shut off. Life changed to requiring needing daily enemas, weekly trips to undergo colonic treatments and gradually developing the capacity to accept learning how to accept all this. I went to work researching out to try to better understand what was wrong and how I might learn to improve the situation.

Ellen Smith and friend

In time, it was eventually diagnosed that my issue was a motility issue. I had to learn to accept this “new me” and withdraw my head from the emotional gutter of feeling unclean and broken without a functioning working gut. It was actually harder to accept than I ever expected, but I was lucky to be alive and I didn’t want this issue to define me. I learned to get up from the breakfast table when there was clearly no action happening and make light of being off to use an enema and sit in the bathroom for a period of time in cramps as the body attempted to rid the waste.

Following an extended overnight holiday visit with our children and grandchildren this past Thanksgiving, our family departed and left us with the gift of a cold that my husband and I had not faced in ages. As the congestion set in, I remembered back to a homeopathic doctor encouraging me to try ALFALFA tablets to help absorb the congestion, since I am not able to metabolize any decongestants. So, I bought a bottle of organic tablets and gave it a try. I recalled that he expected me to take the tablets about every 3-4 hours , a much higher dose than was on the bottle, and then cut slowly back as the congestion receded. Within a short time, I suddenly not only found relief with congestion, but I also started to be shocked that the gut was waking back up after two years of inaction. I was waking up in the morning to first gas being passed, which is a wonderful sign of some action happening, to then full elimination. To my amazement, my gut became like a “real person” again and each morning I would wake up to normal elimination! It was an unexpected surprise and huge welcome gift!

I am presently now nine days post-op from a neck fusion revision. This life saving surgery had to be done and I was emotionally ready to accept that this would most likely shut the gut back down. By the third day in the hospital, I decided to again start taking my ALFALFA tablets to see what would happen. To my shock, the next AM the gut kicked back in, four days after the surgery. As I laid in that hospital, I thought of all the others out there like me and had to wonder, could this work for others with motility issues too?

So, I share my story with you. I can’t explain to you what it is about the alfalfa that is waking up the gut, but I also don’t want to be selfish with what I unexpectedly discovered, just in case this could work for you, too. If you decide to try this, I encourage you to find the organic alfalfa tablet that has no chemicals on it. And if you are like me and have trouble with swallowing, I have found the tablets easily melt away in a little water, making it so much easier to swallow and digest I have now been able to keep the gut “on active” despite reducing my intake down to 10 tablets a day and I intend to see if I can even keep reducing the quantity further.

I am terribly drug and food reactive, but somehow was lucky to discover this new magic. May this also work for someone else out there, for I know how devastating it is to work with a motility issue, that prevents elimination of the waste, which is so very critical for physical and emotional health and well-being.

Ellen Smith and her husband Stu live in Rhode Island and are co-directors for Cannabis Advocacy for the US Pain Foundation and contribute to the National Pain Report.

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Authored by: Ellen Lenox Smith

Ellen Lenox Smith and her husband Stuart live in Rhode Island. They are co-directors for medical cannabis advocacy for the U.S. Pain Foundation, along with Ellen on the board and they both also serve as board members for the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition. For more information about medical cannabis visit their website.

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I am a physician and I have EDS as well. To illustrate my motility issues, I usually tell other docs that a full colonoscopy prep once resulted in no action—until a small amount about 4 am. That never impresses anyone—surprise, ha. It did make me swell and hurt a lot. Enemas as you used scared me due to risk of perforation, as did osmotic agents that increase colon volume. I underwent pelvic floor physical therapy—normal to increased tone. I wound up using 6-13 glycerin suppositories daily for some results most days after a long wait. Eventually I accidentally lost my bottle of Wellbutrin (for depression, anxiety, pain), couldn’t replace it due to insurance, and guess what—my gut started working again. Psych meds often used in place of pain meds are notorious for lots of side effects including GI, but this was an amazing transformation. Bowel sounds, passing gas, less nausea, increased appetite. The effect has lessened over a few years, and I’m having a little more trouble again, but still not like before. Thanks to everyone for other suggestions!

My favorite brand is the one by Shakley (sp?) but not able to get that one presently so just went to Amazon or looked for tablets that were organic - there are many choices


My goodness, thank you for taking the time to share this with us! I have awful problems eliminating, and I spend a small fortune on stool softener capsules. I take 14 a day, to produce a very little once in a while. I stay miserable.

These bottles are $9 each and I buy many each month. It’s so expensive that I have to put it in my budget!

Swallowing them twice a day is awful for me because I have slight swallowing difficulties.

Can you tell us anything about the Brandon that you buy?

And thank you again!


Thank You.Thank You,Thank You for you story I will def. try this !! I appreciate a helpful story and something that really works because so many things do not do what they claim.
I tried Turmeric for pain and ended up with a case of the hives.
Doc perscribed a med for bone pain half dose swelled my throat if I would of taken a full dose scary.
I guess I am saying I understand the drugs and being sensitive I have a long list that I can not take.
Next move for me a Montmoren cherry juice next and I have tried and it will not cause the side effects But I hope it helps.

Leslie Meadows

Use to feed my horse alfalfa once a week vet said it would help keep her stomach from knotting or turning up.She had good stools & never a problem of collic or any stomach malaise.

Thanks so much for this tip - it gives me something new to try, and that’s becoming very rare after almost 3 decades of dealing with it.

I’ve found that tips from other pain patients have helped me more than my doctor’s advice.


Thank you so much for sharing this, Ellen. I had severe diarrhea for 2+ years and it suddenly turned to painful constipation for the last couple months. I’m going to try it. I’ll be seeing a neurogastroenterologist in a few days. Maybe I’ll get some answers on this motility issue.


Thank you! Medication has my belly in slo-mo. I’m definitely going to give this a try!!


Whatever happens, do NOT let any pharmacy, the FDA, the DEA or any state legislator find out about this! They will immediately want to BAN it!

Sandy Auriene Sullivan

My best friend who has motility issues as well as a host of other problems [IC/Hashimotos and we both have EDS-Hypermobility type]. She had never really passed gas before! For someone like me with an over-active stomach; the fact hers didn’t move at all [no pain meds either] was new to me. But Kombucha was not new to me.

She passed gas in a big way during her stay here and giggles because it’s so new to her. Kombucha helped her motility issues - even got rid of ulcer pain and pain associated with IC flares.

She’s been able to move out of my home to go it alone after spending 5 mos with us learning how to ‘manage’ life with a chronic illness [she’s only watched me for 18yrs and her issues are 6-7yrs on].

They had recommended ALFALFA to her previously but she broke out into a rash. It was great she found Kombucha to help instead.

Thanks for sharing the information too! I may try it myself just to ensure gut regulation. [in my case I have ulcerative colitis]

Maureen M.

Ellen, Thank you for this info! I had that issue for may years until l discovered that magnesium tabs at bedtime worked for me. It’s been a life saver for a few years now. But, I’m always open to trying new things…I will get myself some Alfalfa and give it a go!
Wishing you a speedy recovery. You sure have been through a lot! Keep strong…one day at a time 😉 Healing Hugs, Maureen


That’s awesome! I too have severe motility issues. I just might try it! Thank you for sharing.