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Know your Herbs

Fenugreek or methi

Fenugreek or Trigonella foenum-graecum (triangular shape seeds) is a spice and a medicine used in India, Middle East and Egypt. It is a native herb of Western countries, Mediterranean region and Southern Europe, is widely cultivated in the United States, North Africa, India and France.
Fenugreek is a 2-feet tall annual plant of the bean or Fabaceae family. Its flower pods contain brown fenugreek seeds which have a slightly nutty and sweet taste with a special aroma. They are dried and used in various types of curry and decoctions as a whole or in a powdered form.
Fenugreek or methi, as it is known in Hindi and Sanskrit, is one of the oldest medicinal plants. It cures a wide range of ailments and is known as a panacea in the herbal world. It works as a laxative, hypolipidimic, lactogenic, expectorant, anti-oxidant, aphrodisiac, diuretic and astringent.
Fenugreek is a well known kitchen ingredient in used to impart flavor to the food. In addition it has countless health and beauty benefits, from treating diabetes to curing dandruff. In India, fenugreek is used as a spice, herb and vegetable.
Fenugreek seeds provide ample amount of dietary fibre, carbohydrates, amino acids, Vitamins A, B6 and C, calcium and other useful minerals. Most of health benefits of this herb exist because of the presence of “Trigonelline”, a strong alkaloid, which is known to have immense potential in prevention and cure of many health problems.
Benefits of Fenugreek
  • Manages heartburn, constipation and gastritis 
  • Reduces obesity and appetite
  • Helpful in women’s health problems such as painful menstruation, poly cystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and as a galactagogu (promote milk flow in breastfeeding women)
  • Manages diabetes (Type-1 and Type-2) 
  • Aids weight loss
  • Prevents cancer and heart diseases
  • Cures bronchitis, coughs and cold
  • Prevents kidney ailments 
  • Helpful in male health problems such as hernia, male infertility, stamina and imbalance in hormonal levels
  • Improves digestion
  • Protects liver and lungs
  • As a poultice: To treat swelling (inflammation), local pain and pain associated with muscles, joints, arthritis, gout, unopened wounds and eczema. 
Uses of fenugreek in the beauty industry are:
  • To cure chapped lips, provide glow to the skin and for overall skincare
  • To treat baldness, dandruff and other hair related issues
  • Fenugreek seed extract also has wide application in manufacturing of soap and other beauty products in the cosmetic industry.
Fenugreek and safety: Safety level of fenugreek is high, but sometimes it may cause several allergies to sensitive people and cause dyspepsia, hypoglycemia, abdominal cramps, perspiration, diarrhea and flatulence if consumed excessively.
These easy to find and easy to use, aromatic oval methi leaves (fresh or dried) can be added to dishes, salads, pickles, homemade spice blends and tea blends to impart flavor and aroma. They are roasted in pans sometimes to reduce bitterness. It is very useful in supplements as it has immense health benefits.