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Fenugreek is one of the oldest and most beneficial herbs known to man for many years. Archaeologists recorded that the ring was known about 4000 BC and was discovered in Tell Halal Iraq. It is known that fenugreek was used to prepare kufi as it was eaten by the ancient Egyptians.
The term fenugreek is derived from the Latin name Trigonella foenum graecum, which means Greek hay.
Other common names for fenugreek are premium fenugreek seed, Sicklefruit fenugreek, Bird’s Foot, Alholva, Bockshornsame, Bockshornklee, Chandrika, Egypt Fenugreek, Fenugreec, Fenogreco, Foenugraeci Semen, Baoenugreek, Greek Hay, and Greek Clover, Hu Lu Medhika, Methika, Methi, Trigonella foenum-graecum, Trigonella Trigonella Foenum, Woo Lu Bar, Trigonelle.
Fenugreek is an annual herbaceous plant native to the Indian subcontinent and southeastern Europe. The fenugreek plant bears small, brilliant yellow or white flowers during late summer.
The flower turns into long, thin seeds containing about ten yellow to brown seeds. Fragrant smell similar to clover.
The seeds contain potassium, protein, niacin, vitamin C and diosgenin, a compound that has the common properties of estrogen.
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Fenugreek also contains other active ingredients such as lysine, alkaloids, L-tryptophan, and steroid saponins such as yamogenin, diosgenin, neotigogenin and tigogenin.
Fenugreek was grown in the Near East. Hopf and Zohari are unclear whether a wild strain of the genus Trigonella triggers the domestication of fenugreek.
Charred fenugreek seeds from Tell Halal, Iraq, and the Bronze Age were regenerated from Lashish and discarded from the tomb of Tutankhamun. Fenugreek is listed by vetch and alfalfa as a crop grown to feed livestock.
Fenugreek was cultivated as a staple food in the 1st century AD as mentioned by Josephus in his book The Wars of the Jews. The Mishnah Compendium of Jewish Oral Law has mentioned the plant as tiltan under the Hebrew name.
Fenugreek is an erect, hairy, perennial plant that reaches a height of 10-50 cm. It has long, slender stems bearing serrated, triangular, gray to green leaves. It has the roots of the structure of the fingers. It has white or pale yellow axillary flowers. The pods have a beak that is curved like the tip that contains 10 to 20 seeds.
The plant is distinguished by its spicy aroma that remains on hand after touching it. Prefers a temperate Mediterranean climate. The plant matures in four months.
Flower and Fruit
The flowers are 0.8-1.8 cm long, singly or in pairs and are sessile. Membrane cup tube is longer compared to lanceolate tips. It has a pale yellow corolla that can be darker or purple and measures twice the length of the calyx. The wingspan measures half their standard length. Longer than the cup, Karina is round and obtuse.
The plant produces a fruit pod about 0.5-1 cm wide and 2.5-10 cm long and is linear, erect, oblique, muffled, and has a long lip. The pod contains about 4 to 20 oblate seeds and is yellow to brown or brown to red, oval to deep groove.
Leaves, root and stem
This plant has long and vertical roots. Branching stems are erect or firm, round and strong. Trifoliate leaves have petioles 0.5-2 cm long. It has oblong flat leaflets 1 to 3 cm long and rounded to an inconspicuous deltoid. The large and membranous outgrowths are sharp, oval and softly occupied.
Health Benefits of Fenugreek
Fenugreek is also known as methi in Hindi, and has a botanical name as Trigonella Foenum-Graecum. It plays a vital role in Indian spices which are used to improve the taste of food and also prevent various health problems.
Prevents cramps, intestinal gas, bloating, flatulence, cancer, diabetes, indigestion, arthritis, high blood pressure and liver toxicity. It is also able to reduce toxins from the blood. The seeds have a bitter taste. It is a great source of selenium which helps the body in utilizing oxygen.
The presence of mucilagins helps to soothe and relax inflamed tissues. These seeds also contain alkaloids such as gentiana, trigoniline, and carbene. Increases the number of insulin resistance in erythrocytes and enhances glucose utilization in peripheral tissues.
- Cure diabetes
Fenugreek seeds contain fiber as well as other chemicals that slow digestion as well as the body’s absorption of sugar and carbohydrates.
It improves the use of sugar and increases the body’s secretion of insulin. The study showed that regularly consuming 10 grams of fenugreek seeds soaked in hot water helps manage type 2 diabetes. If bread made from fenugreek is consumed, it reduces insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics. In addition, abundant intake of fenugreek improves the level of glucose in the plasma.
- Boost male fertility
The study showed that men who took 500 mg of fenugreek extract regularly experienced an increase in testosterone levels, fat loss, and strength compared to a placebo.
Another study showed that taking 600 mg of fenugreek seed extract for approximately six weeks enhanced sexual performance, improving libido and strength. The supplement helps to significantly increase the level of testosterone.
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- Resistance of insulin
Metabolic syndrome is associated with insulin resistance. High plasma free fatty acids and low adiponectin levels are associated with insulin resistance in obesity. The study was conducted to evaluate the effect of trigonella foenum graecum on insulin sensitivity in high fructose insulin-resistant rats.
- Lower metabolic and inflammatory alternation
The study shows that fenugreek corrects the inflammatory and metabolic alternations associated with oophorectomy and also has the potential to manage menopause.
- Prevention of cancer
Cancer is a complex genetic disease of aging cells. Chemoprevention means the use of synthetic and natural compounds in the early stage of cancer.
A diet rich in an environment of phytochemicals has protective effects for health. Spices and herbs that contain phytochemicals have cancer-preventive activities.
In the study, fenugreek seed extract was provided post-initiation, pre-initiation, promotional and throughout the trial with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate TPA ad 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene DMBA treatment in rats. The treated group contained low papillary tumors at DMBA + TPA + TFGS (400 mg/kg body weight). It reduces the chances of developing a tumor.
In addition, a reduction in the cumulative number of papillomas, tumor burden and tumor was found.
- Helpful for nursing mothers
Ayurvedic doctors prescribe fenugreek for nursing mothers because it contains diosgenin that boosts the amount of milk in the breasts. It contains vitamin and magnesium, which enhances the quality of milk, making the baby healthy.
- Menstrual problems
It helps facilitate menstruation and provides relief from PMS related symptoms. It acts as a menstrual agent that helps block menstruation and makes the process run comfortably and smoothly.
- Reduce cholesterol level
The study showed that taking fenugreek significantly reduces the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which prevents the chances of heart attacks, atherosclerosis and strokes. Because it is high in fiber, it removes excess cholesterol in the blood vessels and arteries of the body. Since it reduces the cholesterol content in the bloodstream, it reduces clot formation in the blood vessels.
- Gastrointestinal health
Fenugreek helps treat infections, wounds and digestive problems. Due to the presence of antioxidant properties, it fights free radicals. It is used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to induce labor and aid digestion. It also enhances the body’s general metabolism. This also soothes skin inflammation if used externally plus it also provides relief from muscle aches and fever.
Fenugreek Seeds for Skin:
Fenugreek is known as the Asian beauty secret to beautiful skin. It possesses germ-killing properties as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Methi seeds act as an effective external remedy to deal with various skin related problems.
1. Cure for Skin Inflammation
It is used as an aid in dermatitis. It is useful for boils, eczema, abscesses, muscle pain, burns, and gout among others. It reduces inflammatory pain and swelling if used as a compress.
2. Cure for Acne/Blackheads and Wrinkles
Add honey to the paste and like a face mask on the skin to deal with acne. It is also effective in treating cystic acne. It is also used to get rid of blackheads and wrinkles. It removes harmful toxins that collect under the skin and strengthens the outer layers of the skin.
3. Anti-Ageing Remedy
Fenugreek also works as an anti-aging treatment. It fights free radicals in the body and repairs damaged skin cells and also regenerates new ones. This helps reduce signs and symptoms of aging such as wrinkles, facial lines, age spots and spots.
4. Exfoliates Skin
Fenugreek can be used as a skin scrub. It exfoliates the face and reveals a gorgeous complexion.
5. Lightens Skin
The ring also works to lighten the skin color effectively. It is also used to treat dark circles on the eyes.
6. Prevents Sun Damage
The ring protects the skin from sun damage. The use of fenugreek prevents damage caused by exposure to the sun.
7. Treats Blemishes
The blemishes are annoying which makes the face look unattractive. Fenugreek is the perfect solution to remove skin imperfections.
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Fenugreek Seeds for Hair Growth
Besides being used on the face, methi seeds are effective against dandruff, hair loss, dandruff, preventing baldness, and thinning hair. Add it to your daily diet or apply it directly as a paste to the hair. Fenugreek is a great solution to all hair related problems.
Fenugreek seeds contain proteins and nicotinic acid which are essential for hair growth. Lecithin in large quantities makes the hair strong and healthy and also moisturizes the hair. It reduces hair dryness, moisturizes hair, treats dandruff, soothes the scalp and treats various scalp problems. It is effective for hair loss and strengthens the roots.
1. Hair Loss
The methi helps in strengthening the hair from the roots and deals with follicle problems. It contains anti-hormonal agents that promote hair growth and help rebuild hair follicles.
This herb possesses proteins and nicotinic acid. A diet rich in protein reduces hair loss and stimulates its growth. It also treats the effects of baldness on the hair.
The presence of lecithin is harmful to dry and damaged hair. It is a natural tonic that works well to condition hair and give it shine and bounce.
Dandruff has become a common hair problem. As there are different treatments as well as procedures to deal with the problem of dandruff. Methi is one of the basic and effective treatments for this problem. In addition, methi seeds are also effective for dry scalp and dermatitis.
The lecithin contained in methi seeds is an emulsifier. The seeds create a slippery substance when they are drained in water which gives the hair a shine. Methi seeds are an ideal choice for hair. The slippery effect is provided by the gum of the ring.
4. Reverses Baldness
Fenugreek may be used to reverse hair loss. Contains hormonal precursors that promote hair growth and strengthening and rebuild hair follicles
5. Repairs Damaged Hair
Soak fenugreek seeds in water and then wash hair with soaked water to get smooth, manageable hair. Hydrates, hydrates and nourishes hair follicles that help repair damaged hair.
6. Prevents Premature Greying
It prevents premature graying of hair. Boil fenugreek seeds (a small amount) by adding coconut oil and massage the hair with this warm oil. Leave it overnight and clean it up the next morning. Prevents premature graying of hair.
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Fenugreek Natural Remedies
- Make an herbal tea with fenugreek, lemon and honey. It is used as a treatment for fever.
- Make a paste of fenugreek leaves and use it on the scalp before taking a shower. Helps regrow hair, enhances hair cuticles, and reduces dandruff.
- Fenugreek is used as a treatment for eczema, infections, burns, and gout.
- Fenugreek seeds promote uterine contractions and induce labour.
- Fenugreek extract helps balance women’s hormones and also helps enlarge breasts.
- Prepare a paste by soaking a handful of methi seeds overnight in water. Then grind it to make a coarse paste. Use it on the scalp and leave it for an hour. Wash hair with a mild shampoo and shikakai.
- Methi reduces itching and small bumps on the scalp caused by heat and dryness. For this, soak the fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Then filter the water in the morning and rinse the hair with this water.
- Make a paste of methi seeds and yoghurt (dahi). Use it on your scalp and leave it on for 30 minutes. Then wash the hair with shampoo.
- The effects of pimples can be relieved by using fenugreek. Boil a few methi seeds in water for 15 minutes and leave them to cool. After filtering the seeds, apply this liquid to the scars using a cotton ball. It must be followed for a week to see results.
- Make a paste by grinding the seeds, soaked overnight. Use it for marking and let it dry completely. Then wash that area with water and use it daily to remove burn marks.
- Blisters can be avoided with methi leaves. Grind the leaves by mixing a little water to make a paste. Use it on the face at night. Then rinse it off the next morning using lukewarm water. Use it regularly if the skin is exposed to acne.
- Drink a mixture of two teaspoons of fenugreek seed powder and milk for a month to control the early stage of diabetes.
- Drink curd by adding half a teaspoon of fenugreek seed powder to treat stomach ache.
- Gargle with a solution of fenugreek 5 to 6 times a day to relieve a sore throat. In addition, it also reduces mouth ulcers.
- Apply a paste of fenugreek leaves or seeds to treat boils.
- Use a fenugreek decoction as a douche to manage sebum secretions.
- Consume fenugreek tea to reduce bad breath and body odor.
- Boil the fenugreek leaves and fry in butter. Then take it twice a day to avoid stomach problems.
- Use a mixture of fenugreek seeds and yogurt to condition hair.
- Cook fenugreek leaves with coconut milk and garlic. Consume it in the winter to treat arthritis pain.
- Boil a cup of fenugreek leaves with honey. Helps reduce constipation. It should be followed twice a day.
- Prepare a paste of fenugreek seeds and use it on the head. Wash it off after 40 to 45 minutes to treat hair loss and baldness.
- It possesses laxative, soothing, expectorant, nourishing and orexigenic properties.
- Topically it is used as a weak moisturizer.
- It is used to treat indigestion, loss of appetite, convalescence and gastritis.
- It is used topically in cases of muscle pain, thyroiditis, gout, lymphadenitis, leg ulcers and wounds.
- It is used internally to lower blood sugar, increase milk production, and treat diabetes and upper respiratory infections.
- Use the compress externally as a treatment for ulcers, localized infections, and eczema.
- In Chinese medicine, it is used as a remedy for impotence, cold pain in the lower abdomen, and hernias.
- In Indian medicine, it is a treatment for vomiting, fever, cough, loss of appetite, colitis and bronchitis.
- As a substance, it is useful for boils, abscesses and carbuncles.
- It is also used to lower cholesterol level and glucose level which can effectively treat type 1 as well as type 2 diabetes.
- Fenugreek is useful for promoting libido, a healthy metabolism, treating rashes, boils and wounds, treating acid reflux, and treating throat pain.
- It is useful for hormonal disorders, promotes labor and treats reproductive disorders.
- Fenugreek is a remedy for digestive problems such as boating in the stomach, pain, cramps, diarrhea, and intestinal gas, as well as restores digestion.
- Relieves anemia, chronic cough, treats skin irritation, sore throat, bad breath, mouth ulcers and respiratory infections.
- The leaves provide relief from arthritis pain.
- Limited evidence has shown that fenugreek possess hypoglycemic properties.
- Patients with hormonal or anticoagulant therapies, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, coumarins and steroidal saponins should use them with caution.
- Excessive use of fenugreek is not recommended.
- Not for use by pregnant women.
- Avoid by people with allergies.
- It may interact with hypoglycemic medications that are used as a treatment for diabetes.
- In Ethiopia, the seeds are used as an herbal remedy for diabetes.
- The seeds are used to treat ulcers, inflammation of the intestines and stomach.
- It is useful for indigestion, diabetes, painful menstruation, inadequate lactation and labor pains.
- Fenugreek powder is used as a substance for ulcers, boils, abscesses, burns, etc.
- Use a douche as a treatment for excessive vaginal discharge.
- Mix the seeds with the oil and massage it into the scalp to get shiny hair.
- The infusion of the seeds if used as a skin lotion provides a wonderful complexion.
- It should not be used with cyclophosphamide and warfarin.
- Allergic reactions such as wheezing, runny nose, angioedema of the face, numbness of the head and fainting may occur.
- It is used as an appetite suppressant.
- It is not safe for children.
How to Eat
- Fenugreek is used as a vegetable, spice and herb.
- In India, fenugreek seeds and its seeds are used to make the methi ghatia snack.
- It is mostly used in the kitchens of the Indian subcontinent and for preparing dals, pickles and spice blends.
- Its leaves are used as an ingredient in Indian curries.
- Young greens and sprouted seeds are added to salads.
- Fenugreek is used in Turkish cuisine to make a paste called cemen.
- Fenugreek leaves are a vital ingredient in Persian cuisine.
- To reduce bitterness, gently toast the seeds.
- Fenugreek essential oil is used to add flavor to the composition of vanilla, pickles, and licorice.
- The ground seeds are used as a substitute for maple syrup.
- The tea can be made from the seeds and leaves.
- The seed pods are cooked.
- The roasted seeds are a perfect substitute for coffee.
- India is the largest producer of fenugreek with Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra being the major producers.
- A dried plant smells like hay.
- The seeds are used to obtain a yellow dye.