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Uses of Fenugreek

Updated on September 29, 2013
Fenugreek herb
Fenugreek herb | Source
Fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek seeds | Source

Fenugreek is an herb that has been gaining popularity for its culinary and medicinal uses in the past few years. There are many uses of fenugreek. It has long been used in Indian cooking, and it gives an exotic flavor to food. It is also commonly used as an alternative herbal supplement.

What is Fenugreek?

Fenugreek is a leafy herb that is native to India and the Near East. Its scientific name is Trigonella foenum-graecum. It is cultivated worldwide, and India remains the largest producer of fenugreek. Its leaves, stems, and seeds are all edible and have a variety of uses.

Culinary Uses

There are many culinary uses of fenugreek. The leaves and seeds of the fenugreek plant are used for cooking. The leaves are either dried and used as an herb to impart flavor into dishes, or they are served fresh as a vegetable. The seeds are roasted and often ground into a fine powder. Both the leaves and the seeds have a slightly bitter flavor, and they have a strong aroma.

There are many Indian and Pakistani recipes that call for the use of fenugreek. It is most often used in breads, soups, and sauces.

Medicinal Uses

Fenugreek seeds are often touted for their medicinal properties, and their use is considered to be a “complementary alternative medicine” (CAM). As with any CAM, consult your physician before using fenugreek for medicinal purposes.

Most commonly, fenugreek seeds have been used to relieve skin inflammation, digestive problems, and to stimulate breast milk production in nursing mothers. To alleviate skin inflammation, the seeds are ground and mixed with water to create a paste, and the paste is applied directly to the skin. Fenugreek seeds are taken orally to aid digestive problems and assist with breast milk production. They are sold ground in capsule form in many health food stores.

Besides being a flavorful addition to your next meal, fenugreek has many other uses. Try it in soup, salad, or use it to flavor a sauces or season meat.


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