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Fenugreek Benefits

Updated on June 30, 2017
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Lakshmi Menon is a published author who writes both fiction and non-fiction, including health and travel articles.

Fenugreek seeds

Fenugreek
Fenugreek | Source
Fenugreek-chappathi
Fenugreek-chappathi

What is Fenugreek?

Fenugreek is a small herbal plant widely grown and used in India and Southeast Europe, northern Africa, Egypt, Morocco and the United States. India is the largest producer of fenugreek in the world, especially in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Punjab .

Fenugreek belongs to the plant family “Fabaceae”. The plant grows 30 to 60 cm. in height, has compound leaves of light green color. The seeds are brownish yellow and have peculiar odor.

Fenugreek in other languages

Fenugreek is also known as Greek Hay.

Latin name - Trigonella foenum-gracum

Sanskrit - Methika

Malay - Halba

French: Fenugrec Sénegré, trigonelle

German: Bockshornklee, Griechisches Heu

Italian: Fieno greco

Spanish: Alholva, fenogreco

Tamil - Vendaya

Malayalam - Uluva

Kannada - Menthe

Telugu - Menthulu

Hindi - Methi

Fenugreek Uses

Fenugreeks seeds of Fenugreek have been used medicinally all through the ages and were held in high repute among the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans for medicinal and culinary purposes. Fenugreek has a long history of medical uses in Indian and Chinese medicine.Fenugreek has excellent medicinal virtues. Its regular use helps keeps the body clean and healthy. The leaves of Fenugreek are aromatic, cooling and a mild laxative.

In Indian Cuisine - Fenugreek is used almost in daily cooking, such as sambar, especially in South India. The young leaves and sprouts of fenugreek are eaten as greens, and the fresh or dried leaves are used to flavor other dishes. The young leaves are used as side dish, in parathas, and omelettes. Seeds are also used in dosas and Sprouted fenugreeks are also used, often with other vegetables.

Not only in India, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used Fenugreek for medicinal and culinary purposes. In Egypt, fenusgreek seeds are prepared as tea, by being boiled then sweetened. This is a popular winter drink served in coffee shops.

In the United States, where maple syrup is popular, fenugreek is widely used as a substitute for maple syrup flavoring


Fenugreek Health Benefits

In Ayurveda, fenugreek seeds are vata and kapha pacifying and can stimulate pitta, and considered as a natural source of iron, silicon, sodium and thiamine. This bright yellow seed contains mucilagins which are known for soothing and relaxing inflamed tissues. Fenugreek contains alkaloids, including trigonelline, gentianine and carpine compounds. The seeds also contain fibre, 4-hydroyisoleucine and fenugreekine, a component that may have hypoglycemic activity.

The seeds and leaves of fenugreek are anticholesterolemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, carminative, demulcent, deobstruent, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, galactogogue, hypoglycaemic, laxative, parasiticide, restorative and uterine tonic, and useful in burning sensation. Please remember to read the side effects of fenugreek given below.

Fenugreek Health Benefits:

  • Fenugreek is helpful for lactating mothers to increase milk production. According to Kathleen E. Huggins, RN, MS, director of the Breastfeeding Clinic at San Luis Obispo General Hospital, fenugreek was one of the major ingredients of Lydia E. Pinkham's Vegetable Compound, a popular 19th century cure-all for "female complaints." The hormone precursors of fenugreek helps to increase milk supply. It has been found that fenugreek can increase a nursing mother's milk supply within 24 to 72 hours after taking. Once an adequate level of milk production is reached, most women can discontinue the fenugreek and maintain the milk supply with adequate breast stimulation. The pills can be found at most vitamin and nutrition stores and at many supermarkets and natural foods stores.
  • Due to its estrogen-like properties, fenugreek has been found to help increase libido and lessen the effect of hot flashes and mood fluctuations that are common symptoms of menopause and PMS.
  • Fenugreek leaves help prevent wrinkles, blackheads, pimples, dryness and rashes, by applying a paste of the fresh fenugreek leaves on the face .

  • To cure acid reflux (Fenugreek seeds contain a lot of mucilage, which helps sooth gastrointestinal inflammation by coating the lining of the stomach and intestine.)
  • In India, fenugreek seeds are mixed with yogurt and used as a conditioner for hair.
  • Prevents hair loss, dandruff, strengthens hair, and makes hair lice free - Soak fenugreek seeds in water overnight and grind it into a fine paste the following morning. Leave this paste applied on the scalp for 30 to 45 minutes and then wash it with a mild shampoo.
  • To reduce fever, fenugreek is taken with lemon and honey. Prepare fenugreek tea by adding few amounts of fenugreek seeds to water. Boil it and then add few drops of lemon with some honey and take hot or cold.
  • An infusion of the leaves is used as a gargle for recurrent mouth ulcers.
  • A gargle made from the seeds is helpful for ordinary sore throat
  • Fenugreek is useful in arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, improve digestion, maintain a healthy metabolism, and increase libido.
  • Increases male potency
  • Skin problems such as wounds, rashes and boils.
  • Helps in losing weight. The fiber in fenugreek fills the stomach, even when consumed in a little amount. Soak a few fenugreek seeds in water and chew them in the morning, on an empty stomach.
  • Fenugreek is widely used in treating diabetes as it has quality to reduce the sugar level of the blood. Recent studies have shown that Fenugreek helps lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels. 2 ounces of Fenugreek seeds throughout the day either in the form of sprinkling it on the food or consume it as capsule.
  • To help with breast enlargement - For breast enlargement is to make Fenugreek a part of your regular diet.
  • To induce labor
  • To treat hormonal disorders
  • To reduce menstrual pain..

Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies.

Side Effects of Fenugreek

Although fenugreek has been suggested for many conditions, there are also some side effects reported.  So it is always better to consult a health care person before using fenugreek, to avoid any problems.

  • Fenugreek is in the same family with peanuts and chickpeas, and may cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals.
  • There are reported cases of gastrointestinal discomfort and nausea, therefore fenugreek should be used with caution.
  • Dosages higher than the recommended one may result in hypoglycemia in some mothers.
    If you're diabetic, use fenugreek only if you have good control of your blood glucose levels. While taking this, closely monitor your fasting levels and post-prandial (after meals) levels. Mothers with hypoglycemia should also use fenugreek with caution.
  • Inhalation of the fenugreek powder can cause asthma and allergic symptoms in some sensitive people.
  • For some people fenugreek may trigger a migraine and/or contribute to the duration and severity of a migraine.
  • Those who have strong family history of hypertension or heart disease.should avoid fenugreek, or can be used only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.
  • During pregnancy, fenugreek should be used with extreme caution because it may cause blood sugar levels to become too low.
  • Because fenugreek may lower potassium levels in the blood.
  • Fenugreek may increase the risk of bleeding when also taken with other products that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Those who are already on some medication should consult a doctor before using fenugreek.

Comments

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    • lex123 profile imageAUTHOR

      lex123 

      4 years ago

      I can't tell you that it will help you. It is better that you consult an ayurvedic doctor, who will be able to guide you better.

    • profile image

      sneha 

      4 years ago

      i want to know if i will take fenugreek with lemon and honey every morning ..will my chest size decrease or increase...as i want to take lemon n honey water to reduce fats in my body othr than chest area

    • lex123 profile imageAUTHOR

      lex123 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments. It will definitely add value to the hub. I'm glad to know that the hub is useful to you.

    • buzclick profile image

      buzclick 

      6 years ago from Bon Aqua, TN

      I am aware of fenugreek, it is one of the supplements I am using to help reverse my diabetes. Good quality extracts are hard to find.

      In the use of whole fenugreek, like the use of whole cinnamon, you should be aware of problems identified as being caused by the non-soluble solids in the whole form which are not digestible and can cause damage on the cellular level in the liver. A good quality boiled extract is the easiest remedy for this.

      Thanks for the information it will help me in my quest to overcome diabetes.

    • lex123 profile imageAUTHOR

      lex123 

      7 years ago

      Thank you Indian Spices for reading the hub and leaving an encouraging comment. I'm very happy to know that you found my articles very useful. It is comments like yours encourage us to do more research on the topic and write articles to be useful to others.

      May God bless you!

    • profile image

      Indian Spices 

      7 years ago

      I am very happy to read your articles it’s very useful for me,

      and I am completely satisfied with your website.

      All comments and articles are very useful and very good.

      Your blog is very attention-grabbing. I am loving all of the in

      turn you are sharing with each one!…

      Indian Spices

    • lex123 profile imageAUTHOR

      lex123 

      7 years ago

      Thanks CMHypno for your visit and leaving a comment. Yes, the simple fenugreek has many health benefits which usually many of us do not realize.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 

      7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Thanks for all the helpful information on fenugreek, I did not realise that fenugreek had so many health benefits

    • lex123 profile imageAUTHOR

      lex123 

      7 years ago

      Thanks Ruchira for reading this hub and offering encouraging comments. I'm glad to know that you'll treasure it!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 

      7 years ago from United States

      Interesting Article and thanks for writing so many benefits of these precious seeds. Will treasure it!

    • lex123 profile imageAUTHOR

      lex123 

      7 years ago

      Thank you Heartburn sufferer for your visit and the positive comments. Indian spices have great health benefits.

      Consuming curries with spices, can be beneficial for many health problems since these are known from ancient time.

    • profile image

      Heartburn Sufferer 

      7 years ago

      I hadn't realized that fenugreek was related to peanuts. I'm not allergic, but I have friends who are. Good to know.

      The more I read about the benefit of Indian spices, the more I think we should all eat curries at least a few times a week.

      Thanks for the great hub

    • lex123 profile imageAUTHOR

      lex123 

      8 years ago

      Thank you gingsova for visiting my hub, and for your encouraging comment.

    • profile image

      gingsova 

      8 years ago

      Your hub is highly informative and a timely guide to the benefit of hub readers globally. Keep it up.

    • lex123 profile imageAUTHOR

      lex123 

      8 years ago

      Thank you MythiliK for reading the hub and offering your valuable comments. These days people go for more allopathic medicines, forgetting the value of fenugreek which is easily available in almost every kitchen.

    • MythiliK profile image

      MythiliK 

      8 years ago from India --> Switzerland

      My mom used to give us a spoon of powdered fenugreek every morning and we had good health.

      Now, all gone because of my laziness :-( So useful.

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