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Fenugreek Health Benefits - fenugreek seeds leaves benefits and recipes

Updated on August 25, 2012

Health Benefits of Fenugreek


Fenugreek is a spice and a herb that is quite popular in the Asian kitchens. Fenugreek gets it name from the Latin root Foenum Graecum or Greek Hay. The yellow colored hard seeds of the Fenugreek plant are used as spice and preservative in Indian cooking. The plant or the herb looks like wild clover. The Herb and the spice are known for their Medicinal use and is a part of the Indian kitchen pharmacy. The herb adds flavor and nutrition to your cooking and can be added on to most Indian dishes. The leaves and seeds have a slightly bitter taste, but it is not so noticeable when tomatoes are added or when it is cooked with meat or lentils, namely Dal. The use of fenugreek seeds in diabetes is well documented.

Fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek seeds

Fenugreek Nutrition


Fenugreek is rich in potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. It is also rich in iron and sodium with small amount of copper, zinc, selenium and manganese
Fenugreek is also known to have a good deal of Vitamin C, some amount of Vitamin A, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate. It is no hype that fenugreek is a great health food.

Fenugreek leaves - all pic belong to sofs
Fenugreek leaves - all pic belong to sofs | Source

Fenugreek Health benefits - Methi) Seeds, Leaves Benefits


It is not only a spice but it serves as a dark green super food. Fenugreek seeds are used in pickles and curries, masala or currry powders. Fenugreek has a bitter taste and so it would be wise to use it in small quantities. Kasoori methi or dried fenugreek leaves are another way of using this herb. The leaves are dried and preserved and used throughout the year in rotis or flat bread. They add much needed fiber and nutrition to the bread, this is an easy way of making children eat the green leafy vegetables which they generally dislike. The seeds and the leaves are well known for their medicinal uses. Today in the market you have this poor man’s spice sprouted and powdered and sold at exorbitant prices as remedy for diabetes.

Dried herb - fenugreek. Pics by sofs
Dried herb - fenugreek. Pics by sofs | Source

Fenugreek for Diabetes, PMS, Fevers etc.

Researches have shown that the regular long term use of fenugreek seeds reduces deposits of fat in the body and lowers cholesterol. The high fiber content helps flush out the waste in the system .

The amino acid called 4-hydroxyisoleucine helps stimulate the secretion of insulin. Fenugreek lowers the blood glucose levels by slowing down the absorption process of carbohydrates. Thereby regulating glucose levels in the blood. The dietary fiber in the fenugreek causes the stomach to empty out slowly. As a result, the sugar levels in the blood stream are controlled. Fenugreek is excellent for the control of diabetes.

It is also thought to be a galactagogue and it is often used to increase lactation. Fenugreek is also a component in natural breast enhancing treatments.

They are often used by naturopaths in digestive disorders. Flatulence and a sluggish liver is often treated with decotions of seed slightly roasted powdered and made into a tea.

The tea made from fenugreek seeds is used widely to bring down fevers, and considered to be equal to quinine by ayurvedic doctors.

Fenugreek has estrogen-like properties and is said to increase libido. It is also used to lessen the symptoms and discomfort that arise during menopause. It is used to reduce hot flashes and mood fluctuations that are common symptoms of menopause. Having the tea made from the roasted seeds of fenugreek reduces the discomfort and the intensity of pre-menustural syndrome or PMS.

In the hot tropics when the weather really gets unbearable the seeds are soaked in water and the water is consumed on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. This reduces the ill effects of heat and cools the body down considerably.

Fenugreek Recipes


Aloo methi ( fenugreek potato curry )

You can make flavorful curried potatoes that are not only tasty but also healthy. Dice a couple of potatoes, add a teaspoon of oil in a pan, add a teaspoon of cumin seeds and mustard seeds into it and let it splutter. Add onions finely chopped and let it soften. Add the diced potatoes and sauté it for a few minutes add some salt and water and let it cook. When it is done add a pinch of turmeric, chilly flakes or chili powder and a bunch of cleaned washed fenugreek leaves or a hand full of dried leaves into the pan, toss it around until the heavenly flavor of the fenugreek leaves tempt you. Eat it with flat bread or rice.

Cottage cheese and fenugreek curry
Methi paneer

You can make a mouth watering curry with cottage cheese and fenugreek leaves. Dry fry a couple of onions roughly chopped in a pan, add a couple of cut tomatoes and sauté them. Add a small cube a (2cm)of cottage cheese to the pan, and when the onions and tomatoes soften blend it in a blender with some chilly flakes added to it. In a pan pour a tablespoon of cooking oil, add jeera or cumin seeds, I teaspoon of grated ginger, sliced onions and sauté it. Add cottage cheese when the onions turn pink and sauté for a couple of minutes ( and not more as the cottage cheese becomes leathery) now add the fenugreek leaves a bunch of cleaned fresh leaves or a handful of dried leaves for another minute. Add the blended paste into the pan and let it bubble free for a few minutes before you take it of the heat. Add salt to taste and your paneer methi masala is ready to be served with rotis naans or rice.

Dal with tomato and fenugreek

Chop up onions, tomatoes. In a pan pour a teaspoon of oil, add cumin and mustard seed to it, when they splutter, add the onions and the tomatoes and sauté them. Add a little water and some salt to taste and when the contents of the pan get thick and pulpy add fresh or dried fenugreek leaves and chilly flakes to it and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add cooked dal to this and you have a healthy dal to be eaten with rice or rotis. Simple, healthy and fresh food cooked in minutes.

Fenugreek Side Effects

Eat your way to health and wellness. Remember that even the good things in life need to be consumed in moderation. There are some documented side effects of fenugreek. I for one personally believe that it is impossible to consume that amount of the herb or the seed, because of its bitter taste to have side effects. Since it belongs to the same family as peanuts, some people may have a food allergy to the spice. So here is to healthy eating and healthy life.

I am always glad to hear from you...

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    • Fiona Jean Mckay profile image

      Fiona 

      5 years ago from South Africa

      Interesting - I believe that Fenugreek is also good for sinus problems - do you think that's true?

    • profile image

      Gayatri 

      5 years ago

      Awesome information for moms to be

    • profile image

      amit ghosh 

      5 years ago

      very good

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR

      sofs 

      6 years ago

      Discountedremedies, Fenugreek actually helps relieve bloating and gas. It has more positives properties to it than negative ones. Thanks for stopping by.

    • DiscountRemedies profile image

      DiscountRemedies 

      6 years ago from USA

      Very useful hub about fenugreek. Some do experience gas and bloating from it. Otherwise, it's a great addition to many recipes. ~Kim

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR

      sofs 

      6 years ago

      Imlynde, I must visit you pages soon and read your hubs... thanks for popping back to say this... Peace to you :) God Bless!

    • lmlynde profile image

      lmlynde 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      Thank you for your great information on Fenugreek seeds! You are exactly right when it comes to the pharmaceutical arena. Drugs help by covering up your ailment or disease. I have heard so many great life stories about herbs and how they helped people overcome their ailments or diseases. Plus....since herbs have done so many positive things for me and my life, I hope HubPages will continue help us learn and share about herbs......always! Love & Peace.....LL

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR

      sofs 

      6 years ago

      lmlynde, Glad to know another herb lover... there is so much goodness in nature...but the pharmaceutics companies don't play fair... Thanks for dropping by. Have a lovely day.

    • lmlynde profile image

      lmlynde 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      I love it when I find another wonder herb that helps with sooooo many problems or ailments!! The happiness of herb knowledge is being able to share and help others! Thank you for this wonderful article!

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR

      sofs 

      6 years ago

      beingwell, I am sure like most other herbs and spices it may take a little getting used to. The herb is slightly bitter and so are the seed , so go slow on them. Thanks for dropping by. Have a lovely day.

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 

      6 years ago from Bangkok

      I'd like to try this in my kitchen. I've so many herbs and spices to discover. This is just one of them. You say it's common here in Asia but I'm not really familiar with its taste and smell...just yet. :)

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR

      sofs 

      6 years ago

      Roney Arthur, I agree with you that in South India we use fenugreek seeds more, and Dosas that have been flavored with fenugreek smells so yummm..Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment. Much appreciated. Have a great day!

    • profile image

      Roney Arthur 

      6 years ago

      Hi Sofs,Fenugreek seeds are a part of almost any south Indian curries. But I was unaware of the wonderful properties it has. I bought fenugreek seeds and powder from the Indian store at Brandon. Now I add it to Dosai, Rice or Wheat-Kanji with molasses. Many many thanks.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR

      sofs 

      6 years ago

      Thank you Gururaj, I appreciate you taking the time to read and leave a comment.

    • profile image

      Gururaj 

      6 years ago

      Very informative

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR

      sofs 

      6 years ago

      Millionaire... The aroma of fenugreek is something that needs to be experienced to be understood.. I like the versatility of this spice and herb. Green leafy vegetables get added with ease into the normal every day diet making it healthy... I have been taking powdered fenugreek seeds for about a year now and found that my cholesterol levels have remained within the very acceptable levels. It is such a wonderful and tasty herb and spice... and I am glad that you want to try out the other recipes as well... Have fun and God bless!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      I didn't know about fenugreek's cholesterol lowering properties. I make potato curry all the time - I guess I need to make it even more often. I'll have to try your other recipes as well. Thanks. Voted up.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR

      sofs 

      6 years ago

      Wow that is splendid, I love the smell of fenugreek too...but go slow since it has a slightly bitter taste. Thanks for the interest and the comment.

    • rjsadowski profile image

      rjsadowski 

      6 years ago

      I love the smell of fenugreek and now I have some recipies to try it in. Thanks.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR

      sofs 

      7 years ago

      Fenugreek is a great herb and spice.. that we regularly use here in this part of the world.. with its amazing properties I can understand it importance in Ayurveda and Unani forms of Medicine. Thanks for opening your mind to the things that are rare and alien to your culture.. I appreciate your visit tlpoague and thanks for the comment :)

    • tlpoague profile image

      Tammy 

      7 years ago from USA

      This sounds like an herb to add to my cupboard. I am glad you shared this interesting information. I am always on the look out for zesting up my cooking, and alternative forms of medicines. Thanks!

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR

      sofs 

      7 years ago

      Dim Flaxenwick, glad that you found the information useful, yes Fenugreek is what we call here locally an internal balancing agent. It is adds a lovely flavor to your food while making you healthier. We need to get more health conscious and be doubly careful about what we eat at every age. Thank you for the read and the comment, I appreciate it.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR

      sofs 

      7 years ago

      Ruby,I am sure you will find fenugreek in your supermarkets.. especially in areas where Indians abound. I know I promised you something..I have been a tad busier than usual and I will do what I promised as soon as I get a breather. Thanks Ruby for the read and the comment. :)

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR

      sofs 

      7 years ago

      Uma, you are a darling, I love methi parathas too.. kind of staple food at my place..lol. Mom's are the best when it comes to food aren't they.. I guess it is just their love that goes into the food that makes it delicious. :) I sure you have some soft, lovely, dark and luxuriant tresses.

      I love the feel of it in my hair. So go on girl.. wish you all health and happiness :)

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR

      sofs 

      7 years ago

      Beth, glad you like the spice..it is one of my favorites as it is easy to blend into meats and breads alike and make my children eat them. I am glad that you found the hub useful. I appreciate your popping in.. :) (((((((hugs)))))))

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR

      sofs 

      7 years ago

      Tim, I am glad that you have got more information on this spice/herb now. This is one herb/spice that we cannot do without in the Asian regions. Take a look at the Amazon products listed in the hub, if you do not get it so freely in North America. Thank you for the read and the comment.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      7 years ago from Great Britain

      fenugreek sounds like it is good for all sorts of things. As l grow older l´m getting more and more careful about what l eat.

      Thanks for a very interesting hub.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I've never heard of fenugreek. Is it available in the USA? If so, i think i might try it. I like to eat healthy, and am open to new ideas. Thank you.

      Cheers

    • profile image

      Uma 

      7 years ago

      Sofs, this is just wonderful! I always like the smell of methi. I use it on my hair too (soaked and ground to paste)....makes a great conditioner. And the recipes!...Slurrrrrrrp! Aloo methi and methi parathas are my favorites and I like it when my mom makes it for me. I have yet to taste the tea.Thanks for the info on such a wonderful spice.:)

    • Beth100 profile image

      Beth100 

      7 years ago from Canada

      And here I just consume it -- loving the flavor that it adds to my dishes! I had no idea the nutrients that it contains. You have provided some great information on this spice!

    • timorous profile image

      Tim Nichol 

      7 years ago from Me to You

      Hey sofs, thanks for the great info on fenugreek. I'd only vaguely heard of it before. I should see if I can find it somewhere, although it may be hard to find in North America, except in health food stores.

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