What is fenugreek?
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is an annual plant that comes under Fabaceae family and cultivated worldwide. Its seeds and leaves are having many traditional health benefits and medicinal uses. The leaves and seeds are commonly used in dishes and cuisines. Its seeds smell and taste like maple syrup. The leaves are used as a vegetable in the Indian sub-continent. It is also associated with some side effects.
10 impressive health benefits of fenugreek
- Nutritional facts: One tablespoon of fenugreek seeds contains nutrients such as energy: (35cals), Fiber: 3gm, Protein: 3 gm, Carbs: 6gm, Fat: 1gm, Iron: 20% of the Daily Value (DV), Manganese: 7% of DV, and Magnesium: 5% of DV.
- Diabetes type 1&2: Fenugreek has been used for a long time as an alternative therapy to reduce the impact of sugar level in the body. In a study, conducted on the seeds, it has been shown that taking of fenugreek both at lunch as well as dinner time helps to reduce the level of sugar in the blood.
- Breastfeeding mother: Mothers who are experiencing insufficient milk secretion, may take fenugreek seeds as research has confirmed that it might be a safe passage in comparison to modern medicine. Besides increasing breast milk production, it is also good for the weight of the baby.
- Boost testosterone levels: In a research conducted recently wherein it has been shown that eating of fenugreek supplement, helps to increase testosterone levels in the body. Thus, if you desire more sperm count, you should take it on a regular basis.
- Reduces cholesterol level: The use of the seeds under the guidance of a physician may help to reduce the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body.
- Heartburn: It’s a natural antacid. The use of it helps to reduce the symptoms of heartburn.
- Anti-inflammatory: Study conducted in rat and mice have shown that taking of fenugreek ensures a reduction in inflammation. It helps to reduce the inflammation of boils, bronchitis, tuberculosis, chronic coughs, mouth ulcers and cancer
- Weight loss: It has been observed that fenugreek suppresses appetite and gives the feeling of fullness, which reduces the chances of overeating thereby helpful in weight loss.
- Pain relief: There is a phytochemical called alkaloids are found in fenugreek, which blocks sensory receptors that allow the brain to perceive pain.
- Reduces menstrual discomfort: It is good to relieve symptoms of menstrual discomforts. A study published in the Journal of Reproduction & Infertility wherein it has been found that fenugreek powder is helpful to ease during menstruation and menopause.
Fenugreek medicinal uses
- Gastric problems: It is useful for digestive and gastric problems such as gastritis, stomach inflammation, loss of appetite and stomach disorders. In such a case, it should be taken orally.
- Hardening of arteries: The use of fenugreek is helpful to overcome atherosclerosis, reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Diabetes: Drinking of its water in the morning is beneficial for diabetic patients.
- Erectile dysfunction: It is also being used to treat erectile dysfunction, and male and female related sexual problems.
- Painkiller: The warm wrapped fenugreek when applied, is helpful to treat muscle pain, toes pain, wound and leg ulcers.
- Menopause & menstruation
- Vitamin deficiency diseases
- Sore throat: The use of it helps to clear the mucous thus beneficial in case of sore throat, cough and cold.
- Kidney stone: It has been found that the use of it helps to reduce the amount of calcification of the kidney and also reduces the probability of kidney stones.
- Constipation relieves: Because of adequate fiber content, it helps to treat constipation and indigestion.
- Anti-cancer: The seeds contain anti-carcinogenic properties, especially in the case of breast and colon cancer.
Fenugreek kitchen uses
- Dishes and cuisines: Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is used as dried or fresh leaves, spice (seeds) and vegetables (fresh leaves). It is widely used in various cuisines of Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Yemen and Georgia.
- Pickles: It is used in the preparation of pickles, vegetable dishes, panch phoron and in making of sambar.
- Aloo methi: Its leaves are used with potatoes to make “aloo methi”.
- Salads: Salads are made from sprouted seeds and fenugreek greens.
- Soaps and cosmetics: Its extract is useful in making soaps and cosmetics.
Fenugreek side effects
- It shouldn’t be used during pregnancy as it may cause harm to the baby.
- Fenugreek may lead to uterine contraction so it is unsafe with hormone-sensitive women.
- In 2011 in Germany and France, the outbreak of E.coli credited to this seed.
- Breastfeeding mothers should take it after the consultation of a physician as an excess amount of it is not good for the health of the newborn babies.
- Side effects can also be seen as diarrhea, headache, and a maple syrup odor in urine, nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing and allergic reactions in hypersensitive people.
Different name of fenugreek
This medicinal plant is also known as Alholva, Bird’s Foot, Bockshornsame, Chandrika, Fenogreco, Greek Clover, Greek Hay, Hu Lu Ba, Medhika, Methi, Trigonella and Woo Lu Bar.
How much fenugreek seeds one should take?
Using fenugreek seeds differ from condition to condition. If you are taking it for gastric purposes, it is suggested to put One tsp of it into one cup of water. Keep it throughout the night and use its water in the morning. If a mother requires for lactation, 5500 milligrams are recommended every day. In other cases, the direction of a doctor or dietitian may be taken.