Fenugreek Health Benefits
Fenugreek is a leafy vegetable with excellent health benefits. It is used as a herb, spice and a vegetable. It is used in ayurvedic medicine as a laxative and to stimulate lactation. It has anti-inflammatory, expectorant and hepatoprotective (ability to prevent damage to the liver) qualities. It is highly beneficial for indigestion, sore throat, anaemia and stomach disorders. Its main contituents are lysine, flavonoids, saponins and coumarin. It is also very rich in dietary fibre. The herb can be used both internally and externally.
Botanical Name – Trigonella foenum-graecum
Common Name – Fenugreek
Hindi – Methi
Sanskrit – Medhika, Chandrika
Tamil – Vendhyam
Health benefits of Fenugreek Leaves
Fenugreek is rich in calcium, phosphorus, and a good source of Iron and vitamin C. Steaming is considered the best way of cooking this herb, as all the vitamins are retained. The protein content in dried fenugreek leaves is almost equal to that in pulses. The leaves are said to be cooling. They are very beneficial in the treatment of indigestion, flatulence and sluggish liver. Fenugreek leaves help treat mouth ulcers. The leaves also help in the formation of blood. The leaves, being rich in iron, are very beneficial for anaemia.
Fenugreek Leaves Home Remedies
- Make a paste of fresh fenugreek leaves. Apply on scalp, leave for 30 mins, and then wash. This strengthens hair and gets rid of dandruff.
- The freshly ground paste of fenugreek leaves, applied on the face before going to bed, prevents pimples and black heads.
- Make an infusion of the fenugreek leaves. Use this as a gargle for mouth ulcers.
- Due to its cooling properties, applying a poultice made of the fenugreek leaves is an excellent home remedy to heal burns and swellings.
- Fenugreek leaves cooked with green onion stalks, are very good for clearing Constipation.
- A tbsp of fenugreek leaves juice, taken with 1-2 black raisins, relieves dysentry.
Health Benefits of Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds have phenomenal health benefits and medicinal properties. They are demulcent, diuretic, carminative and great cleansers of the body. They are highly mucus solvent. According to the website mskcc.org, fenugreek exhibits hypocholesteromic, hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic activity in healthy and diabetic animals and humans.
Fenugreek Health Benefits for Diabetes
Fenugreek has been tested, and has been found very effective in the treatment of diabetes. According to a report published by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), a fenugreek diet significantly reduced fasting blood sugar and improved the glucose tolerance test. There was a 54 per cent reduction in 24-h urinary glucose excretion. Thus, fenugreek seeds help in the management of diabetes.
Galactagogue health benefits of Fenugreek
In India, Trigonella foenum graecum (fenugreek) is used medicinally as a galactagogue by nursing mothers to increase the supply of breast milk, when inadequate. Studies have shown that the use of fenugreek increased milk production by as much as 900 per cent.
Fenugreek Health Benefits for the Heart
Fibre and saponin, found in fenugreek helps reduce gastrointestinal glucose and cholesterol absorption and increases bile secretion. Raw fenugreek seeds have a beneficial effect on elevated serum cholesterol. Studies have shown that it reduces serum total cholesterol LDL/VLDL cholesterol and triglycerides, which are risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Hypocholesterolemic of germinated fenugreek seeds in human subjects
Fenugreek Health Benefits for Stomach Disorders
Fenugreek soothes inflammed stomach and intestines. It cleanses it off excess mucus. Fenugreek seeds deposits a mild gum like lubricant material, as it passes through the stomach and intestines, providing a protective shell for ulcers. Hence it is very beneficial in the healing of peptic ulcers.
Other Health Benefits of Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds tea helps in the early stages of respiratory disorders like bronchitis, influenza and sinusities. Fenugreek seed tea is said to be equal in value to quinine for reducing fevers. The seeds help the body to perspire and dispel toxins. The fenugreek seeds help restore deadened sense of smell and taste.
Fenugreek Seeds Home Remedies
Fenugreek seeds can be used to make a tea, which is useful as a home remedy for many ailments. How to make fenugreek seed tea? Boil one cup of water. Once the water has boiled, take it off the stove and add one tsp of fenugreek seeds to the water. Let it steep for about half an hour. Strain the tea and drink.
- Drinking fenugreek tea, is a home remedy to get rid of bad breath and body odour.
- Add 2 tbsps of fenugreek seeds to about 4 cups of water, and simmer for about half an hour. Cool and gargle to cure a sore throat.
- To get rid of dandruff, soak 2 tbsps of fenugreek seeds overnight. The next morning, grind the seeds to a fine paste. Apply this paste to the scalp and leave for half an hour. Wash with Shikakai.
- For lactating mothers, the seeds are made into a gruel in order to increase the flow of milk. In India, a dessert made from fenugreek seeds is given to women soon after childbirth to expedite the healing. The seeds are fried in clarified butter and powdered finely. The dessert called halwa is then prepared by mixing this with wheat or rice flour. Fenugreek is not recommended for pregnant women.
- A heaped tsp of fenugreek seeds, soaked overnight in half a cup of water and taken in the morning along with the soaked seeds, is an excellent home remedy to reduce blood glucose levels, cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Fenugreek is an effective home remedy to clear mucus in the stools in dysentry. Grind a tbsp of fenugreek seeds and store it. Mix one fourth of a tsp of this powder to a cup of yogurt and have 2-3 times a day.
- Take equal quantities of dry curry leaf, lime peel, fenugreek seeds, mung dal and shikakai. Powder, mix and keep bottled. This can be used as a shampoo. It keeps the hair soft and shiny.
- An infusion made with, a tsp of grated ginger and a tsp of pounded fenugreek seeds in a glass of hot water, filtered and drunk twice a day is beneficial for asthma.
How to Sprout Fenugreek Seeds
Soak a handful of seeds in a bowl of water, for ten to twelve hours. Drain the soaked water and rinse thoroughly. Keep in a sieve, as excess water will get drained. Keep the seeds moist by sprinkling water on it every six hours or so. Do this for 3 days. Refrigerate the sprouts and use when required.