Article by Kaniz F. Shah
|Botanical Name:||Trigonella foenum-graecum|
|Popular Name(s):||methi, menugreek, FENUGREEK|
|Parts Used:||seeds, leaves|
|Habitat:||Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Iran, Turkey, Morocco|
|Effect / Energy:||warming|
|Extraction method:||steam distilled from seed|
Fenugreek leaves and seeds have been used in Europe and Asia since antiquity in medicine and cooking. In China and India, they are used to cleanse the body and skin of impurities. In India fenugreek is known as “methi”.
Fenugreek is an herb that grows up to 60 cm tall with an erect branching stem and leaves arranged in 3 lobes. It has pale-yellow flowers and curved pods containing aromatic seeds, which can be collected and dried. The leaves can be used fresh and are often used in cooking.
Fenugreek is truly a wonder spice used in recipes like curries, dals and vegetarian dishes. The methi paratha is particularly famous in Indian households for its delicious taste. Methi seeds possess a strong flavor and are bitter in taste.
Fenugreek seeds contain alkaloids, steroidal saponis with hormone balancing properties, as well as flavonoids, soothing mucilage and vitamins A, B and C.
Health Benefits:Although the seeds and leaves of this plant are used as a culinary herb, it is also known to cure many health problems, and is an antidote for most hair and skin concerns. Drinking standard infusion of the seeds helps release mucilage, soothes inflammation in the digestive tract, lowers fever and detoxifies the body.
Hormonal Balance:The herb also has a reputation for balancing the hormones and improving breast milk flow. Applied externally, it will soothe inflamed skin, acne and boils.
Lowers Blood Sugar:Fenugreek leaves and seeds are often used with people with diabetes because they help in lowering blood sugar.
Fenugreek Benefits for Hair:
Hair strengthening and growth:Fenugreek seeds have been used to fight against follicular problems such as hair fall, dandruff, baldness and hair thinning. They contain proteins and nicotinic acid, which are a great source for hair growth because they strengthen and rebuild hair follicles.
Hair conditioning:The seeds also contain lecithin, an emulsifying substance, which makes our hair healthy and strong and hydrates the hair. When soaked in water, the seeds produce a slippery substance, which endows your hair with shine. This quality makes fenugreek seeds an optimal choice for conditioning the hair.
Dryness and dandruff:Fenugreek is hydrating, therefore, it helps reduce dryness of the hair and scalp, thus a relief for dandruff as well.
Anti-inflammatory:It is a cooling herb and has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which help calm redness of the scalp.
Fenugreek Seeds for Skin:
Fenugreek is known as the Asian beauty secret for acquiring beautiful skin. It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have pointed out that methi seeds serve as an effective topical treatment for a variety of skin-related problems.
Anti-Inflammatory:Fenugreek is an herbal cure for skin inflammation. It has been known to treat boils, abscesses, eczema, muscle pain, burns and gout and many other problems. It can relieve local inflammatory pain and swelling when used as a poultice.
Acne, Blackheads and Wrinkles:The fenugreek leaves and seeds can effectively help reduce cystic acne and prevent the eruption of pimples. They can be useful against blackheads and wrinkles as well. It draws out toxins accumulated underneath the epidermis and tones the outer layers of the skin.
Fades scars and discoloration:skin discoloration and burn marks can be tough to get rid of but regular use of fenugreek can help fade them over time.
This article is for informational purpose only. Fenugreek is not a treatment for any disease or condition. It is generally safe when used on the skin or hair, but to ensure safety, it is best to do an allergy test. Consult your doctor before using for medical purposes.
- Graedon, Terry. Cancer. The Peoples Pharmacy Quick and Handy Home Remedies. By Joe Graedon. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 2011. 75.
- Book “The Herb Bible” ( By Jennie Harding)