Even if you have never heard of fenugreek, the chances are that you have tried it in your food, especially if you are a fan of curries. However, this annual herb that belongs to pea family is also widely used in medicine due to its numerous benefits. Let’s take an in-depth look at this plant and see why it can be significant.
History And Origin
Fenugreek has a long tradition of being used in medicine. Ayurvedic medicine practitioners made use of its ingredients thousands of years ago. In traditional Chinese medicine, it was thought that this herb breaks up stuck energies within the body.
The plant is cultivated in the Mediterranean region and western Asia. It can grow up to three feet and has green leaves and white flowers. In most countries, it is grown for the aromatic seeds, although there are some areas of Europe and Africa where it is cultivated for fodder.
This herb secures many vital nutrients in their organic form, which means they are ready for absorption.
One tablespoon of the seeds contains:
- 35.5 Calories
- Carbohydrates – 6.4 g
- Protein – 2.5 g
- Fat – 0.7 g
- Fiber – 2.7 g
- Iron – 3.7 mg (20% of the RDI*)
- Manganese – 0.1 mg (7% of the RDI*)
- Copper – 0.1 mg (6% of the RDI*)
- Magnesium – 21 mg (5% of the RDI*)
- Phosphorus – 32.6 mg (3% of the RDI*)
- Vitamin B6 – 0.1 mg (3% of the RDI*)
Where Is It Used?
- Medicine –it is widely used in medicine thanks to its positive influence on overall health. Fenugreek helps your digestive system and assists in diabetes control. It also has multiple skin and hair benefits
- Cooking – it is a mandatory spice in most Indian curries. Thanks to its unusual flavor, cooks also use it in marinades. Seed extract is the main ingredient of imitation maple syrup, imitation vanilla, and rum flavorings
Aids Digestion And Reduces Cholesterol Levels
If you suffer from constipation, stomach ulcers or upset stomach, this herb can help your digestive system. It also affects the levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol in your body, thanks to a flavonoid called naringenin.
If you are looking to lose some weight, seeds of this plant can prove useful. They prevent your body from keeping the fat and enhance the metabolism of glucose and lipids.
Improves Your Appetite
This plant enhances your food’s flavor and stimulates your appetite. Seed extracts can considerably increase your motivation to eat and raise your food intake.
Helps Control Your Diabetes
Studies have shown that fenugreek decreases insulin resistance. Thanks to fiber and other chemicals, it also slows down your body’s absorption of sugar. It will not only lower your blood sugar levels but will enhance the way your organism uses sugar.
Reduces Internal and External Inflammation
This powerful herb is also used for treating various internal inflammation. This includes:
- Stomach inflammation
- Mouth ulcers
- Chronic cough
External inflammation is also treated with this plant, although this is not that common. It can help with swelling and pain in your lymph nodes and muscles, as well in treating wounds, sciatica, and eczema. It is recommended to test the area before you apply it, to ensure it does not burn.
Fights Alopecia and Dandruff
Seed extract of this plant in combination with coconut oil can do wonders for your hair. If you are struggling with hair loss, this mixture will strengthen your hair roots.
It is also good for treating dandruff and other follicular issues. Furthermore, a paste made from this plant’s seeds can make your hair shiny.
Cures Acne and Revitalizes Your Skin
If acne is causing you trouble, try this. Mix seed extracts from this herb with water and let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes. After it cools down, dab it on your face. Repeat the process two times a day.
Aside from fighting acne, this herb is perfect for revitalizing your skin. Due to its antioxidants, it will help eliminate those wrinkles and slow down the aging process. Make your own hair mask by soaking the seeds in a tablespoon of yogurt overnight.
Increases Sexual Desire in Men
A study published in Phytotherapy Research showed that seed extract of fenugreek increases sexual arousal and stamina in men. Furthermore, it can be used as a natural remedy to cure impotence, hernias, baldness, and other male problems such as erectile dysfunction. Fenugreek is a natural alternative to increase sexual arousal and testosterone levels in men. Even so, if it best of you get a second opinion from a physician before using any natural therapies.
In a study published about Phytotherapy Research where 60 men between the ages of 25 and 52 were supplemented with a placebo or 600ml of fenugreek for a period of six weeks, none of these subjects had history of erectile dysfunction. Through evaluation of the results the reports showed a possitive effect on their libidos, it found that fenugreek has a big influence on energy production, sexual arousal, stamina and healthy testosterone levels.
When taken by mouth, seeds can cause bloating, gas and diarrhea. If you have a bleeding disorder or currently take blood-thinning medication or anticoagulants, make sure to consult your doctor before using it. Pregnant women and children are not advised to consume this herb.
It should also not be used for all skin types. Before applying it directly, test the area on your skin first. This will ensure that it will not cause irritation or burning sensation.