Fenugreek has a strong flavor, slightly spicy, and intense aroma. It is used, mixed with other spices, to elaborate on different Indian curries, such as Ceylon curry or Massala Balti pasta.
Therefore, we are before a spice of high culinary value, which in our country is still relatively unknown and that haute cuisine tries to rescue.
Its composition and active principles are an exciting plant with various medicinal uses, ranging from the digestive tonic. And also, it helps in the treatment of constipation or diabetes problems and even relieves menstrual cramps.
What are the Properties of Fenugreek?
Fenugreek exerts antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, stimulating, tonic, expectorant, hepatoprotective, diaphoretic, and laxative properties.
- Fight anemia;
- Helps eliminate toxins from our body;
- And also improves the functioning of the immune system;
- It is anticoagulant blood;
- It is a digestive food;
- Promotes hair growth;
- Fenugreek takes care of the liver;
- Stimulates the production of breast milk;
- Fenugreek improves gingivitis;
- Reduce accumulated fat;
- Bits of help lose weight, so it recommends weight-loss diets;
- Regulates blood sugar levels;
- Helps reduce harmful cholesterol (LDL);
- And also improves skin conditions;
- It aids us in avoiding the formation of stones or grit in the kidneys.
Due to its phytoestrogen content, fenugreek helps relieve menstrual pain and symptoms associated with menopause. Its expectorant properties improve cases of colds, pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, etc.
What are the Benefits of Fenugreek?
Its leaves and seeds are used both internally and in external poultices, and it is also widely used in Mediterranean cuisine as a spice with a bittersweet flavor.
1. Healing Properties
Fenugreek has stimulant, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac, expectorant, laxative, hepatoprotective and diaphoretic properties.
It is a complete herb: let’s see some of its healing applications:
- Assists in the recovery from skin diseases and infections;
- Helps reduce bad cholesterol (LDL);
- And also controls the balance of blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes;
- Its amino acids promote insulin production;
- It works as an anticoagulant of the blood, which helps in heart conditions;
- Reduces fatty tissues, assisting in weight loss;
- Promotes hair growth;
- Contains diosgenin, which increases libido;
- Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer;
- Its antioxidant content reduces internal mucus, giving relief to respiratory problems such as coughs, colds, pneumonia, sore throat, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and laryngitis;
- Stimulates the functioning of the immune system;
- And also removes toxins from the body from the lymph nodes;
- Stimulates breast milk production in breastfeeding women;
- Stimulates uterine contractions in labor;
- Contains high levels of phytoestrogens, which relieve menstrual cramps and symptoms of menopause;
- And also promotes digestion and liver function.
2. Prevent Kidney
- It is used as an herb to cure any kidney problems.
- It prevents the formation of stones in the kidneys by reducing the levels of calcium oxalate in them.
3. Some Modes of Use
- To avoid heartburn and belching: consume a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds before meals.
- To assist in the treatment of diabetes, mix 2 teaspoons of fenugreek powder with milk and drink this solution twice a day for at least a month.
- For stomach pain, mix half a teaspoon of fenugreek powder with milk.
- For sinusitis relief, boil a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in 300ml water until the water reduces by half. Drink the solution for 10 days.
- A sore throat and mouth sores, gargle with a fenugreek infusion 5 to 6 times a day.
- And also, for skin burns, apply a paste made from fenugreek leaves.
- For bad breath, consume fenugreek infusion. This infusion also serves to whet the appetite and to eliminate respiratory mucus from the chest.
- To reduce blood sugar levels and control gastrointestinal inflammations, regularly consume fenugreek infusion.
- To stimulate hair growth, apply a solution of fenugreek and yogurt.
Contraindications of Fenugreek
It can say that fenugreek is safe and that its regular intake presents a significantly reduced risk margin in dietary doses. As a general rule, in therapeutic doses, which are higher or more concentrated (extracts), it is also so.
Still, it is necessary to highlight some exceptions or at least name those cases in which it is advisable to exercise extreme caution in the use and consumption of fenugreek :
- During pregnancy, due to the presence of coumarins and alkaloids, fenugreek in therapeutic doses, even if these are minimal, should be avoided, avoid possible malformations in the fetus.
- It is not wise to administer fenugreek to children under two years of age in any of its forms.
- Mothers’ infants should consult the medical specialist before taking fenugreek in tea or extracts. The bitter principles could taste breast milk altering slightly, even though we have a galactógena plant, capable of stimulating producing breast milk and helping babies gain more weight.
- Some people show allergic reactions to many of the plants in the legume family.
- It can show unwanted interactions with some medications. Fenugreek could have a moderate anticoagulant effect on the blood and could accelerate bleeding or bruises’ appearance.
- Suppose it is compatible with the taking of some anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs such as warfarin. It is also with synthetic anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, diclofenac (Voltaren), and even common aspirin. In such cases, consult your doctor and adjust the doses.
How to Take Fenugreek?
Fenugreek finds in only two forms in herbal and health food stores and stores: grain (raw or toasted seeds) and the flour resulting from its ground. But looking well, we can get other presentations that include fenugreek. Take note of their forms of consumption:
- The seeds in decoction. The base formula is one tablespoon of seeds for about 400 ml of water. It is taken up to three times a day, or small doses during the day for alternate week treatments; one of active and rest. Better on an empty stomach.
- And also, it powdered seeds, taken with a teaspoon of coffee, twice a day.
- In the form of a fluid extract (sold in herbalists), up to 60 drops a day, with water or fruit juice.
- In capsules (again for sale in a herbalist), two to four a day, cholesterol and diabetes.
- The form of an alcoholic tincture, about 50 drops, dissolved in water or fruit juice three times a day, is intended mainly for digestive disorders.
- The decoction, applied in wet compresses or partial washings, for dermatological affectations (eczema, boils) relieved pain and inflammation from bumps, bruises, strains, sprains, etc.
- It was drinkable in mouthwashes in the case of pharyngitis and mouth ulcers.
- The purified decoction to apply as eye drops in case of blepharitis and conjunctivitis.
- The flour associate with olive or evening primrose oil and applied as a plaster on sprains, strains, eczema, pimples, boils, etc.
Uses of Fenugreek in the Kitchen
Fenugreek seeds use in the making of Egyptian bread, along with wheat flour.
In many cases, it is a valued ingredient in Indian curry, along with turmeric, coriander, cumin, or cayenne, and contributes to the intense ocher coloration, bitter taste, and penetrating aroma of such a mixture of spices.
The seeds also incorporate as a condiment in chicken, fish, and legume stews, among others.
And also, fenugreek finds in only two forms in herbal and health food stores and stores.
It has stimulant, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac, expectorant, laxative, hepatoprotective and diaphoretic properties.