Fenugreek, commonly known as methi dana in Indian houses, is a herb that has been a staple in both Indian as well as European cuisine, along with other parts of Asia. It is popularly used in pickles and curries.
Fenugreek seeds are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and fibres that are great for health. It contains proteins, carbohydrates, fat, magnesium, manganese, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, etc. All these nutrients make it an important and essential ingredient to be used in culinary and also as a home remedy to treat various health conditions.
Benefits of Fenugreek Seeds
Researches state that fenugreek seeds help control blood sugar in the body and decrease insulin resistance. Therefore, people with diabetes are often recommended to include fenugreek seeds in their diet. These seeds have a strong and positive effect on their health.
Fenugreek seeds contain flavonoids that help lower the cholesterol level, especially the Low-Density Lipoprotein, commonly known as the bad cholesterol.
For Stomach Problems-
Fenugreek is a natural digestive tonic that can be great for people suffering from stomach problems. It helps to prevent constipation as well as digestive problems created by stomach ulcers and is also effective for treating gastritis, dyspepsia, and indigestion.
For Healthy Hair-
Fenugreek seeds are rich in proteins and nicotinic acid which makes the hair roots strong and repairs damaged hair follicles. It also contains lecithin which gives shine to the hair. Fenugreek seeds also have some medicinal properties that help to preserve the hair pigment and also delay greying of hair.
Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)-
Consume 1800-2700 milligrams of fenugreek seed powder thrice a day for the initial 3 days of menstrual days. For the remaining two menstrual cycles, consume 900 milligrams three times daily. This reduces the pain in women with painful menstrual periods.
For Gut Strengthening-
Herbal tea made of fenugreek helps to strengthen the gut. For this Roast fenugreek seeds and cook them well with milk. Add a little sugar if needed. This is taken as a substitute for tea or coffee and it provides strength to the intestines and improves digestion power.
For Weight loss-
Fenugreek seeds may give a feeling of fullness by suppressing the appetite. This helps to reduce overeating and assists in weight loss.
Regular consumption of fenugreek tea may help purify the blood and prevent infections. This may help keep the skin radiant, healthy, clear, and free of pimples. A paste made of fenugreek leaves can be applied to the affected area. Apply this paste at night and wash it off in the morning.
Other Benefits of Fenugreek seeds are-
- Cholesterol levels- Some evidence from the researches indicates that fenugreek seeds can lower cholesterol levels.
- Heartburn- One 2-week study in people with frequent heartburn found that fenugreek matches the effect of antacid medicine and reduces the symptoms of heartburn.
- Inflammation- Researches show that fenugreek seeds contain anti-inflammatory effects in rats and mice. Though more research is needed to prove its efficiency in humans.
Side-effects of Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek is safe in normal amounts in culinary use. However, excess consumption may lead to certain side effects such as-
- Diarrhoea, upset stomach, bloating, gas, dizziness, and headache.
- It may also cause coughing, nasal congestion, wheezing, facial swelling, and several severe allergic reactions in people having sensitive bodies.
- It is avoided when the person is having bleeding disorders such as nasal bleeding.
- It is best to avoid fenugreek when suffering from diarrhoea as it is a mild laxative.
Where is it Cultivated?
Fenugreek is native to South Asia and Southeastern Europe but is now widely found, including North and East Africa, China, Greece, and Ukraine.