What Is Fenugreek Good For?
Fenugreek is an annual herb with light green leaves and small white flowers. It’s of the pea family (Fabaceae) and also known as Greek hay (Trigonella foenum-graecum). The fenugreek plant stands erect at two to three feet tall, and the seed pods contain 10–20 small, flat, yellow-brown, pungent and aromatic seeds. Also known as methi.
Fenugreek seeds have a somewhat bitter taste, similar to celery, maple syrup or burnt sugar, and are often used to make medicine. However, fenugreek has a far more pleasant taste when cooked. The seeds are the most widely used part of fenugreek, which are usually dried and ground. The leaves are often used in cooking as well.
Fenugreek can be taken by mouth or used to form a paste that’s applied to the skin to help heal inflammation. Fenugreek extracts are can be found in soaps and cosmetics.
Lowers blood cholesterol
According to studies fenugreek helps to reduce cholesterol level, especially that of the low density lipoprotein (LDL). They are known to be rich source of steroidal saponins that prevent the absorption of cholesterol and triglycerides. Take some fenugreek seeds and grind them into powder. Mix it in a glass of water and drink it. It can also be roasted and chewed to lower blood cholesterols.
Reduces risk of heart disease
Due to the presence of galactomannan, fenugreek plays a key role in maintain your heart health. The seeds contain 25% galactomannan. This is a type of natural soluble fiber which specifically relates to a reduction in cardiovascular disease. It also contains high amount of potassium that counters the action of sodium to help control heart rate and blood pressure. Team a healthy diet with yoga for healthy heart.
Controls blood sugar levels
Diabetic must include fenugreek (either in the form of seeds or leaves) in their diet. Because galactomannan, a natural soluble fibre present in fenugreek slows down the rate of sugar absorption into blood. It also contains amino acid responsible for inducing the production of insulin.
As fenugreek is rich in fibre and antioxidants, it helps in flushing out harmful toxins from the body and thus, aids digestion. In some cases, fenugreek tea is used to relieve indigestion and stomach pain. You can even drink fenugreek decoction early in the morning to deal with constipation. It is an effective treatment for gastritis and indigestion. It helps prevent constipation as well as digestive problems created by stomach ulcers. This is because it is a natural digestive tonic, and its lubricating properties help soothe your stomach and intestines
Helps counter acid reflux or heartburn
One teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in your food can be an effective remedy for acid reflux or heartburn. Mucilage of fenugreek seeds coat the lining of the stomach and intestine and soothe irritated gastrointestinal tissues. Before consuming, you can soak the methi seeds in water to make their outer coat mucilaginous.
Helps you lose weight
Include fenugreek in your weight loss diet by chewing soaked methi seeds in the morning on an empty stomach. Fenugreek seeds prevent the accumulation of fat and improve the metabolism of lipids and glucose that help in weight loss. The natural soluble fibre in the fenugreek can swell and fill the stomach thereby suppressing your appetite and aiding your weight loss goals.
Remedy for fever and sore throat
Fenugreek, when taken with a teaspoon of lemon and honey, can work wonders to reduce fever by nourishing the body. The soothing effect of mucilage in fenugreek also helps to relieve cough and pain from sore throat.
Increases breast milk production in lactating women
Fenugreek ranks high among the ‘must haves’ for nursing mothers. This is due to the presence of diosgenin in the spice which increases milk production in lactating mothers.
Induces and eases child-birth
Fenugreek has been known to be helpful in inducing childbirth by stimulating uterine contractions. It also reduces labour pain. But here’s a word of caution. Excess intake of fenugreek seeds during pregnancy could put you at risk of miscarriage or premature childbirth.
Helps reduce menstrual discomfort
Fenugreek contains compounds like diosgenin and isoflavones with oestrogen-like properties which help reduce symptoms like discomfort and menstrual cramps associated with PMS. These compounds also ease symptoms of menopause like hot flashes and mood fluctuations. Women are more prone to iron deficiency during adolescence (initiation of menstrual periods), during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Including green leafy veggies like fenugreek (methi) in your diet can supply a good amount of iron. But make sure to add tomatoes or potatoes to the preparations to enhance the iron absorption.
Helps increase breast size
The oestrogen-like property of fenugreek can help in breast enlargement by balancing hormones in women. Have up to 3 grams of these seeds per day. You can soak these seeds in water for couple of hours and consume them with curd or yogurt. Another way is to sprinkle dry fenugreek seeds powder in salads or curries that you have everyday.
Helps prevent colon cancer
The fibre content (saponins, mucilage, etc.) of fenugreek binds to toxins in the food and flush them out. This in turn helps to protect the mucous membrane of the colon from cancer.
Helps soothe skin inflammation and reduces scars
While Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant, fenugreek also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that aid in the treatment of various skin problems like burns, boils and eczema. The seeds are known to help in getting rid of scars. All you need to do is apply a clean cloth soaked in methi seed paste to fight skin inflammation.
Helps treat skin problems
Fenugreek or methi can be used in face packs to help prevent blackheads, pimples, wrinkles, etc. Washing your face with water boiled with fenugreek seeds or applying a paste of fresh fenugreek leaves for twenty minutes on your face can work wonders for your skin. Read more about beauty benefits of methi.
Can help resolve hair problems
Using fenugreek as a part of your diet or as a paste to directly apply on your hair makes your hair shiny and black. Massaging your head everyday with boiled fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in coconut oil can be an excellent remedy for thinning of hair and hair fall.