What is Fenugreek?
Fenugreek seeds are the seeds from the fenugreek plant, which bears the scientific name Trigonella foenum-graecum. The seeds are primarily used as a spice and can be found sprinkled on top of many Asian dishes. These seeds can also be found in powdered form and used as a flavoring agent in curry pastes, soups, and stews and the seeds look like small yellow-to-brown kernels.
Fenugreek seeds can be eaten whole or can be ground into a powdered spice form. They are rich in flavonoids, saponins, alkaloids, amino acids, protein, and fiber. They also contain vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and other minerals.
Fenugreek have many health benefits which includes help to improve digestion and heart health, while protecting hormone levels, easing menstruation issues, and protecting the body against infections. However, fenugreek can cause diarrhea, gas, and indigestion in some, particularly in those who are allergic to it.
History of Fenugreek
Fenugreek is believed to have been brought into cultivation in the Near East. While Zohary and Hopf are uncertain which wild strain of the genus Trigonella gave rise to domesticated fenugreek, charred fenugreek seeds have been recovered from Tell Halal, Iraq (carbon dated to 4000 BC), and Bronze Age levels of Lachish and desiccated seeds from the tomb of Tutankhamen.Cato the Elder lists fenugreek with clover and vetch as crops grown to feed cattle.
In one first-century A.D. recipe, the Romans flavoured wine with fenugreek. In the 1st century AD, in Galilee, it was grown as a food staple, as Josephus mentions it in his book, the Wars of the Jews
Nutrition Value of Fenugreek
Nutritional Facts Of Fenugreek
|SERVING SIZE 100 GRAMS|
|Amount Per serving|
|Calories 323||Calories from Fat 54|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 6g||10%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||7%|
|Total Carbohydrate 58g||19%|
|Dietary Fiber 25g||98%|
|Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.|
|Amounts Per Selected Serving||%DV|
|Amounts Per Selected Serving||%DV|
Amount Per 100 grams
- Calories 323
- Total Fat 6 g – 9% RDA
- Sodium 67 mg – 2% RDA
- Potassium 770 mg – 22% RDA
- Total Carbohydrate 58 g – 19% RDA
- Dietary fiber 25 g – 100% RDA
- Protein 23 g – 46% RDA
- Vitamin A 1% RDA
- Vitamin C 5% RDA
- Calcium 17% RDA
- Iron 186% RDA
- Vitamin B-6 30% RDA
- Magnesium 47% RDA
Amazing Health Benefits of Fenugreek
1. Regulates Blood Sugar
Fenugreek contains natural fiber galactomannan which slows down the the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. A certain amino acid (4-hydroxyisoleucine) in fenugreek induces the
production of insulin by stimulating the pancreatic cells. Fenugreek also inhibits the activity of alpha-amylase and sucrase, enzymes that break down large sugars into glucose. They lower the overall sugar concentration in the blood
Nutrition Health Benefits of Fenugreek
2. Heart Health
Fenugreek consumption reduces the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) which helps prevent various conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. Also it is a rich source of fiber which scrapes excess cholesterol off of the arteries and blood vessels of the body. By reducing cholesterol
content in the bloodstream it reduces the chances of clot forming or becoming stuck in the vessels.
3. Breast Milk Production
Fenugreek contains diosgenin which is attributed to increase in the amount of milk that is produced by the breasts, and the magnesium and vitamin content of fenugreek also help improve the milk’s quality to keep the infant healthy.
Experts recommend taking fenugreek supplements in the form of capsules if you are using the spice for this purpose. Each capsule is approximately 600 milligrams, and 2-3 should be taken at once at three different times of the day.
4. Reduces Menstrual Discomfort
Fenugreek is an emmenagogue, which means that it can open up obstructed menses which help ease the process of menstruation and relieves the associated symptoms.
5. Minimizes Menopause Symptoms
Fenugreek contain the chemicals diosgenin and estrogenic isoflavones, which are similar to the female sex hormone, estrogen. Loss of estrogen causes menopausal symptoms. Fenugreek helps reduce menopausal symptoms like mood swings, depression, cramps, and abnormal hunger pangs. It helps monitor a number of other hormones as well, keeping many other bodily processes in line as well.
6. Reduces Colon Cancer Risk
Fenugreek has steroid diosgenin which has anti-carcinogenic properties and has been specifically linked to colon cancer prevention. The various non-starch polysaccharides like saponins, hemicellulose, mucilage, tannin, and pectin, lower cholesterol levels and inhibit bile salts from being reabsorbed by the colon. This can bind to the toxins and protect the colon’s mucous membrane, which can reduce colorectal cancer.
7. Weight Management
The natural soluble fiber galactomannan helps suppress appetite by making one feel full for longer thereby reducing over eating and snacking between meals.
8. Improves Digestive Problems and Cholesterol Levels
Fenugreek may help with numerous digestive problems, such as upset stomach, constipation and inflammation of the stomach. For instance, the water-soluble fiber in fenugreek, among other foods, helps relieve constipation.It also works to treat digestion and is often incorporated in an ulcerative colitis diet treatment plan due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
Fenugreek also seems to benefit those with heart conditions, such as hardening of the arteries and high blood levels of certain fats, including cholesterol and triglycerides. It also shows potential for helping those who are diabetic. In fact, a study out of India showed that administering 2.5 grams of fenugreek twice daily for three months to people dealing with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus significantly lowered cholesterol naturally, along with triglycerides, without affecting HDL cholesterol.
9. Brain Health
It reduced the activity of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine), reduced the production of proteins that lead to plaque formation in the nervous system,
and improved learning and memory. This helps lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
10. Skin Care
Fenugreek has anti inflammatory properties which help treat acne. It also contains salicylic acid which helps remove clogging in follicles and also acts as a gentle natural peel that reduces the formation of trademark pimples or comedones of acne.
11. Reduces Inflammation Inside the Body
Fenugreek helps with inflammation within the body, such as:
- Mouth ulcers
- Infection of the tissues beneath the surface of the skin
- Chronic coughs
- Kidney ailments
According to Dr. Richard Palmquist, chief of integrative health services at Centinela Animal Hospital in Inglewood, Calif., fenugreek was discovered to have medicinal qualities thousands of years ago by Ayurvedic medicine practitioners. Thought to lower blood sugar, he reports it’s useful for many things, including management of metabolic and nutritive disorders such as diabetes.
Fenugreek appears to slow absorption of sugars in the stomach and stimulate insulin. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the spice is known as a “phlegm mover” and is said to break up stuck energies and cool inflammation within the body.
Research published in International Immunopharmacology studied the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant of fenugreek mucilage on arthritic rats and confirmed fenugreek’s power to fight inflammation. It also “demonstrated the potential beneficiary effect of fenugreek mucilage on adjuvant induced arthritis in rats,” meaning fenugreek may be an effective natural arthritis treatment as well.
12. Increases Libido in Men
Some fenugreek uses for men include treating hernias, erectile dysfunction and other male problems, such as baldness. That’s because fenugreek may increase sexual arousal and testosterone levels.
While it’s best to consult with a physician before using natural therapies for treating illnesses or improving sexual performance, supplements produced from fenugreek have been shown to increase sexual desire and performance in men, as well as naturally remedy impotence.
In a study published in Phytotherapy Research, 60 men between the ages of 25 and 52 years with no history of erectile dysfunction were supplemented with either a placebo or 600 milligrams of fenugreek extract per day for six weeks. Through self-evaluation, the participants noted their results with fenugreek, reporting that the fenugreek dietary supplement had a positive effect on their libidos. Ultimately, the study found that fenugreek extract had a significant influence on sexual arousal, energy and stamina and helped participants maintain normal testosterone levels.
13. Lowers Inflammation from Outside the Body
In addition to lowering internal inflammation, fenugreek is sometimes warmed and used externally as a poultice. This reduces external inflammation and can treat:
- Pain and swelling in the muscles and lymph nodes
- Leg ulcers
It’s important to test the area first to ensure that it does not burn or further inflame, however.
14. Adds Flavor and Spice to Food
In foods, fenugreek is often included as an ingredient in spice blends, mostly found in Indian fare, such as curried dishes. It’s also used as a flavoring agent in imitation maple syrup, foods, beverages and tobacco. The leaves from the plant can be used in salads, and both fresh and dried leaves are used in Indian cookery.
15. Helps with Eating Disorders
Beyond enhancing flavor, fenugreek has been shown to increase appetite, which results in restorative and nutritive properties. A study published in Pharmacology Biochemistry, and Behavior was designed to investigate the effects of a fenugreek seed extract on feeding behavior. Experiments were performed to determine food consumption and motivation to eat, as well as metabolic-endocrine changes.
The results showed that chronic oral administration of the fenugreek extract significantly increased food intake and the motivation to eat. The report also indicated, however, that the treatment does not prevent anorexia nor the decreased motivation to eat.
In cases of anorexia nervosa, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends taking 250 to 500 milligrams of fenugreek up to three times a day, but it may not be safe for children — so as with any medication or natural treatments, check with your doctor first.
16. Improves Exercise Performance
The Journal of Sports Science and Medicine reports a study of the effects of combined creatine and fenugreek extract supplementation on strength and body composition in men. Forty-seven resistance-trained men were divided into two groups according to body weight. Each group then took either 70 grams of a dextrose placebo, 5 grams of creatine and 70 grams of dextrose, or 3.5 grams of creatine and 900 milligrams of fenugreek extract and participated in a four-day a week periodized resistance-training program for eight weeks.
Body composition, muscular strength endurance and anaerobic capacity of participants was tested. The creatine/fenugreek group showed significant increases in lean mass, bench press and leg press strength. The study concluded that creatine combined with fenugreek extract supplementation had a significant impact on upper body strength and body composition as effectively as the combination of creatine with dextrose.
Why is this good? The use of fenugreek with creatine supplementation may be an effective means for enhancing creatine uptake while eliminating the need for excessive amounts of simple carbohydrates, so you may want to consider adding fenugreek to your list of best foods for athletes.
17. Cure for Skin Inflammation
It is used as an aid for skin inflammation. It is useful for boils, eczema, abscesses, muscle pain, burns and gout among other issues. It lowers inflammatory pain and swelling if used as a poultice.
Cure for Acne/Blackheads and Wrinkles
Add honey to the paste and like a face mask on the skin for dealing with acne. It is effective for cystic acne too. It is also used for eliminating blackheads and wrinkles. It eliminates harmful toxins that are gathered beneath epidermis and also tones outer layers of skin.
Fenugreek also acts as an anti-ageing treatment. It counteracts free-radicals in the body, repairs damaged skin cells and also regenerates new ones. These helps to lower signs and symptoms of ageing such as wrinkles, facial lines, age spots and spots.
Fenugreek could be used as an skin exfoliator. It exfoliates the face and disclose gorgeous skin.
18. Fenugreek Seeds for Hair Growth
Along with the use on face, Methi seeds are effective towards dandruff, hair fall, dandruff and prevent baldness and hair thinning. Add it to the daily diet or apply directly as a paste on the hair. Fenugreek is a great solution for all hair-related problems.
Fenugreek seeds have proteins and nicotinic acid that are vital for hair growth. Lecithin in considerable amounts makes hair strong as well as healthy and also hydrates the hair. It lowers hair dryness, conditions hair, cures dandruff, soothes scalp and treat various scalp problems. It is effective for hair fall and strengthen roots.
Methi helps to strengthen hair from the roots and deals with follicular problems. It has hormone antecedents that enhance hair growth that helps to rebuild the hair follicles. This herb possess proteins and nicotinic acid. The diet rich in protein lowers hair loss and stimulates hair growth. It also heals effects on balding hair. The presence of lecithin conditions dry and damaged hair. It is a natural tonic which works well to moisturise hair and provides lustre and bounce to hair.
Dandruff has become a common hair problem. As there are various remedies as well as procedures for dealing dandruff problem. Methi is one of the basic as well as an efficient cure for this problem. In addition to it, methi seeds are also effective for dry scalp and dermatitis.
Lecithin found in methi seeds is an emulsifying substance. The seeds create a slick substance when it is drained in water that provides shine to hair. Methi seeds is a perfect choice for hair. The slippery effect is provided by the mucilage of fenugreek.
Possibly fenugreek is used to reverse hair loss. It has hormone antecedents that promotes hair growth, strengthen and also rebuilds hair follicles.
Repairs Damaged Hair
Soak fenugreek seeds in the water and then wash the hair with that soaked water in order to get a sleek and controllable hair. It moisturizes, conditions and nourishes hair follicles that helps to fix a damaged hair.
Prevents Premature Greying
Fenugreek prevents premature greying of hair. Boil fenugreek seeds (handful amount) by adding coconut oil and massage a hair with that warm oil. Leave it over night and clean it off in the next morning. It avoids premature greying of hair.
19. Fenugreek May Improve Kidney Health
In one study, male rats were given ethylene glycol, which led to the formation of kidney stones and resulted in low red blood cell count and anemia. Rats given fenugreek seeds had increased red blood cell count and hemoglobin and fewer calcium salts in the kidneys. This reduced the risk of developing kidney stones.
Aluminum salts are often used to treat patients with kidney failure, but they can harm the body. Treating rats exposed to aluminum with fenugreek seed powder rebalanced urea, creatinine, and blood sugar levels. Fenugreek also increased antioxidant concentrations, lowered reactive oxygen species, improved the overall quality of kidney tissue, and increased kidney weight back to normal.
20. Fenugreek Can Alleviate Dysmenorrhea (Menstrual Cramps)
In a study (DB-RCT) of 101 female students, scientists tested the severity of their pain during two consecutive menstrual cycles while taking fenugreek or a placebo. Although all of the women had similar levels of pain before the study, the 51 women who received fenugreek reported much less pain at the end of the treatment than the 50 who received the placebo.
More human trials are needed before many of fenugreek’s health benefits are proven. Caution is warranted when using fenugreek for its purported health benefits.
The dosage of fenugreek varies based on the form it is taken in and what the user is trying to treat. For treating type I diabetes, the recommended dose for powdered fenugreek seeds (from which fats have been removed) is 50 g taken twice daily. For treating type II diabetes, seed powder in a capsule should be taken in two doses of 2.5 g each daily. Seed powder on its own has a recommended daily dose of 25 g, divided into two equal doses.
People who are allergic to chickpeas may also have adverse reactions to fenugreek because the two plants contain similar proteins and allergens. Some patients reported spasms in the airways and wheezing. Fenugreek can cause hyperthyroidism (in rats), so people with thyroid problems should avoid fenugreek. Since fenugreek affects uterine contractions, it should not be taken during pregnancy, but it is safe afterward during breastfeeding.
Fenugreek Natural Remedies
- Make a herbal tea wtih fenugreek, lemon and honey. It is used as a cure for fevers.
- Make a paste from fenugreek leaves and used it to scalp before bath. It assist hair regrowth, promotes hair complexion and lowers dandruff.
- Fenugreek is used as a cure for eczema, infections, burns and gout.
- Fenugreek seeds promotes uterine contractions and also induces childbirth.
- Fenugreek extract helps to balance women’s hormones and also helpful to enlarge breasts.
- Prepare a paste by soaking a handful of methi seeds overnight in water. Then grind it to make a rough paste.
- Use it to the scalp and leave it for some hour. Wash hair with a mild shampoo and shikakai.
- Methi lowers itchiness and small bumps on scalp which are the result of heat and dryness. For this, soak fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Then strain the water in the morning and and rinse hair with this water.
- Create a paste of methi seeds and curd (dahi). Use it in your scalp and leave it for around 30 minutes. Then shampoo the hair.
- The pimple marks could be lightened with the use of fenugreek. Boil few seeds of methi in water for about 15 minutes and leave it to cool down. After the seeds are strained, use this liquid in the scars with the use of cotton ball. It should be followed for a week to known the results.
- Make a paste by grinding seeds that are soaked overnight. Use it to marks and let it dry completely. Then wash that area with water and use it daily to remove the burn marks.
- The eruption of pimples could be avoided with methi leaves. Grind the leaves by mixing little water for making a paste. Use it to face during night. Then rinse it in the next morning with the use of lukewarm water. Use it regularly in case the skin is vulnerable to acne.
- Drink the mixture of two teaspoons of fenugreek seeds powder and milk for 1 month for the management of early stage of diabetes.
- Drink buttermilk by adding half teaspoon of fenugreek seed powder to cure stomach ache.
- Gargle with fenugreek infusion for 5 to 6 times a day to provide relief from sore throat. In addition it also lowers mouth sores.
- Apply a paste of fenugreek leaves or seeds to cure boils.
- Use fenugreek decoction as a douche to manage leucorrhoea.
- Consume fenugreek tea to reduce bad breath as well as body odor.
- Boil fenugreek leaves and fry it in butter. Then consume it two times in a day for avoiding stomach problems.
- Use the mixture of fenugreek seeds and yogurt for hair conditioning.
- Cook fenugreek leaves with coconut milk and garlic. Consume it in winters for healing arthritis pain.
- Boil a cup of fenugreek leaves with honey. It helps to lower constipation. It should be followed two times per day.
- Prepare a paste of fenugreek seeks and use it in head. Wash it after 40 to 45 minutes for treating hair fall and baldness.
- It possess laxative, demulcent, expectorant, nutritive and orexigenic properties.
- Topically it is used as vulnerary and emollient.
- It is used for treating dyspepsia, anorexia, convalescence and gastritis.
- It is topically used for myalgia, furunculosis, gout, lymphadenitis, leg ulcers and wounds.
- It is used internally to lower the blood sugar, increase milk production, treat diabetes and upper respiratory catarrh.
- Use the poultice externally as a cure for ulcers, local inflammation and eczema.
- In Chinese medicine, it is used as a treatment for impotence, cold pain in lower abdomen and hernia.
- In Indian medicine, it is a cure for vomiting, fever, coughs, anorexia, colitis and bronchitis.
- As a poultice, it is useful for boils, abscesses and carbuncles.
It is also used to lower cholesterol level and glucose level that could effectively treat Type 1 as well as Type 2 diabetes.
- Fenugreek is useful for enhancing libido, healthy metabolism and cure rashes, boils and wounds, heals acid reflux and also treats aching throat.
- It is helpful for hormonal disorders, encourage labor and manage reproductive disorders.
- Fenugreek is a cure for digestive problems such as stomach boating, pain, cramps, diarrhea, intestinal gas and also restores digestion.
- It relieves anemia, chronic cough, treat skin irritations, sore throat, terrible breath, mouth ulcers and respiratory infections.
- Leaves provide relief from arthritis pain.
Medicinal Uses Of Fenugreek Seed
- Its seeds have been in use in many traditional medicines as a laxative, digestive, and as a remedy for a cough and bronchitis.
- If used regularly; fenugreeks may help control cholesterol, triglyceride as well as high blood sugar (glycemic) levels in people with diabetes.
- Fenugreek seeds added to cereals and wheat flour (bread) or made into gruel, given to the nursing mothers may increase breast milk production.
Selection And Storage Of Fenugreek
Fenugreek seeds are readily available in the spice stores all around the year. One may find different forms of seeds such as whole seeds, powdered or vacuum packed paste in these stores. Choose whole seeds from authentic brands. The seeds should feature bright golden-yellow color, hard and exude delicate maple flavor. Avoid old stocks as they may infect by fungal mold and out of flavor.
Store whole seeds in airtight glass container and place in a cool, dark place where it can stay fresh for several months. Powdered or paste form of fenugreek, however, should be kept in the air-sealed packets and placed inside the refrigerator.
Culinary Uses Of Fenugreek
Traditionally, fenugreek seeds are in use in a wide range of culinary recipes, especially in the spice mix. The seeds either in the forms of whole seeds, sprouted, powder, sauce or as paste used in a variety of savory dishes in many parts of Middle-East, India, Mediterranean and Central Asian regions.
The seeds should be added in small quantities to food since they possess strong aroma and bitter taste. Dry fry under the low flame in order to mellow their flavor.
How To Eat Fenugreek
- Fenugreek is used as a vegetable, spice and herb.
- In India, fenugreek seeds and seeds are used to make Methi Ghatia Snack.
- It is mostly used in cuisines of Indian Subcontinent and for preparing daals, pickles and spice mixes.
- Its leaves are used as an ingredient in Indian curries.
- The microgreens and sprouted seeds are added to salads.
- Fenugreek is used in Turkish cuisine to make a paste called cemen.
- Fenugreek leaves are the vital ingredient in Persian cuisine.
- To lower the bitterness, roast the seeds lightly.
- The essential oil of Fenugreek is used to add flavor to vanilla composition, pickles and liquorice.
- The seeds grounded are used as a substitute for maple syrup.
- Tea could be made from the seeds and leaves.
- The seed pods are cooked.
- The seeds roasted are a perfect substitute for coffee.
Other Facts Of Fenugreek
- India is the largest producer of fenugreek where Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar
- Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra are major producers.
- Dried plant resembles the aroma of hay.
- Seeds are used to obtain yellow dye.
How to Buy Fenugreek
Purchase fenugreek according to your specific requirements. If you are buying to cook in meals, purchase fenugreek seeds. However, if you are looking for a cure, you should buy fenugreek in the form of capsules as they can be taken between meals.
Fenugreek seeds are easily available in grocery stores, while fenugreek food supplements can be bought from a local health store.
Always buy fenugreek from a store with good turnover to ensure its maximum freshness.
Quick Serving Ideas For Fenugreek
- Fenugreek is one of the chief ingredients in Indian curry and masala powders.
- Small quantity of sprouted seeds added to vegetables and lentil dishes.
- Fenugreek greens, known as methi, either fresh or dried, is one of the prominent leafy-greens featuring in India, Pakistan, and Persian cooking with spinach, potato (aaloo-methi), carrots, etc.
- Sprouted fenugreek seeds used in salads, paste, dips, fillings, etc.
Aromatic blackeye bean curry
- 2 x 410g/14oz tins of black eyed beans (or use 225g/8oz dried beans, soaked overnight and cooked)
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1cm/½in stick cinnamon
- ½ – 2 tsp crushed chilli flakes
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 10 curry leaves (fresh or dried)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 5cm/2in piece fresh ginger, grated
- salt to taste
- 550ml/1pint water
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh coconut, grated (optional, but do not use desiccated)
- Drain and rinse the beans, and mash a few lightly with fork.
- Put the cumin, coriander, fennel and fenugreek seeds with the cinnamon stick into a small heavy-based frying pan. Roast on a medium heat, stirring frequently until the spices change colour and become aromatic, taking care not to burn them.
- Grind the roasted spices into a fine powder in a coffee grinder, and add crushed chilli flakes.
- Heat the oil over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Remove the pan immediately from heat, cover, and let the seeds and leaves crackle and pop.
- Put the pan back on heat, add the onion and cook until light golden. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook for a further 30 seconds.
- Add the beans, ground spice mixture, salt, and water, and bring to the boil.
- Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Top with coriander leaves and fresh coconut, if using, and serve with rice or flatbreads.
Jamaican Curry Powder
- 1/4 cup whole coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
- 2 tablespoons whole anise seeds
- 1 tablespoon whole fenugreek seeds
- 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
- 5 tablespoons ground turmeric
Combine the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, anise seeds, fenugreek seeds, and allspice berries in a skillet. Toast over medium heat until the color of the spices slightly darkens, and the spices are very fragrant, about 10 minutes. Remove the spices from the skillet, and allow to cool to room temperature. Grind the spices with the turmeric in a spice grinder. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Chicken and Mushroom Masala with Fenugreek, Turmeric and Curry
- 1 cup of fresh, organic mushrooms, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 4–5 small organic chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup kefir
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 cup fresh fenugreek (methi leaves) or 2 tablespoons dry fenugreek leaves, rinsed and chopped
- 4 chopped medium-size fresh tomatoes
- 1 chopped medium onion
- 1 green chili, sliced or chopped
- ¼ tablespoon ginger paste or 1/2 tablespoon freshly chopped ginger
- ¼ tablespoon garlic paste or 1/2 tablespoon freshly chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- salt to taste
- 1-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 big cardamom
- 2–3 green cardamom
- 2–3 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- Place mushrooms and chicken in a bowl with kefir and curry to marinate for approximately 30 minutes.
- Chop the remaining ingredients while marinating.
- Heat ghee in a pan, and be careful not to burn.
- Add the cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf.
- Sauté until the mixture becomes fragrant, but make sure not to burn it.
- Add the onions and sauté until golden brown.
- Add the green chili, ginger and garlic.
- Then add the tomatoes and continue to sauté with continuous stirring.
- If needed, add a little water to keep it from drying out.
- Add the turmeric, coriander and red chili powder.
- Add the marinated mushrooms and chicken.
- Add the chopped fenugreek leaves.
- Add about a ½ cup of water.
- Stir, cover the pan and slowly simmer, making sure to cook the chicken thoroughly.
- Serve over basmati rice or quinoa.
Fenugreek Maple Puffs
- 1 tbsp fenugreek seed
- ½ lb of brown sugar
- ½ lb of maple syrup
- ½ cup of water
- ½ cup of chopped candied orange peel
- ½ cup of chopped dates
- ½ cup of raisins
- 1 cup of English walnuts
- 2 egg whites
- Boil sugar, water and put fenugreek seeds in a metal tea ball.
- After five minutes remove it.
- Continue to cook syrup till it spins a heavy thread.
- Beat egg whites till it becomes very stiff and pour hot syrup over then by beating continually.
- Add dates, walnuts, raisins and orange peel when the mixture becomes stiffen.
- Beat it until it is able to hold the shape.
- With the use of tablespoon, place it on waxed paper and let it remain until it is firm.
Potatoes with Fenugreek
- 1 lb of new potatoes
- 5 tbsp of unsalted butter
- 6 oz of fresh fenugreek leaves (finely chopped ) or 2 tbsp of dried fenugreek leaves
- ½ tsp of mango powder (optional)
- ½ tsp of curry powder
- Ground black pepper
- Put the potatoes in boiling salter water for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Then drain it and pat dry.
- In a large pan put the butter.
- Then add fenugreek leaves and potatoes and cook it for 10 to 15 minutes till it becomes golden.
- Sprinkle it on curry and cook for further five minutes and it should be even golden brown in color.
- Add seasonings for taste. Then it could be served hot or at room temperature.
Red Lentils with Fenugreek or Methi Dal
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter)
- ½ tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 Thai chili or jalapeno, slit
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 cup red lentils
- ¾ tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 cup fresh fenugreek leaves (or substitute 2 Tbsp. dried fenugreek)
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add cumin and chili into the oil. When the cumin sizzles, add onion and sauté on medium heat until onion is soft. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add lentils and turmeric to saucepan and stir. Pour in 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until lentils are cooked – about 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, wash fenugreek leaves and tender stems, discarding the rest. Measure 1 cup of fenugreek greens to stir into the dal for 2 minutes toward the end of cooking. Stir in lemon juice, and salt. Use as a topping over seasoned basmati rice or rice noodles.
Fenugreek is an erect, hairy and annual plant that reaches from 10-50 cm high. It has long and slender stems which bear toothed, tripartite, grey to green obocate leaves. It has fingery structure roots. It possesses white or pale yellow axillary flowers. The pods have a curved beak like tip that possess 10 to 20 seeds. The plant has spicy odour that remains on hand after touching. It prefers mild Mediterranean climate. The plant matures on four months.
Flower and Fruit
Flowers are 0.8-1.8 cm long, solitary or in pairs and is sessile. The membranous calyx tube is longer in comparison to lanceolate tips. It has pale yellow corolla that could be darker or violet and measures double in the length of calyx. Wings measure half as long as standard. Longer than calyx, carina is round and obtuse.
The plant produces a pod as fruit which is about 0.5-1 cm wide, 2.5-10 cm long and is linear, erect, leaning and appressed pubescent having a long lip. The pod possess about 4 to 20 flattened seeds which are yellow to brown or brown to red, ovate to di-shaped and deep groove.
Leaves, root and stem
This plant has long and vertical taproot. The branched stems are erect or decumbent, round and sturdy. Trifoliate leaves have 0.5-2 cm long petioles. It has obovate to oblong to lanceolate leaflets which measures 1 to 3 cm long and is rounded to obtusely deltoid. The large and membranous stipules are acute, ovate and softly pubescent.
How To Grow Fenugreek
Fenugreek is a Mediterranean herb used for cooking, spice, cosmetics, soaps, healing inflammation, and even improving digestive problems and lowering cholesterol. Although you can buy fenugreek capsules containing the ground seeds at most health food stores, this herb may not be commonly found in your local grocery store. By properly preparing your garden area and then planting and tending to your fenugreek, you can have an abundant and cheap supply of fenugreek.
1. Preparing for Planting
- Get fenugreek seeds. Before you can grow fenugreek for yourself, you will need to obtain the seeds from which the plants grow. If you know someone who already grows this herb, you could ask them for some, but most likely you will need to buy some. Because fenugreek is commonly used in Indian curries and homeopathic medicine, you can try an Indian grocery store or an herb shop. You can also try online stores Amazon.com, Foodtolive.com, or Nuts.com. Depending on where you buy from and whether or not you buy organic seeds, it will cost anywhere between 25 cents to $1 for an ounce of fenugreek seeds.
- Pick a space to grow your fenugreek. Although some plants are particular in that they must be planted in tightly controlled conditions, fenugreek can be planted in the soil in your yard, a twelve inch planter, or even an aluminum tray filled with dirt. Ideally you want an area with full sun, but partial shade or even filtered sunlight will also work. Fenugreek does not do well when transplanted, so either plan to plant your fenugreek in the area where it will mature from the beginning, or try using a biodegradable pot that you can plant into the ground later.
- Check the soil conditions. You will want the soil you use to have a well-drained, loamy texture. It should also have a slightly acidic pH balance. 6.4 pH is considered ideal, but anything between 6.0 and 7.0 pH is generally considered acceptable, so test it before you plant your seeds.
- Schedule to plant around early spring. Fenugreek prospers in warm soil, so any time from spring to early autumn will work for most places. If you live in a colder place, or you want to start growing your fenugreek before spring, you can start it off indoors as early as 5 weeks before the last frost.
- Prepare your soil. Fenugreek seeds must be continually kept moist, but you also have to make sure they don’t become overwatered. For that purpose you will need to make sure that the water can easily drain away by breaking up any large chunks of soil. You can also mix in river sand to make it drain better, and add organic compost material and manure to help fertilize it better. You’ll also need to make sure that there is space to cover your seeds with more potting soil. If you are planting your seeds in an outdoor garden, you’ll want to dig the ground up to 25 cm down to break up soil. If you are using a container (like a pot or an aluminum pan) with loose potting soil instead, you probably won’t need to break any of the soil once you’ve poured it into the container. Be sure to leave some space between the top of the soil and the edge of the container to fill in more soil on top of the seeds once they have been sown.
- Soak the seeds overnight before planting them. Soaking the seeds overnight before you plant them will help to increase their germination rate. Place the seeds in a bowl or cup of room temperature water and leave them there overnight. In the morning, drain the water before planting the seeds.
2. Planting Your Fenugreek
- Sow the seeds. Sprinkle seeds across the dirt in the areas you want your fenugreek to grow. Don’t worry about making sure that the seeds are even or perfectly spaced. Fenugreek seeds don’t have to be distanced a certain amount of space apart in order to grow properly like some plants. Some people recommend soaking the seeds in water overnight before you plant them.
- Cover the seeds with soil. Fenugreek does not need to be buried very deep in soil. In fact, only .5cm, or ¼ inch, of potting soil provides ample coverage for your fenugreek. You will want to be sure they’re buried so that scavengers like birds will not eat them.
- Water the seeds. In order for the seeds to germinate (that is, begin to sprout), you will have to water them in the soil. Make sure that the soil is evenly moist. The excess water should quickly drain away, but you will want to continue to keep it well-moistened over the coming days. Sometime between the third and fifth days they should start to bud.
- Because of the rainy environment that fenugreek adapted to, it’s advised that you maintain a steady slow drip watering method instead of pouring water on the surface periodically. Not only will this make water delivery constant and even, it also allows the water to penetrate the soil deeper and more effectively.
- Watch for pests. Although fenugreek does not suffer from too many pests or diseases, you may notice a powdery mildew, aphids, or charcoal rot. Use organic pesticides and avoid over watering to help control any pests or diseases that may try to attack your fenugreek.
- Wait for the seedlings to mature. It takes between 3-4 weeks for the seedlings to be ready to harvest. You will know that it’s time by the height of the sprouts, which should grow to about 6 inches or 140 mm tall.
- Harvest your fenugreek. Depending on whether you’re trying to get leaves or seeds from your fenugreek you will want to vary how you harvest the plant. For leaves, cut the plant at the stem a few centimeters above the soil or pull them up by the roots. For seeds, wait for the pods on the plant to turn yellow, signalling that they’ve fully ripened, and harvest the seed before the pod pops open.
- Replant. Some varieties of fenugreek do not regrow after flowering. So if you want a constant supply of fresh fenugreek, you should plan to sow seeds every 2-3 weeks, as that is around the time the current set of plants will die. If you want to reuse the same area, especially immediately, you’ll want to pull up the remains of the plants after harvesting and compost them.
Negative Effects Of Fenugreek
There are a few possible fenugreek side effects. When taken by mouth, it may cause gas, bloating and diarrhea. Fenugreek also can cause irritation when applied directly to the skin, so always test a small area first. Even though fenugreek has been used for inducing childbirth, women should always use caution when taking fenugreek during pregnancy. Make sure you talk to your health care provider about fenugreek prior to use.
It’s also important to note that fenugreek could cause harmful effects that can thin the blood and cause excessive bleeding in some people. Those with underlying bleeding disorders or who take blood-thinning medications or anticoagulants should not take fenugreek without their doctors’ approval. Signs of excessive bleeding include easy bruising, vomiting blood or passing dark stools.
1. Cause Body And Urine Odor
Ironically the correct dosage of fenugreek may cause body and urine odor similar to that of maple syrup. Though it’s more of a sickly sweet smell than an odor, not many people would prefer the smell. The question is; is it a worthy price to pay considering the benefits of consuming the right amounts of fenugreek? The answer for that in a lot of cases would be a yes as the smell can be simply masked by a good deodorant spray. This is just for your information in case you are on fenugreek supplements and wonder why you smell like a sweet treat.
2. Loose Motions
Fenugreek has been known to cause loose motions in some mothers and breastfeeding babies and it is usually advised to stop consumption whilst symptoms persist. Loose motions or diarrhea can be easily passed on from mother to baby via means of breast milk which could result in severe dehydration for the breastfeeding child.
One of the main fenugreek side effects is that it may cause hypoglycemia in some mothers. Hypoglycemia is a medical emergency that involves drastically lowered blood sugar levels hence inadequate glucose supply to the brain and can cause serious symptoms such as seizures, permanent brain damage and even death.
4. Uterine Contractions In Pregnant Women
Fenugreek is a uterine stimulant hence excess dosage could cause adverse uterine contractions that may bring on early labor. Fenugreek has oxytocin, a drug that brings on uterine contractions. Though consuming fenugreek in moderate amounts in cooked food is considered safe, taking it is as a supplement in medication form is unadvisable during pregnancy or labor without prior consent from a registered medical practitioner.
5. Allergic Reactions
Considering fenugreek belongs to the same genus of peanuts or chickpeas, it is not uncommon for some people to have allergic reactions to fenugreek. Common symptoms are rash, hives, breathlessness and fainting. Discontinue consumption of fenugreek if you are susceptible to fenugreek allergies.
6. Might be Unsafe for Children
Wondering what are the side effects of fenugreek seeds for children? Well, apart from causing loose motions, there have been reports of loss of consciousness in children brought on by drinking fenugreek tea. It is advisable to discontinue use of fenugreek supplements for children and only use moderate amounts in the meals prepared for your child.
7. Fenugreek Side Effects For Men
Men that suffer from asthma are advised to be cautious about fenugreek consumption because there have been reports of fenugreek aggravating breathing patterns of those suffering from asthma. People suffering from thyroid complication should consult a registered medical practitioner about their fenugreek consumption. There have been multiple reports of fenugreek causing thyroid dysfunctions in males that used fenugreek supplements to treat hernia and other thyroid symptoms.
8. Fenugreek Interactions With Drugs
Fenugreek might decrease blood sugar and taken in combination with diabetes medications may cause dangerously low levels of sugar in the system. Some medications used for diabetes that commonly interact with fenugreek are glimepiride, insulin, glyburide and others.
Because fenugreek is a uterine stimulant when taken in high doses, taking the drug during pregnancy could cause uterine contractions that might lead to preterm labor. Fenugreek has the same effect as oxytocin, a drug that induces uterine contractions in guinea pigs, according to KellyMom, the website of lactation consultant Kelly Bonyata. Using the drug as a cooking herb is safe, according to Babycentre, but supplements should not be taken at any time during pregnancy, including during labor, without your medical practitioner’s approval.
Fenugreek may increase insulin output, which could lower blood glucose levels. While this might be helpful for diabetics, taking fenugreek in addition to anti-diabetic medicine could cause hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar levels. Hypolgycemia can cause irritation, tremors, sweating, hunger and nervousness that can lead to passing out, coma and death if not treated. If you have diabetes, ask your doctor before taking this supplement.
Fenugreek can cause stomach irritation, including diarrhea. A nursing infant who develops diarrhea could become dehydrated. Watch for signs of diarrhea or dehydration in your baby if you take fenugreek to increase milk supply. Sings of dehydration include a decrease in the number of wet diapers, loose skin or a sunken soft spot on top of the baby’s head.
12. Allergic Reactions
Fenugreek belongs to the same family as chickpeas and peanuts; an allergy to either substance could also cause an allergic reaction to fenugreek. Watch for signs of allergic reactions such as rash, shortness of breath, hives, facial swelling, difficulty breathing or collapse. Seek immediate attention if severe allergy symptoms appear.
The ingredients that could cause harmful effects in fenugreek include coumarins, which can thin the blood and could cause excessive bleeding in some people. It’s not known whether the dose in fenugreek is high enough to cause this effect, eMedTV states. However, people who have underlying bleeding disorders or who take blood thinning medications or anticoagulants should not take fenugreek without their doctor’s approval, because increased bleeding could occur. Signs of excessive bleeding include easy bruising, vomiting blood or passing dark, tarry stools.
Safety Profile Of Fenugreek
Excess intake of fenugreek seeds by pregnant mothers would pose premature childbirth risk in them.
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