What is Fenugreek Plant?
The fenugreek is a small annual leguminous herb belonging in the fabaceae family, genus: Trigonella. Fenugreek seeds are tiny, bitter, dicotyledonous seeds of herb fenugreek. Toasted gently, they exhibit strongly aromatic and pungent flavour. Fenugreek grows up to about 1-2 feet in height with light green color tri-foliate leaves and white flowers. It bears long, slender, yellow-brown pods containing about 10-20 golden-yellow color seeds. Its seeds are small, hard, and resemble tiny, multi-faceted stone-pieces. Raw seeds have maple flavour and bitter taste; however, their taste becomes more acceptable once they gently roasted under light heat Fenugreek is native to the sub-Himalayan plains of Indian subcontinent, and today, it is widely grown all over the southern and Mediterranean Europe, Middle-East Asia and northern African regions.
Health Benefits of Fenugreek Plant
Reduces Menstrual Discomfort: Fenugreek is considered as a potent substance that eases the process of menstruation and relieves the associated symptoms. It is an emmenagogue, which means that it can open up obstructed menses to make the most feminine of processes work smoothly and comfortably.
Prevents Colon Cancer: Fenugreek possesses anti-carcinogenic potential. The steroid diosgenin in Fenugreek has been specifically linked to colon cancer prevention. Furthermore, 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 mucus membrane, which can reduce colorectal cancer and other conditions that can negatively affect the colon.
Appetite Suppressant: The natural soluble fiber galactomannan can swell in the stomach and thus suppress appetite by making you feel full.
Minimizes Symptoms of Menopause: Fenugreek contains the chemicals diosgenin and estrogenic isoflavones, which are similar to the female sex hormone, estrogen. Loss of estrogen causes menopausal symptoms. So, eating fenugreek helps to reduce menopausal symptoms like mood swings, depression, cramps, and abnormal hunger pangs. It helps to monitor a number of other hormones as well, keeping many other bodily processes in line as well.
Reduces Cholesterol: 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, you reduce the chances of clots forming or becoming stuck in the vessels. It helps to reduce the level of low density Lipoprotein (LDL) significantly, which can prevent various conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes
Reduces Cardiovascular Risk: The seeds contain 25% galactomannan. This is a type of natural soluble fiber which specifically relates to a reduction in cardiovascular disease.
Controls Diabetes: A certain amino acid (4-hydroxyisoleucine) in fenugreek induces the production of insulin so therefore, 15-20 grams of fenugreek is recommended for controlling blood sugar on a daily basis. By slowly releasing insulin to the body rather than in massive chunks, overall bodily function is improved, and the plunges and peaks of blood sugar won’t be an issue for diabetic patients and Because of the presence of the natural fiber galactomannan, fenugreek slows down the rate at which sugar is absorbed into bloodstream.
Relief for Sore Throats: Fenugreek’s soothing mucilage helps to relieve sore throat pain and cough.
Good for Breast Feeding Mothers: This benefit is attributed to the presence of diosgenin in fenugreek. This can help increase the amount of milk that is produced by the breasts, and the magnesium and vitamin content of fenugreek also help the milk’s quality to keep your infant healthy.
Relieves constipation: It adds bulk to the stool due to its high fiber content. This also makes it helpful in treating constipation and diarrhea, while also relieving minor indigestion.
Uses of Fenugreek Plant
- Fenugreek seeds added to cereals and wheat flour (bread) or made into gruel, given to the nursing mothers may increase breast milk production
- Its seeds have been used in many traditional medicines as a laxative, digestive, and as a remedy for cough and bronchitis.
- Fenugreek seeds are being used in a wide range of culinary recipes, especially in spice mix.
- If used regularly, fenugreeks may help control cholesterol, triglyceride as well as high blood sugar (glycemic) levels in diabetics.