Fenugreek is an herb similar to clover that is native to the Mediterranean region, southern Europe, and western Asia. The seeds are used in cooking, to make medicine, or to hide the taste of other medicine. Its botanical name is Trigonella foenum- graecumwhich belongs to Fabaceae family. In Hindi, it is known as Methi.
Nutritional Value –
Fenugreek contains many essential nutrients, and this helps make it a strong antioxidant.
Some of these nutrients include:
• Vitamin A
• Vitamin B complex
• Vitamin D
• Soluble and insoluble fiber
Useful Part –
Seeds of fenugreek are used for medicinal purposes and green leaves of fenugreek are used in vegetables.
• Seed powder
Take ½ teaspoon of methi seed powder. It is taken with honey and water after meals twice a day.
Take 1 or 2 methi seed capsules with excess water after meals twice a day.
• Fresh leaves
Fresh methi leaves are chewed preferably with an empty stomach. •Decoction or tea
Take 3 teaspoons of methi seeds and add them to the hot water. Leave it for overnight soaking. On the next day, the water is taken with an empty stomach.
Health Benefits –
Consuming fenugreek seed, mixed with food during a meal, lowers blood sugar levels after the meal in people with type 2 diabetes. In people with type 1 diabetes, taking 50 grams of fenugreek seed powder twice daily seems to reduce the amount of sugar in the urine. Fenugreek appears to slow the absorption of sugars in the stomach and stimulate insulin. Both of these effects lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.
• Painful menstrual periods (dysmenorrhea).
Taking 1800-2700 mg of fenugreek seed powder three times daily for the first 3 days of a menstrual period followed by 900 mg three times daily 9for the remainder of two menstrual cycles reduces pain in women with painful menstrual periods. The need for painkillers was also reduced.
• Increasing interest in sex.
Taking 600 mg of a specific fenugreek seed extract (Libifem, Gencor Pacific Ltd.) each day seems to increase interest in sex in healthy younger women with a low sex drive. Fenugreek might also improve levels of testosterone and estrogen, therefore helping to improve interest in sex.
• Improving sexual performance.
Taking 600 mg of a specific fenugreek seed extract (Testofen, Gencor Pacific Ltd) each day seems to improve ability and interest in sex in older men that have started to lose interest and in healthy younger men.
Fenugreek is sometimes used as a poultice. That means it is wrapped in cloth, warmed, and applied directly to the skin to treat local pain and swelling (inflammation), muscle pain, pain and swelling of lymph nodes (lymphadenitis), pain in the toes (gout), wounds, leg ulcers, and eczema.
Fenugreek is taken by mouth for digestive problems such as loss of appetite, upset stomach, constipation, inflammation of the stomach (gastritis).
• Heart Health.
It is also used for conditions that affect heart health such as “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis) and for high blood levels of certain fats including cholesterol and triglycerides.
• Increase Breast Milk Production.
Fenugreek may help stimulate breast milk production and ease the flow.
Fenugreek may suppress the appetite and increase feelings of fullness, which could help reduce overeating and lead to weight loss.
Methi acts as an antacid for the body, which avoids stomach problems like acidity and ulcers. The soluble fiber present in methi seeds helps increase the stool’s bulking property and thereby smoothen the digestion process. For avoiding problems like bloating and constipation, methi tea can be more effective.
Side Effects –
Some common unwanted effects of fenugreek include:
• an upset stomach
• the urine, sweat, or breast milk taking on a maple-like odor
There are some reports of causing nasal congestion, facial swelling coughing, wheezing, and some severe allergic reactions for sensitive people.
Excess consumption of methi can decrease blood sugar levels to severe levels in people with diabetes.
For patients suffering from low blood pressure, consumption of methi is not recommended.
Pregnant women should avoid using fenugreek because it contains compounds that can stimulate contractions and may cause birth abnormalities.
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