(Trigonella foenum-graecum) of the pea family (Fabaceae).
Also Known as: Greek hay.
Composition of Fenugreek
Most of the health benefits of fenugreek are due to the presence of saponins and fibers in it. It is also used for herbal healing. Its seeds contain a gumming substance called mucilage and when mixed with water, mucilage expands and becomes a gelatinous salve for irritated tissues.
It is a member of the bean family and its scientific family name is Fabaceae. These health benefits are due to the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals found in this powerful plant.It contains a wide variety of beneficial nutrients, including iron, magnesium, manganese, and copper, as well as vitamin B6, protein, and dietary fiber. Fenugreek also contains a number of powerful phytonutrients, including choline, trigonelline, yamogenin, gitogenin, diosgenin, tigogenin and neotigogens.
Health benefits of Fenugreek
Fenugreek is sometimes recommended as an alternative treatment for constipation, the New York University Langone Medical Center explains. Many people have reported beneficial effects on constipation after taking Fenugreek. Another remedy that has been very useful in diarrhea treatment is fenugreek. The seeds of this herb contain up to 50% mucilage, a type of fiber, which absorb water in the intestine and swells.
Fenugreek seeds are a useful remedy for peptic ulcers. The seeds, when moistened with water, are slightly mucilaginous. This helps in the healing of ulcers as the mild coating of mucilaginous material deposited by fenugreek, passes through the stomach and intestines, providing a protective shell for the ulcers.
It has been found that fenugreek can regulate our blood cholesterol levels and help to maintain cardiovascular health efficiently. Fenugreek contains certain chemical compounds, which have great cholesterol-lowering effects.
History of Fenugreek
Fenugreek has a long history as both a culinary and medicinal herb in the ancient world. It was one of the spices the Egyptians used for embalming, and the Greeks and Romans used it for cattle fodder. It was grown extensively in the imperial gardens of Charlemagne. The seeds were also used to produce a yellow dye for coloring wool. As Fenugreek spread around the Mediterranean, ancient physicians learned that its seeds contained a great deal of mucilage and provided many health benefits.