The native land of fenugreek is India and Southern Europe. It has been grown in wild India from many centuries. Here it is mainly cultivated. The limited amount of this crop is grown in France.
Family History- The name of the wonderful herb is derived from Latin word “Greek Hay” tells its classical use which is that it used as a fodder. The botanical name of the herb is Trigonella foenum-graecumand it belongs to the Leguminosae family. The general names of the herb are bird’s foot, Fenugreek, Goat’s Horn. In French, it is called Fenugrec Sénegré, trigonelle. In Germany, the herb is called with a name Bockshornklee, Griechisches heu. Fieno Greco is the Italian name of the herb. Alholva, fenogreco is the Spanish name of the wonderful herb. In India, this is known with names like Mayti, Methe, Methi. In Tamil, the name is Venthium. Alba is its Malay name. In Sinhalese, it is known with a name Uluhaal.
Benefits of Fenugreek
As it has multiple medical benefits so, the herb is used by the Egyptians to fight with fever and also grown in classical time as cattle fodder. It also has some commercial uses as this is used to prepare mango chutneys. Also, it has been used as a base for imitation maple syrup. The medical use of the herb is that it is used as a yellow dyestuff. This is a perfect soil renovator and also used as an oriental cattle fodder. In the Western areas of the world, this herb is used for the treatment of animals.
Description of Herb- The herb looks likes small stone and it comes from a pod of a bean-like a plant. The seeds are yellowish brown in color and angular in shape and are very hard and can’t easily break with hands. Some of the usual shapes are rhombic, oblong, virtually cubic have a side 3mm. It has a deep furrow all but splits them in two. You can get the whole or dried or as a dull yellow powder which can easily get from the roasted seeds of the herb. When you roast the seeds of the herb, then it becomes more pronounced and also provides a pungent like the smell and the smell seems as an inferior curry powder. The flavor of the herb is aromatic, powerful, and bittersweet like burnt sugar.
Fenugreek Culinary Uses
Fenugreek is mainly used in curry powders and in different mixtures and one the most important ones are vindaloo and the hot curries of Sri Lanka. If you are going to prepare Panch Phoron (Indian five spice mixture), then remember this is the main ingredient. Those who prepare this powder at home can use the lesser amount of the herb but those who get this from cheap powder find that it has the excess amount of the powder. When the strong tasted fishes like Tuna and Mackerel are fried, then fenugreek is the main ingredient of the mixture. To prepare pickles as well as chutneys this herb is used as it is helpful to give tangy aroma to the vegetables. Its leaves can be used in the preparation of meat and interesting thing is that you can use them anyways either dry or fresh leaves.
The seeds of the herb are the main ingredient of the Middle Eastern Confection Halva. If you mix flour in the grounded fenugreek then you will be able to get spicy bread as a result. The roasted seeds of the herb are used as a substitute for coffee. Also if you take 2 cups of water and infuse a teaspoon of seeds in that for just 5 minutes. Then, you will get a wonderful tea.
Fenugreek Medical Values
Fenugreek is an excellent digestive aid. Also, it is used in poultices for boils, cysts and also for other complications. It has the ability to reduce the sugar level of the body and that is the reason it is used for diabetic patients in conjunction with insulin. Also, it can lower the blood pressure. To relieve congestion fights infection and reduces inflammation, fenugreek is used with a believer. The herb has some natural expectorant properties. So, it is the best for the treatment of lung congestion, sinus and to lose or remove excess of phlegm and mucus.
This is a great source of selenium which is an anti-radiant and thus helps the body to utilize oxygen. This is the natural source of silicon, iron, sodium and also Thiamine. Mucilaginous which is contained in fenugreek makes it excellent for relieving and soothing inflamed tissues. It also stimulates the production of mucosal fluids which is very helpful to lessen allergies and mainly, it helps to remove the toxins from the respiratory tract.
Fenugreek is an excellent expectorant, so it helps to alleviate the coughing and also it stimulates the perspiration that is known to reduce fevers. It is great things that help to fight with all allergies, congestion, and bronchitis. In the Eastern areas of the world, the seeds of the herb are used for treating stomach troubles.
The chemical makeup of this wonderful herb is exactly same to the cod liver oil and in this method, sometimes the decoction of seeds are used. It is also an aphrodisiac. The seeds of the fenugreek herb have trigonelline, carpaine and gentianine compounds. Also, these seeds have a good amount of fiber. 4-hydroxyisoleucine and fenugreekine are contained in the herb for hypoglycemic activity. Also, it has a mechanism, which is used to delay the gastric emptying and also slows down the absorption of carbohydrates and sometimes it inhibits the glucose transport.
Fenugreek is very much helpful in increasing the number of insulin receptors in red blood cells and it is also helpful in improving the utilization of glucose in peripheral tissues and that is why it demonstrates the anti-diabetic effects in the pancreas as well as in other sites. Its seeds also contain some amino acid 4-hydroxyisoleucine which is very much helpful in stimulation of insulin secretion.