India’s traditional Ayurvedic physicians prescribe fenugreek to nursing mothers. This benefit is attributed to the presence of diosgenin in it. Fenugreek help in increasing the amount of milk that is produced by the breasts. The magnesium and vitamin content in it also helps improve the milk’s quality to keep the infant healthy. 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 and give relief from menstrual disorders. 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 it 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.
Research studies show that fenugreek consumption helps reduce cholesterol levels. It helps reduce the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol significantly, which can prevent various conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. 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 risk of formation of blood clots.
Fenugreek seeds contain 25% galactomannan which is a type of natural soluble fiber that helps prevent heart diseases.
Fenugreek helps alleviate type I and type II diabetes. Studies suggest that addition of fenugreek to the diet of type I diabetics helped in lowering urinary sugar level by 54%. Due to the presence of the natural fiber galactomannan, the herb slows down the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. 4-hydroxyisoleucine is an amino acid found in fenugreek that regulates the release of insulin. This helps prevent the plunges and peaks of blood sugar in diabetics. 15-20 grams of fenugreek is usually recommended for controlling blood sugar on a daily basis.
Fenugreek adds bulk to the stool due to its high fiber content. This also aids in treating constipation, diarrhea, and relieving minor indigestion.
Traditional Chinese medicine recommends the use of fenugreek for patients suffering from various kidney conditions.
Fenugreek possesses anti-carcinogenic properties. The steroid diosgenin present in the herb has been specifically linked to colon cancer prevention. Furthermore, various non-starch polysaccharides like saponins, hemicellulose, mucilage, tannin, and pectin, lower cholesterol levels and inhibit the 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 and other conditions that can negatively affect the colon.
The natural soluble fiber galactomannan found in fenugreek helps suppress appetite by making you feel full.
Fenugreek’s soothing mucilage helps relieve a sore throat, associated pain, and cough.
Fenugreek seeds contain a gumming substance called mucilage and when mixed with water, mucilage expands and becomes a gelatinous salve that helps in providing relief from irritation.
The health benefits of fenugreek include relief from anemia, loss of taste, fever, dandruff, stomach disorders, biliousness, respiratory disorders, mouth ulcers, sore throat, diabetes, inflammations, wounds, and insomnia. It is beneficial in lactation and helps in improving digestion and hair health. It is also shown to reduce cholesterol levels and protect heart health, while simultaneously boosting the immune system and protecting against flu and various infections.
Fenugreek is an annual herb with light green leaves and small white flowers. It’s of the pea family (Fabaceae) and also known as Greek hay (Trigonella foenum-graecum). The fenugreek plant grows to about two to three feet tall, and the seed pods contain 10–20 small, flat, yellow-brown, pungent and aromatic seeds. Fenugreek seeds have a somewhat bitter taste, similar to celery, maple syrup or burnt sugar, and are often used to make medicine. However, fenugreek has a far more pleasant taste when cooked. The graecum seeds, which are usually dried and ground, are the most widely used part of fenugreek.
Common Names: Greek hay, Greek hay seed, bird's foot, fenigreek, Greek clover, foenugreek, sicklefruit fenugreek, hu lu ba (Chinese), alholva (Spanish).
Internal use: Steep 1 and a half tablespoon of the root in 2 cups of cold water. Leave it for 3 hours. Your tea is ready.
External use: Cook 50 g of grated fenugreek seeds with 250 ml of water for 5 minutes. Put the paste thus obtained on the gauze and use it as a coating.
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