Fenugreek is a sturdy annual that is native to South Asia and
Southeastern Europe. This spice is primarily associated with Indian cuisine. The Fenugreek Seeds are golden brown with a smooth, hard texture and an angular shape. The seeds must be dry roasted prior to use or they will have a bitter flavor. This very powerful Indian spice plays an essential part in the flavor of curry powder. Its bitter and sweet flavor is used in soups, dals, bean and vegetable dishes, and fish and seafood dishes. It is also used in the indian sweets and pickles. In
North India, fenugreek is used in lamb stews. In the South it used in almost everything; breads, chutneys, curries and dals. In
North Africa it is also used in bread. Fenugreek's medicinal uses were first discovered by ancient Greeks and Egyptians: it eases digestions, relieves diarrhea, relieves chronic coughs and promotes lactation. It may also lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Fenugreek is also used in the manufacturing of imitation maple syrup due to the aroma of burnt sugar and sweet taste that comes from Fenugreek. Fenugreek Seeds are wonderful when sprouted and used in salads.
It is used for many different purposes that include:
- Most commonly used as an expectorant as it expels mucus and phlegm from the bronchial tubes, and helps to expel toxic waste through the lymphatic system.
- Is often used to promote hair growth.
- Can be used to increase libido in both men and women.
- Because of its mucilaginous properties, it helps to soothe sore throats.
- It helps the digestive system by acting as a lubricant for the intestines. It coats ulcers and intestinal sores. It also contains bitter compounds that help increase the production of digestive fluids and enzymes, and has a mild laxative effect.
- Can be used externally for inflammation and wounds.
- Is widely known for its ability to increase lactation in nursing mothers. These same hormone precursors are said to increase breast tissue growth as well.
- Can be helpful in the loss of memory due to aging.
- Has been used to induce labor.
Nutritional Benefits of Fenugreek Seed Powder
- Great source of selenium and iron.
How to Use Fenugreek Seed Powder
- Used as a poultice externally.
- Internally, use in tea or tincture combinations or in encapsulated form.
- Doesn't work well in teas due to bitter flavour, but when increasing milk production it can be paired with fennel seeds to cover the flavour of the tea.
Cautions and Side Effects of Fenugreek Seed Powder
- Do not take fenugreek in any form while pregnant.
- Do not take if you are taking other drugs as it interferes with all drug absorption.
- May change colour and smell of urine, but this is not harmful.