Botanical name: Trigonella foenum-graecum
Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Common name: Fenugreek, Greek-clover, Greek hay
Kannada: Mente, mentepalle, mentesoffu
Fenugreek is an ancient spice, although currently not much known in the West. In India, it is popular for pickles and also in cooking. Dry roasting can enhance the flavour and reduce the bitterness, provided care is taken not to overheat the seeds. The plant is an erect annual herb, 10-50 cm tall, sparingly velvety to hairless. Leaves are trifoliate with leaflets 1-3 cm long, 5-15 mm broad, obovate to inverted-lanceshaped, toothed or incised. Stipules are lanceshaped, long-pointed, entire. Flowers are cream-colored or yellowish-white, sometimes tinged with lilac, 1-2 in leaf axils. Sepal cup is 7-8 mm long, teeth as long as the tube. Flowers are 1.2-1.8 cm long. Fruit is 5-11 mm long, 3-5 mm broad, smooth or velvety, tapering into a beak, 1-3.5 cm long, 10-20-seeded.
- In Indian ayurvedic fenugreek is recommended for nursing mothers because it helps to increase the amount of milk and also help to improve the milk’s quality to keep the infant healthy.
- By consuming fenugreek during menses period it reduces menstrual discomfort.
- Fenugreek consumption helps to reduce cholesterol level.
- Fenugreek helps to alleviate type II diabetes.
- It has high fibre content it helps to treat constipation.
- Irritated skin conditions can even be soothed by the external application of fenugreek.
- Fenugreek is also used as a poultice to treat wounds, inflammation, and gastrointestinal ailments.
How to take internally:
- Drinking soaked methi seeds (1 tsf) water in the early morning with empty stomach makes the hair thicker, stronger and brighter.
- Methi water helps in relieving the arthritis pain.
- Add fenugreek to your diet either in the form of curries. We can make into tea and drink for its health benefits.
How to apply externally:
- Fenugreek is used as a poultice which means it is wrapped in cloth, warmed and applied directly to the affected area on the skin.
- Add honey to the fenugreek paste and like a face mask on the skin for dealing with acne.