Fenugreek (Trigonella oenum-graecum) – also called methi – is a leafy-green herb with a sweet, nutty flavor. According to Ayurveda, fenugreek benefits are numerous. The leaves and seeds have medicinal and health-promoting properties, but the plant is also a common spice in the culinary traditions of India. It grows in West Asia and the Mediterranean regions and is abundant in India.
Fenugreek - Seeds, Powder, & Leaves
According to Ayurveda, fenugreek may aid in improving intellect and digestion. In addition, it may contribute in managing anorexia, impotence, hormonal disorders, lactation, and diabetes.
Those who study the ancient Indian science of Ayurveda regard methi as a powerhouse of health benefits and a culinary staple. The yellow seeds have a prominent flavor similar to maple syrup. It is easy to sprout fenugreek seeds and sprinkle them over salads. They can also grow as microgreens without too much fuss.
These vitamin-rich methi seeds contain Vitamins A, C, K, and B, as well as micronutrients like potassium, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and selenium. Because of this, Ayurvedic practitioners often recommend fenugreek for children and lactating mothers.
Digestive System: Fenugreek powder may be helpful in both building an appetite and regulating digestion. Ayurveda recommends it to help relieve most stomach ailments. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber and can potentially help to flush ama (toxins) from the body. Fenugreek powder may also help with the management of acid reflux and heartburn. Methi water – the result of soaking the methi seeds in warm water overnight – is also a preventative remedy for constipation.
Gut Health: There is mucilage in fenugreek seeds which can coat the stomach and intestines and helps to soothe them. Additionally, saponins in fenugreek bind to toxins and force them out of the body. These properties together make fenugreek an excellent herb for maintaining good colon health. It is simple to use fenugreek powder, seeds, or dried leaves in everyday cooking.
Blood Sugar Levels: It possesses an unusual amino acid called 4-HIL which seems to balance insulin levels and have an overall anti-diabetic quality. Ayurveda uses fenugreek to manage both urinary tract disorders and diabetes.
Cholesterol: Fenugreek powder or supplements may help to reduce cholesterol in the body and slow the absorption of bad cholesterol in the intestines and liver. In modern research, methi helps lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels.
Lactation: Breastfeeding women can suffer from insufficient or diminished milk supply due to fatigue, stress, or other health factors. Methi supplements can benefit lactating mothers by increasing breast milk production. One standard therapy includes boiling milk with soaked fenugreek seeds and other herbs.
Additional Fenugreek Benefits
Other potential health benefits include:
- Boosts testosterone levels in men
- Helps prevent hair fall
- Improves appetite and skin
- Anti-inflammatory properties
Management of Cholesterol: One teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in one glass of water soaked overnight. Strain the liquid and consume it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Then, eat the soaked methi seeds slowly and thoroughly. This process may also help control blood sugar levels and aid in weight loss.
For Skin: Use of methi powder in face packs/masks can improve skin health. This powder, combined with a warm carrier oil, may also help manage pain in inflamed muscles and joints.
Fenugreek Tea Benefits: Boil two cups of water with one teaspoon of fenugreek powder. When the water reduces to half a cup, strain it into a cup and add ghee. This tea may help relieve severe constipation.
For Lactation: Cook soaked fenugreek seeds in milk with a healthy sweetener like jaggery to help nursing mothers produce more breast milk.
For Hair: Make a fine paste from 10 grams of seeds soaked overnight in water. Use this paste as a hair mask to strengthen the hair roots. It may also add luster to the hair.