Latin name– Trigonella foenum-graecum
English : Fenugreek
Sanskrit : Methini
Therapeutic use –
As a galactogouge
Fenugreek seeds contain hormone precursors that increase milk supply. Scientists do not know for sure how this happens. Once an adequate level of milk production is reached, most women can discontinue the fenugreek and maintain the milk supply with adequate breast stimulation. Many women today take fenugreek in a pill form (ground seeds placed in capsule).
As an hypoglycemic agent
Fenugreek may also increase the number of insulin receptors in red blood cells and improve glucose utilization in peripheral tissues, thus demonstrating potential anti-diabetes effects both in the pancreas and other sites. The amino acid 4-hydroxyisoleucine, contained in the seeds, may also directly stimulate insulin secretion. Fenugreek seed has remarkable power to reduce blood sugar level hence used in diabetes. Fenugreek seeds contain alkaloids, including trigonelline, gentianine and carpaine compounds. The seeds also contain fiber, 4-hydroxyisoleucine and fenugreekine, a component that may have hypoglycemic activity. The mechanism is thought to delay gastric emptying, slow carbohydrate absorption and inhibit glucose transport.
Fenugreek seeds are responsible for hypocholesterolaemic effect. Steroid saponin and sapogenin might have a role in lowering cholesterol. Regular use of ethanolic extract of fenugreek seeds corrects the lipid profile in patients.
Diarrhea: Half a teaspoon of seeds with water taken three times a day is an effective remedy for diarrhea.
Anemia: The seeds have high iron content and helps alleviate anemia. They should be consumed in the same manner as for flatulence.
Stomach disorders: Some disorders, like peptic ulcers, are also soothed by the consumption of fenugreek seeds.
Respiratory infections: During the early acute stages of respiratory tract infections like bronchitis, influenza, sinusitis, catarrh, and suspected pneumonia, fenugreek tea will help the body to perspire, dispel toxicity and shorten the period of fever.
Sore throat: A strong gargle made by boiling 2 tablespoons of seeds with one liter of water for an hour, letting it cool, then using it to gargle is effective in easing a sore throat
Aphrodisiac/Sexual weakness: Fenugreek is also considered a tonic for the reproductive system. Steroidal saponins contents in the seeds account for the bitter taste; they are also thought to chemically resemble human sex hormones, which may be why fenugreek was once considered an aphrodisiac and why it is still used to stimulate the uterus and milk flow.
Menstrual and menopausal disorders: Fenugreek contains chemicals similar to estrogen and helps to minimize the symptoms of menopause.
Pregnancy and lactation: The seeds made into gruel and given to lactating mothers increase the flow of breast.