Fenugreek is a plant grown for its herbal uses as well as for the seeds, which are a spice and have medicinal properties. Fenugreek is best known for its use in curry. The fenugreek seed is yellow in color and is often made into a powder before use, but the whole seeds are also used in cooking. Common uses for whole seeds include as a pickling additive, and for flavor in some Indian food dishes. Fenugreek seed powder is often categorized as a spice. It is also often referred to as bird's foot, its most common name.
Fenugreek is grown worldwide but mainly found in the Mediterranean region, the Ukraine, India and China. It is very popular in India where it plays a large part in the flavor of the cuisine. It is common for the seeds to be used to make tea in Egypt. Elsewhere it is eaten as a food or used for medicinal purposes. The other parts of the plant are mostly used as an herb and not as much for medicinal purposes.
History of Fenugreek Seed Powder
While fenugreek has been grown for centuries, the exact origins are unknown. It has been found in the recovery of many ancient remains. It was well used in the 19th century to treat diabetes. In the 1990s research discovered further health benefits for which fenugreek seed powder is widely used today. The fenugreek plant is especially popular in India as an all around useful plant for everything from cooking to beauty treatments. It is also a commonly used ingredient in the Jewish culture.
Benefits of Fenugreek Seed Powder
Fenugreek seed powder is known to have many benefits. It has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as being a diuretic and antiseptic. It also suppresses the appetite and increases lactation in breastfeeding women. It aids the digestive system and is beneficial to female health, having often been used in the past to help women recover from childbirth. Fenugreek seed powder, when ingested, serves as a coating for the stomach. It is also rich in iron, which can be beneficial to those with anemia.
Fenugreek seeds contain polysaccharide galactomannan, saponins, mucilage, volatile oils and alkloids, which are all beneficial to the body and help to aid in proper bodily functions. It also includes a large amount of fiber, which contributes to its gastrointestinal properties. In fact, many of the health uses for fenugreek seed powder are related to its high fiber content.
Healthy Claims of Fenugreek Seed Powder
Fenugreek seed powder is used to relieve gastric discomfort due to its ability to coat the stomach. It also helps to ease colic, treat diarrhea and to treat anemia. As mentioned, it is used to increase lactation, and also to restore the senses of smell and taste. It is also considered a very good treatment for diabetes.
The powder is very adaptable to use in a variety of forms. It can be turned into a paste that is used to relieve dandruff. Also in paste form it is used to sooth boils, ulcers and treat eczema. A tea made from fenugreek seed powder can be helpful in reducing fever and treating respiratory diseases. Recent research has shown that fenugreek seed powder may also prevent the development of breast and colon cancers.
While its use is mostly in alternative medicine, some modern medical professionals have prescribed it for use to treat high cholesterol and diabetes. There has actually been quite a bit of research into the effects of fenugreek seed powder upon the human body and in animals. Most studies have proven the health claims made about fenugreek powder, including its ability to assist with the treatment of diabetes, its effects upon the gastrointestinal system and its ability to work as a cholesterol blocking agent. Such studies have been carried out in laboratories under the guidance of modern medical standards.
Recommended Daily Allowance of Fenugreek Seed Powder
The recommended daily allowance of fenugreek seed powder is 6 grams per day. There are no known interactions with other medications or any known side effects when taken in the recommended dosage amount. It is advised that it not be taken by pregnant women since it can cause false reports of high sugar levels in both mothers and babies. Additionally it causes an elevated risk of oxytocic action in pregnant women.
Consumption of fenugreek seed powder through food sources is not restricted. Excessive use of over 100 grams per day has shown to cause skin rashes. Inhalation of the powder has also been shown to cause asthma or allergy symptoms. It is also not recommended for people allergic to chickpeas. It is usually taken in a capsule form because straight fenugreek seed powder has a bitter taste that is repulsive to many people.
Being an all natural product it is not regulated as a drug for medicinal use by the FDA. However, dosage is largely based upon the extensive use of fenugreek seed powder in alternative and ancient medicine. Additionally, the FDA has reported fenugreek to be a relatively safe product for human consumption.
Consuming or any other use of our herbs, oils, etc. for medicinal or other uses is done so at your own risk! We make no claims as to use of our herbs for any purpose. You are advised to use your own good sense and research before using herbs and oils. Any information provided is for historical reference only!