Fenugreek, also called Hulba (الحلبة) in Arabic, Gracecue Foenum in Lating and Methi Daana in Hindi and Urdu, is a time tested super herb boasting a pungent flavor and surprising medical properties. Not only does it add its own unique flavor to heighten the taste of any culinary delight, it also brings its diverse and potent medicinal effect to the food. Containing high doses of vitamin C, potassium, niacin, diosgenin, alkaloids and steroidal saponins, it holds incredible potential for boosting health.
Fenugreek seeds have been used extensively as herbal medicine and their time tested effects have been medically proven as well. The seeds themselves are small and rocky in shape with a brownish yellow color. Boasting a bittersweet, acrid afterkick following a pure initial bitter flavor, they are often roasted to increase their aroma which has been often compared to resemble that of curry powder. Ranging from curing common colds and controlling blood cholesterol to treating bronchitis and kidney issues, fenugreek seeds have always been sought as a go-to herb for treating many different diseases and medical complications.
Medicinal Properties of Fenugreek
It is stated by Qasim Bin Abdul Rahman that The Holy Prophet (SAW) stated “Get cure from Methi (Hulba)”. It has also been stated by FeQasim bin Abdur-Rahman that The Holy Prophet (SAW) said “Mix fenugreek in your medicine”. Used by the Holy Prophet (SAW), it is classified as a TibeNabvi herb but is also used extensively by other herbalists and doctors around the world owing to its numerous benefits. Following are the benefits it provides:
1. Excellent for Controlling Cholesterol
In a medical study, a test group consumed 56 grams of fenugreek seeds on a daily basis for 24 weeks. This resulted in 14 percent cholesterol reduction, reducing their chances of an impending heart attack by 25 percent. The seeds can be consumed directly, in capsule form or sprinkled on top of food.
2. Combating Diabetes by Controlling Blood Sugar Level
As they contain trigonelline, eating fenugreek seeds induces a hypoglycemic effect and consequently reduces the blood sugar levels. This makes them the perfect superfood for combating diabetes and keeping blood sugar levels under check. A dosage of 500 mg fenugreek seeds twice on a regular basis can assist in controlling Type 2 Diabetes.
3. Treating Skin Inflammation
Fenugreek seeds can be used to treat skin inflammations, burns, boils and abscesses. Simply follow the following method:
- Grind a spoonful of fenugreek seeds to powder.
- Add water, but not so much to completely dilute it.
- Take a clean piece of cloth or bandage and let it soak in the mix.
- Use the bandage on the affected area for relief.
4. Cures Heartburn and Significantly Reduces Acid Reflux
Since the fenugreek seeds are rich in mucilage, they offer relief from gastrointestinal inflammation by covering the stomach lining with its sticky, gooey gel which is produced upon digestion. The seeds can be consumed directly with water or sprinkled on top of food.
5. Fighting Fever
There are multiple recipes for using fenugreek seeds to fight fever, with the simplest being a mixture of the seeds, water, lemon and honey to be consumed directly. They can also be taken with herbal tea to amplify their medicinal properties. Fenugreek is a highly preferable natural alternative since almost all cough medicines cause stomach irritation whereas the seeds go down smooth.
Hazrat Saad Bin Abi Waqqas fell ill following the victory of Makkah, upon which Haris Bin Kaldah, a well-reputed physician of his era, instructed the preparation of Fariqa for him by boiling dates and barely with fenugreek seeds. This was to be given to the patient in the morning and evening, with honey and proved to be very effective. The recipe for Fariqa was presented to The Holy Prophet (SAW) for reviewing, who approved of it.
6. Nourishing for Strong, Healthy Hair
Fenugreek seeds are loaded with nicotinic acid as well as protein, which provides hair follicles the nutrients they need for strong hair. Moreover, it has large amounts of trace minerals such as iron, magnesium and copper that are required for metabolic activities and strong hair. Combined with their oil content which is similar to cod liver oil, it gives a healthy boost of nutrients to your hair.
7. Helps during Pregnancy
o 72 hours. A 3 times daily serving of 500 mg fenugreek is recommended for pregnant women. Since they contain saponins and sapogenins, the seeds are natural sources for providing the body right nutrients for producing estrogen. Consult with the doctor if taking fenugreek during pregnancy, as it also induces labor.
Consume in Moderation
Although fenugreek seeds have been identified for their active medical properties, there have been noted cases where overuse have caused minor side effects. These include nausea, diarrhea and abdominal gas. Since the herb itself can induce labor, it is not recommended for pregnant women. When using oral medicines such as tablets and syrups, fenugreek should be taken at least 2 hours before or after they have been taken, since fenugreek fiber can interfere with medicine absorption.