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Fenugreek - Uses and Benefits

Family: Fabaceae, Trigonella foenum-graecum L.

Common Names: Greek Hay Seed, Bird's Foot, Trigonella

Fenugreek has a long history of medical uses in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, and has been used for numerous indications, including labor induction, aiding digestion, and as a general tonic to improve metabolism and health. Fenugreek is a practical herb for all mucus conditions of the body, particularly the lungs, by helping to clear congestion. Use fenugreek for head colds, influenza, catarrh, constipation, bronchial complaints, asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, pleurisy, tuberculosis, sore throat, laryngitis, hay fever and sinusitis.

It is a powerful antioxidant and it acts as a mucus solvent and throat cleanser, which also eases the urge to cough. Fenugreek is one of the world's oldest medicinal herbs.  It has a variety of uses, including increasing breastmilk production.

Fenugreek herb can grow to be about two feet tall. It blooms white flowers in the summer and has very aromatic seeds. Fenugreek is used both as an herb and as a spice. The young leaves and sprouts of fenugreek are eaten as greens and the fresh or dried leaves are used to flavor other dishes.

Fenugreek has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of fenugreek may not be known. Fenugreek is generally recognized as safe for human consumption as a spice or natural seasoning and as a plant extract .

Side Effect of Fenugreek:

Side Effects Few side effects have been reported when fenugreek is used at recommended doses, although dizziness, diarrhea and gas may occur. Some side effects reported from exposure to fenugreek, such as facial swelling, numbness, difficulty breathing and fainting are likely a result of an allergic reaction.

Stomach upset may occur when a large quantity of fenugreek has been used. If this effect persists or worsens, contact your doctor promptly. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Uses of Fenugreek:

  • Helpful in lowering fever, it is compared to quinine by some authorities.
  • The seeds' soothing effect makes them of value in treating gastritis and gastric ulcers.
  • They are used to induce childbirth and to increase breast-milk production.
  • They are also used to lower blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels.
  • Fenugreek seeds are rich in vitamin E and is one of the earliest spices known to man.
  • Fresh fenugreek leaves are beneficial in the treatment of indigestion, flatulence and a sluggish liver.
  • The dried leaves of the fenugreek is used as a quality flavour for meat, fish and vegetable dishes.
  • An infusion of the leaves is used as a gargle for recurrent mouth ulcers. A gargle made from the seeds is best for ordinary sore throat.
  • Fresh Fenugreek leaves paste applied over the scalp regularly before bath helps hair grow, preserves natural color, keeps hair silky and also cures dandruff.
  • Fenugreek seeds made in gruel, given to nursing mothers increase the flow of milk.

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