Plants have a long history in medicinal practices. Even in today’s time, herbal medical remedies are used to cure, soothe and prevent more common illnesses. Fenugreek is one of these medicinal plants.
Fenugreek has a long history in Europe, South and East Asia, and China. There are records of its use dating all the way back to 1500 BC, and traditionally, the seeds were used as medicine and as a spice. To this day, fenugreek has been immensely popular in treating pain, arthritis, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
What is Fenugreek?
Fenugreek, also known as Greek hay (Trigonella foenum-graecum), is a medicinal plant belonging to the Fabaceae family. This herb consists of small white flowers and three small light green obovate to oblong leaflets and is used worldwide for its flavor and medical benefits. Fenugreek is native to South Eastern Europe and west Asia, Egypt, Argentina, Mediterranean countries, and Iran, while its most significant source is found in India.
Fenugreek is one of the oldest medically used herbs, with records found in Indian and Chinese traditions. Fenugreek Extract is commonly used to help symptoms of diabetes and for Immune Support. Some of the known benefits are:
Fenugreek contains high levels of soluble fiber and other chemicals, which may slow down digestion and the body’s absorption of carbohydrates and sugar. It also helps decrease cholesterol levels, steadies blood pressure, and reduces blood sugar. All of which are useful for those with diabetes, obesity, and patients with high blood levels.
It can be taken by mouth or as a paste to be applied to the skin to help reduce inflammation.
Fenugreek has a long history as a pain relief in the traditional system of medicines. It is believed that a chemical in fenugreek called alkaloids helps block sensory receptors, which acts as a pain-numbing medicine. According to a 2014 study, female participants experienced a shorter duration of pain after intaking fenugreek.
Asthma is a lung disorder caused by inflamed airways. Fenugreek extract is effective in treating mild asthma, while daily use can help avoid asthma symptoms. However, it is recommended not to use fenugreek as an alternative to asthma treatment and to consult a doctor before making any decisions regarding your health.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidants in fenugreek have positive effects in treating arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
Fenugreek does contain chemicals in it that help in sustaining our health. However, it should be considered as any other medication type and taken with precaution.
Certain people are advised against taking fenugreek as a medication. Although amounts of it in cooking are generally considered safe, we should pay careful attention to the amount we ingest and receive advice from medical professionals, especially if we are already in a vulnerable state.
Pregnant women shouldn’t take fenugreek because it may induce uterine contractions. Additionally, it may cause an allergic reaction in some people and can make your body less effective in absorbing oral medication. Moreover, high doses of fenugreek can result in gas and bloating.
Nutrients in fenugreek
Fenugreek contains many essential nutrients that help build a good immune system and make it a strong antioxidant. Some of them include the following:
Vital for the immune system, growth, reproduction, and development, and good eyesight ( especially at night ). Vitamin A also helps maintain and form the mucus membrane, healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissues, and skin. It also helps your lungs, heart, and other organs function properly.
Vitamin B is water-soluble, which means that your body can not store it. Making it essential to intake every day.
This nutrient plays a vital role in metabolism and is important for a wide range of cellular functions.
Vitamin D is needed to regulate the amount of phosphate and calcium in the body and to keep the bones, teeth, and muscles healthy.
This nutrient is vital to produce acetylcholine, an important chemical our nervous system needs to function correctly, i.e., regulate moods, muscle control, memory, etc.
Essential for the immune system, attention span, muscle growth, reasoning, decision making, learning, body development, and reducing fatigue. Iron also helps the formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin function, which carries oxygen in every part of the body.
It helps mental illnesses by balancing chemicals in the body, elevating the mood, reducing anxiety-related symptoms, and stimulating the production of feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin.
It helps the body convert food into energy, improves skin hydration, and helps hair and nail growth.
It lowers bad cholesterol levels and reduces blood pressure and inflammation.
Insoluble fiber helps the body process water better, improves bowel health, and reduces the risk of colorectal conditions.
Fenugreek has a history of being used to treat several illnesses, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. With a wide variety of benefits and nutrients, fenugreek has been a popular herbal medicine for many types of illnesses. Although it has been the go-to herbal plant for a good fraction of the world, it is still a medicinal herb and, as such, should be taken cautiously and after consulting a medical professional.