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Scientific name: Trigonella foenum-graecum
Parts used: Seeds and Leaves
Origins & Properties
Fenugreek is believed to have been brought into cultivation in the Near East.
Charred fenugreek seeds, carbon-dated to 4000 BC, have been recovered from Tell Halal, Iraq, and Bronze Age levels of Lachish and desiccated seeds from the tomb of Tutankhamen. The largest fenugreek-producing country is India.
Fenugreek is an annual herb with light green leaves and small white flowers. Its seeds have a somewhat bitter taste, similar to celery, maple syrup, or burnt sugar, and are often used to make medicine. However, fenugreek has a far more pleasant taste when cooked.
Fenugreek is used as a herb (dried or fresh leaves), spice (seeds), and vegetable (fresh leaves, sprouts, and micro-greens).
In traditional medicine, the fenugreek is thought to promote digestion, induce labor, and reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics, although the evidence for these effects is lacking.
- Digestion: May help with numerous digestive problems
- Anti-inflammatory: Helps with inflammation within the body
- Men’s health: Used to treat hernias, erectile dysfunction, and other male problems, such as baldness
- Improves breastfeed milk supply: Helps breastfeeding women who may experience low milk supply
- Heartburn: Neutralizes acidity and reduce secretion in the first instance of a heartburn
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