Herbs are used all over the world for both food and medicinal purpose. Fenugreek plant scientifically known as Trigonella foenum-graecum L is one of the oldest using medicinal plant in human history. Ancient Egyptian used this plant as an incense and to preserve mummies. Romans used this to aid labor and Greeks used this plant as fodder. In Asian countries, Chinese and Indians used this plants for treatment of edema and induce lactation (1). Fenugreek plant is a small annual herbaceous plant grows mainly in all part of the world especially in Africa, Europe, and South Asia. The plant is mainly used for its incredible antidiabetic properties and its capability of increasing mother’s milk.
Nutritional description of Fenugreek plant
Per 100-gram fenugreek leaves contain around 42.3 g of carbohydrates, 48 g fiber and 4.4 g proteins and 1 g fat (2). Along with this fenugreek leaves are also a rich source of choline compounds which is essential for healthy nervous system and liver (3). Other important compounds [present in the leaves are ascorbic acid and beta-carotene (4).
10 Amazing Health Benefits of fenugreek leaves
1. Healthy heart
Fenugreek contains an organic compound known as diosgenin. Diosgenin effects on cholesterol metabolism and lowers the plasma cholesterol level. Fenugreek thus helps in reducing the cholesterol, LDL and other harmful triglycerides from the blood and makes heart healthy (5). Fenugreek also prevents arteriosclerosis (thickening of arteries) and blood clotting.
Fenugreek s are the excellent source for reducing bad cholesterol and also reduces glucose levels in the blood thus helps in prevention of diabetes (6).
3. Prevents Strokes
Consuming fenugreek helps in lowering the cholesterol and prevent unwanted blood clotting. And hence prevents the strokes.
4. Increase blood hemoglobin
Fenugreek contains iron, vitamin A, B, and C, therefore helps in adding blood hemoglobin. Along with iron, it is also rich in protein, ascorbate, and folate. Taking fenugreek routinely helps pregnant women to maintains hemoglobin in the blood (7).
5. Prevents Cataracts
In a study done on rats, it was found that consuming fenugreek leaves helps in delaying or reduction of galactose-induced cataract (8).Therefore eating fenugreek leaves not only helps in controlling diabetes but also helps in preventing cataracts in the diabetic patients.
6. Relieve Pain
Fenugreek leaves extracts helps in releasing pain in inflammatory-related diseases by blocking pain inducing spinal receptors. The analgesic effect of fenugreek is similar to the action of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (9).
7. Immune boosting
Fenugreek helps in increasing the immune system of the body. A research done in 2003 revealed that the fenugreek has an immune stimulatory effect and can be used for a variety of medicinal purpose and also strengthened the use of Ayurvedic and Unani drugs (10).
8. Prevents Ulcer
Fenugreek contains flavonoids which help in lowering the mucosal injury by protecting the stomach by its antioxidant activity. Thus consuming fenugreek helps in lowering the risk of ulcer. antiulcer property of fenugreek is because of the flavonoids present in them. These flavonoids act as an antioxidant and maintain the mucosal integrity of the stomach (13).
9. Rich in minerals
Fenugreek leaves have high calcium, zinc, beta-carotene, and fiber. In a research done on various food items, it was observed that among pulses, bread and fenugreek leave given to children’s, fenugreek leaves are more mineral rich and nutrient content, therefore, helps in proper development of the children during their growing age (14).
10. Strengthens Hair
Fenugreek leaves paste helps in strengthening of hair and gives a good natural shine to the hairs also helps in controlling the dandruff problem (15).
Side Effects of fenugreek leaves
Fenugreek causes the reduction in glucose level, therefore one taking fenugreek a person should continuously monitor its blood glucose level (11).
2. Increase bleeding
Fenugreek contains an organic substance known as comurine, which may cause increase bleeding in some people (12)
3. Stomach pain
Eating too much fenugreek may cause indigestion and therefore lead to stomach pain because of high fiber content (15).