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FENUGREEK

Introduction
Fenugreek mostly known as Greek Hay and Fenigreek, is a herb that is normally found growing in the Mediterranean part of the world. While the seeds and leaves are first and foremost used as a culinary spice, it is also used to take care of a variety of health problems in countries like Greece, Egypt, Italy, and South Asia. Fenugreek seed is the matured fruit of a yearly herb. This healthy herb has light green leaves, which can grow up to 30-60 cm tall and produces meager, curved pods which are 10-15 cm long, each pod encloses 10-20 little hard yellowish brown seeds, which are soft and oblong, about 3mm long, each ridged across one corner, giving them an obsessed appearance.

Fenugreek seeds contain protein, potassium, vitamin C, niacin,and diosgenin- a compound that has properties similar to estrogen. Other active elements in fenugreek are alkaloids, lysine and L-tryptophan, as well as steroidal saponins such as diosgenin, yamogenin, tigogenin, and neotigogenin.


Common Names
Trigonella foenum-graecum is the scientific botanical name of the plant. In the common languages of India ie.,in Hindi it is called as Methe; in Bengali it is called as Methe; in Gujarati it is called as Methe; in Kannada it is called as Menthya; in Malayalam it is called as Ventayan, Uluva; in Marathi it is called as Methe; in Oriya it is called as Methe; in Punjabi it is called as Methe; in Sanskrit it is called as Methe; in Tamil it is called as Vendayam or Venthiyam; in Telugu it is called as Mentulu or Menthulu; in Urdu it is called as Methe.

History
Coming originally from the Mediterranean region and Asia, Fenugreek is surely one of the very oldest herbs known to mankind. Its seeds were extremely praised for their advantageous uses in olden Egypt and India and later amongst the Greeks and Romans. The seeds were also used to make yellow dyes for coloring wool. As Fenugreek spread around the Mediterranean, ancient physicians found out that its seeds contained a huge deal of mucilage and when mixed with water it provided many healthy profits.

The most widespread uses of Fenugreek nowadays are culinary, such as on condition that provides a maple flavor for confectioneries, a component of curry powders, and as an augmentation for meats, poultry and marinated vegetables. The Greeks, Egyptians and Romans used Fenugreek for medicinal and culinary uses. Fenugreek is a well accepted 19th century solution to most of the female complainants. An extensive series of uses were found for fenugreek in very old times. Medicinally it was used for the cure of wounds, arthritis, bronchitis, abscesses, and digestive problems. Conventional Chinese herbalists used it for curing kidney related problems and conditions affecting the male reproductive region. Fenugreek was, and remains, a spice and a food universally eaten in many regions of the world.

Uses
Cooking
The six fundamental tastes sweet, sour, salty, astringent, bitter and hot, advocated by Ayurveda balances our diet for best possible health and nourishment and a very easy way to get that very bitter taste in our diet is to use fenugreek seeds in our foods. Fenugreek seeds can be left in moisture to be sprouted to have a slender pungent mixed sweet flavor and is broadly used in the preparation of salads. Fenugreek seeds can be flippantly dry roasted before using it to improve the flavor of the dish and decrease the bitterness of the spice.

The extra more you roast, the extra more the bitterness. Using these dry roasted seeds as it is or in powdered form to make a gravy or a dal dish gives the dish a spicy and mellow attributed curry flavor. Drenching the seeds in water all night, makes them spongy and jelly like structure and these swollen seeds can be easily prepared into a paste.

Medicine
Due to its properties being similar to estrogen's properties, fenugreek has been found to help raise libido and diminish the effect of hot flashes and mood fluctuations that are general symptoms of menopause and PMS. In China and India it has also been used to take care of asthma, arthritis, improve digestion, bronchitis, to maintain a healthy metabolism, raise libido and male strength, cure skin problems such as wounds, rashes and boils, treat aching throat, and heal acid reflux. Fenugreek also has a very very long history of usage for the management of reproductive disorders, to encourage labor, to take care of hormonal disorders, to help women with breast enlargement, and to lessen menstrual pain.

Modern studies have shown that Fenugreek helps in lowering blood glucose level and cholestrol level, and may be an effectual treatment for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is also being premeditated for its cardiovascular reimbursements. Fenugreek is usually used to endorse digestion, perk up appetite and to maintain respiratory health. These high-fiber seeds also give support for hale and healthy bowel function, and its lecithin substance promotes fat metabolism. It provides a great break from digestion-related conditions such as pain, stomach bloating, cramps, intestinal gas, diarrhea, and restore digestion. It provides relief from chronic cough, anemia, sore throat, treats skin irritations, terrible breath, respiratory infections, and mouth ulcers.

Fenugreek is very helpful to diagnose menopausal symptoms , encourages childbirth with less pain and to boost milk supply in lactating women. Fenugreek tea made of fenugreek leaves has a great potential to relieve arthritis pain. Conventional Chinese Medicine with the name Hu Lu Ba uses fenugreek seeds for healing. They strongly believe that fenugreek could cause warming and toning of the kidneys. Swallowing 2 to 3 grams of fenugreek seeds daily early in the morning in a clear stomach, prior to brushing the teeth and drinking morning tea or coffee can help cure joint pains without any side effects. While Fenugreek has generally been considered as being safe when used with caution and used in a moderate amount as there have been informations of a few small side effects. Nausea is one of the most common side effect, while other people have reported gastrointestinal discomfort such as diarrhea. It is not advisable to use fenugreek during the time of pregnancy, since it has the prospective to induce labor.

Fenugreek Cultivation in India