Fenugreek, or Methi in Hindi, is a widely used ingredient in Indian cooking and gives a pickle-like flavor to curries. But in addition to adding tang to some of your favorite Indian dishes, Fenugreek is also believed to have many medicinal benefits due to its powerhouse properties which includes proteins, fats, carbohydrates, calcium, iron, folic acid, vitamins A C K and B, manganese, magnesium, potassium, copper zinc, and fiber.
Here are some of the purported health benefits of using Fenugreek.
- Improves appetite and digestion
- Lowers blood sugar levels
- Manages blood cholesterol
- Managing high blood pressure
- Reduces hair loss and graying
- Reduces uric acid levels to prevent gout
- Treats anemia by improving blood levels
- Detoxifies blood
- Helps treat neuralgia and paralysis
- Helps treat constipation, abdominal ache, and bloating
- Helps ease body pains
- Relieves cough, bronchitis, and chest congestion
- Relieves symptoms of asthma
- Eases menstrual cramps
- Helps reduce the risk of cancer and heart conditions
- Helps reduce the risk of obesity
- Helps reduce inflammation
- Reduces signs of aging and skin conditions
Be cautious, however, as using Fenugreek while pregnant may cause uterine contractions and it may worsen hormone-sensitive types of cancer. Also due to the spicy properties of Fenugreek, it should not be used for bleeding disorders such as nose bleeds or heavy mensuration.
How to Use Fenugreek
In seed form, soak 1 to 2 tablespoons overnight and eat the seeds in the morning or drink as tea.
In powder form, take twice a day before meals or with warm milk or water.
For hair loss, graying, and dandruff, make a paste of the seeds and add the paste to curd, aloe vera gel, water, and apply to scalp.
For skin conditions, make a paste with rosewater and apply to affected areas.
Fenugreek Seed Tea (Methi Chai)
1. Roughly crush 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds.
2. Soak the crushed seeds in a cup of freshly boiled water.
3. Let steep for 1 to 3 hours, longer steeping increases the benefits.
4. Strain the tea and add lemon and honey to taste. Consume hot or cold and add other herbs or tea leaves for flavor.
Fenugreek Green Gram Curry (Methi Moon Dal Subzi)
1. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan.
2. Add half a teaspoon of cumin seeds to the pan. When the seeds begin to pop, add a chopped onion, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, and green chilies to taste. Sauté for about a minute.
3. Add a pinch of turmeric powder, 2 cups of chopped fenugreek leaves, and salt to taste. Continue cooking for a few minutes but be aware the fenugreek leaves will cook rapidly.
4. Add a quarter cup of soaked split green gram (moong dal) and half a cup of water.
5. Sprinkle a teaspoon of besan, mix well, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the dal is fully cooked.
6. Serve hot with your choice of bread or rice.
Nutritional Facts of Fenugreek (per 100 grams)
|Nutrients||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Vitamin A||60 IU||1.2%|
|Vitamin C||3 mg||5%|
|Vitamin B6||0.6 mg||30%|