Fenugreek seeds are an annual plant in family Fabaceae, with leaves consisting of three small obovate to oblong leaflets. Fenugreek seeds known as Greek hay or methi in india, belongs to the pea family.
Annual herb with light green leaves and small white flowers grows up to 2 to 3 feet height. The fenugreek seeds are yellow-brown in colour and have pungent aroma flavor with bitter taste.
Western Asia, Southern Europe , Mediterranean region, fenugreek seeds are cultivated from China to Western Europe for its aromatic seeds. It is cultivated worldwide as a semiarid crop. It seeds and leaves are common ingredients in dishes from India.
Overview of Fenugreek Seeds
How to use Fenugreek Seeds :
- Fenugreek seeds are important ingredient in Middle Eastern and North African dishes.It is generally used in powdered form in Indian dishes or in curries.
- The seeds are roasted prior before use. It is used in marinades.
- Extract form of this seed is used in butterscotch and rum flavoring and imitation maple syrup and vanilla.
- Ground leaves or seeds are used to improve the flavour of some vegetarian dishes.
- Few leaves of fenugreek seeds are used in candies, baked goods. chewing gum, ice cream and soft drinks. These seeds are roasted and powdered are used as a substitute for a coffee powder.
- It has other uses such as yellow dye, weight gain product, production of steroids, sex hormones, oral contraceptives, veterinary medicines and insect repellent.
Health Benefits of Fenugreek Seeds :
- Fenugreek seeds are helpful in controlling blood sugar levels and it is good for diabetics.
- It reduces the blood cholesterol levels.
- These seeds are good for women who suffer light or infrequent menses. They contains isoflavones and phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogen works with Diogenes and relieves menopausal symptoms.
- Diogenes present in fenugreek seeds increase milk production in nursing mothers.
- Fenugreek seeds have high fibre, they add amount to the stools and provide relief from constipation and other evacuation problems.
- These seeds contain phytochemicals and nutrients that helps in preventing the colon cancer.
- Powder form of fenugreek seeds and mixed with curd, when it applied on hair and scalp eliminates dandruff problem. It moisturises the hair.