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Fenugreek – Trigonella foenum-graecum

Trigonella foenum-graecum


Common name: Fenugreek
Latin name: Trigonella foenum-graecum
Other names: Bird’s Foot, Bockshornklee, Greek Hayseed
Family: Fabaceae
Habitat: Fenugreek is natve to India and northern Europe.
Description: Fenugreek is an annual, leguminous plant. It has tri-foliate, obovate and toothed, light green leaves. Its stems are erect, long and tender. Blooming period occurs during summer. Flowers are yellow-white, occurring singly or in pairs at the leaf axils. Fruit is a curved seed-pod, with ten to twenty flat and hard, yellowish-brown seeds. They are angular- rhomboid, oblong or even cubic, and have a deep furrow dividing them into two unequal lobes.
Parts used: Seeds, fresh leaves
Useful components: Polysaccharide galactomannan, saponins (diosgenin, yamogenin, gitogenin, tigogenin, neotigogens), mucilage, volatile oils, alkaloids (choline and trigonelline).
Medicinal use: Fenugreek is one of the oldest medicinal plants. It has been used for centuries for different female conditions, brain and nervous system ailments, skin, liver and metabolic disorders. It is also considered highly beneficial for respiratory and gastrointestinal problems.  It is a highly potent female herb, since it helps relaxing the uterus and relieving menstrual pains, and is an excellent stimulator of milk production in nursing mothers. As for the gastrointestinal tract, Fenugreek is usually suggested in treatments of poor digestion, gastric inflammations, enteritis, especially for convalescents. It can also be used in cases of weight loss, poor appetite and even in treatment of anorexia nervosa. Different blood conditions, such as anemia, and nervous system disorders (neurasthenia) can also be successfully treated with Fenugreek. As for the respiratory conditions, Fenugreek is excellent in treatment of bronchitis, mucous congestions, different infections, tuberculosis. Used externally, it can help curing abscesses, boils, carbuncles, fistulas, sciatica, various skin irritations, sores and wounds.
Safety: The plant should not be used during pregnancy and hypoglycemic treatments.  Some herbs could react with certain medication. Therefore it is highly advisable to contact your doctor/herbalist before consumption of any herb.

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