Fenugreek Seed and Powder Profile
Also known as
Trigonella foenum-graecum, Alholva, Bird's Foot, Bockshornklee, Bockshornsame, Chandrika, Foenugraeci Semen, Foenugreek, Greek Clover, Greek Hay, Greek Hay Seed, Hu Lu Ba, Medhika, Methi, Trigonella.
The name fenugreek comes from the Latin term Foenum-graecum, or Greek hay, the plant being used to scent moldy hay. The genus name, Trigonella, is derived from another Greek name denoting "three-angled," from the shape of the "crown" around the seed. Fenugreek is one of the base ingredients in curry powder and is used extensively in cooking throughout Asia. It is also used as a base for perfumes, soaps, and lotions.
Arginine, beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, coumarin, diosgenin, fiber, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), kaempferol, luteolin, magnesium, manganese, niacin, potassium, pyridoxine, quercetin, riboflavin, rutin, sulfur, thiamine, trigonelline, tryptophan, vitexin, vitamin C, zinc.
The fruit or "seeds," dried and used whole or ground.
Used in cooking. Usually encapsulated for medicinal use, since the seeds are bitter. Up to 3-1/2 ounces (100 g) of the seeds can be eaten in a single meal without gastrointestinal side effects, but greater amounts provide too much fiber for most people. Also taken as an extract.
Fenugreek is a historically significant spice, lending its flavor to dishes from Egypt to India and across the Middle East. Though best known in the United States for the flavor it imparts on traditional curry seasoning, fenugreek as a spice is much further reaching. The seeds are ground into powder and used to make flour, thicken stews, and add flavor to a wide variety of meat dishes. The powder has a sweet, nutty aroma, reminiscent of maple syrup, though the flavor itself is decidedly bitter. The seeds can be roasted as needed in order to cut the bitterness and bring some of the natural sugars to the surface.
Fenugreek seeds are also popular for their delicious sprouts. Simply soak the seeds overnight and transfer them to a moist, closed environment where they will begin sprouting within days. The sprouts can then be used to spice up salads and sandwiches.
According to a Turkish study published in 2011, herbal tea containing fenugreek has shown to increase breast milk production in lactating women. The powdered seed is also traditionally used to relieve gastrointestinal inflammation and coughing.
The Contemporary Encyclopedia of Herbs and Spices by Tony Hill 157-158,
Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth, by Sharol Tilgner (pg. 86)
Avoid fenugreek if you are allergic to chickpeas, and Fenugreek should not be taken medicinally when pregnant, however moderate use in food should be fine.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.