Latin name: Trigonella foenum-graecum
Sanskrit/Indian name: Medhika, Chandrika
The leaves and seeds of the Fenugreek plant are widely used in Indian cuisine.
The herb has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic compositions as a moisturizer, specially formulated to hydrate dry skin. Applied topically, the herb is also helpful in treating boils, abscesses and ulcers. Fenugreek is a natural source of protein, which rebuilds and strengthens the hair shaft. It reduces hair fall and promotes hair growth.
Fenugreek seeds function as an appetite suppressant and give a feeling of satiety more quickly. The German Commission E documented its mild antiseptic property.The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia reported that the herb’s actions as demulcent and hypoglycemic (lowering blood sugar levels). ESCOP and the WHO monographs indicate the use of the seeds as an adjuvant in therapies for diabetes mellitus, anorexia, and high cholesterol (Indian Medicinal Plants—An Illustrated Dictionary, C.P.Khare. 675. 2007).
A C-steroidal sapogenin peptide ester, fenugreekine, exhibits hypoglycemic activity (European Journal of Pharmacology, 390, 2000). The saponin-rich extracts reduce cholesterol levels. The fibrous fraction of the seeds also causes a reduction in blood lipids. Fenugreek extract containing trigonelline and trigonellic acid is used as a hair growth stimulant. Recent studies indicate that the herb contains lecithin, a natural emollient known to strengthen and moisturize hair.
Key therapeutic benefits:
- The herb is helpful in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- On external application, Fenugreek helps heal superficial wounds more quickly.
- Because of its rich protein content, the herb is an excellent ingredient in haircare and skincare products.