Fenugreek

The other common herbs for the herb fenugreek are Greek hay,lholva, Bird’s Foot, Boyotu, Chinagreye, Fenegriek, Fenugreek, Foenum Graecum, Greek Hay-seed, Halva, Helba, Hu Lu Pa, K’U Tou, Kelabat, Koroha, Methi, Shimli, Sickle-fruit Fenugreek and Sicklefruit Fenugreek.

Fenugreek is an annual plant in the family Fabaceae. The plant has small round leaves, is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop, and is a common ingredient in dishes from the Indian Subcontinent. It is known as methi in Marathi, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, and Nepali.

Energetics: Pungent/hot/pungent

Action: Demulcent, diuretic, tonic, rejuvenative, aphrodisiac, stimulant, antirheumatic.

Good for general debility, anorexia of convalescence, emmengogue, anti-diabetes. Treatment of boils, cellulitis diabetic-TB, gastrointestinal problems, lowers serum cholesterol and sugar levels in blood

Indications: Longevity, nerves, allergies, arthritis,skin, rejuvenation, diabetes, bronchitis, flu, chronic coughm dysentery, dyspepsia, convalescence, edema, toothache, sciatica, neurastehmia.

History
Used since ancient times in Egypt, Greece and Rome, fenugreek seeds were said to be almost a panacea (good for everything). Traditional uses included bronchial problems, tuberculosis, gout, general body pain, swollen glands, skin problems and low libido. A wide range of uses were found for fenugreek in ancient times. Medicinally it was used for the treatment of wounds, abscesses, arthritis, bronchitis, and digestive problems. Traditional Chinese herbalists used it for kidney problems and conditions affecting the male reproductive tract. Fenugreek was, and re-mains, a food and a spice commonly eaten in many parts of the world. The name comes from Foenum-graecum, meaning Greek Hay, the plant being used to scent inferior hay. The name of the genus, Trigonella, is derived from the old Greek name, denoting ‘three-angled,’ from the form of its corolla. The seeds of Fenugreek have been used medicinally all through the ages and were held in high repute among the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans for medicinal and culinary purposes.

Description
This is an annual herb, about two feet (60 cm) high, with tender stalks, yellow or pale whitish flowers and yellowish seeds. Also called Greek Hayes. The plant grows to a height of about three feet, has three part leaves, and yellow-white pea-like flowers. The hard, brown, red and yellow seeds are the part used medicinally and in cooking. Fenugreek is an erect annual herb, growing about 2 feet high, similar in habit to Lucerne. The seeds are brownish, about 1/8 inch long, oblong, rhomboidal, with a deep furrow dividing them into two unequal lobes. They are contained, ten to twenty together, in long, narrow, sickle-like pods. Taste, bitter and peculiar, not unlike lovage or celery. Odour, similar

Production
Major fenugreek-producing countries are Iran, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Argentina, Egypt, France, Spain, Turkey, Morocco and China. The largest producer of fenugreek in the world is India, where the major fenugreek-producing states are Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, and Punjab. Rajasthan produces the lion’s share of India’s production, accounting for over 80% of the nation’s total fenugreek output.

Source: The Ayurveda Encyclopedia