Fenugreek comes from the botanical family of fabaceae.
The leaves are used as a herb and the seed as a spice.
The seed is more commonly known by the Hindi word methi.
It is cultivated all over the world and is used commonly as an ingredient to flavor curries.
Major countries which manufacture fenugreek are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Morocco, China, Argentina, Egypt, Turkey, Spain and France.
In India most of the production of fenugreek comes from the state of Rajasthan.
The earliest written record of the use of fenugreek dates back to 1500 B.C. when its use was described in an ancient Egyptian papyrus.
Fenugreek can be taken orally in the form of dried seeds which are ground to a paste. This paste can also be applied on the skin in case of inflammation.
Fenugreek has always been considered beneficial for women. Fenugreek has proved beneficial for female reproductivity and digestive problems,inducing childbirth. Given below are a few of the known benefits of fenugreek:
Fenugreek is effective for loss of appetite and diabetes.
It also helps in the stimulation of milk in lactating women.
A well-known benefit of fenugreek is to provide relief from inflammation on the skin.
As mentioned above, fenugreek helps in the production of milk in breastfeeding women.
As fenugreek is known to have the property of stimulation of labor, excessive consumption should be avoided by pregnant women.
Anyone who has some skin problem which manifests itself with inflammation and rash can get some relief by applying fenugreek paste to the skin.
Though not conclusive, fenugreek is believed to have a positive effect on diabetics. So this group of people can benefit from taking fenugreek.
As mentioned earlier, fenugreek has the effect of inducing labor so this is listed as an undesirable side effect of fenugreek as far as expectant mothers are concerned.
Other side effects of fenugreek are gas, bloating of the stomach, and loose motions.
Application of fenugreek paste on the skin can also cause inflammation in certain sensitive cases.
It is important to consult health care providers before going in for any treatment involving fenugreek.
For increase in breast milk production, two or three capsules daily are recommended. However, this may vary from brand to brand. For diabetes, the dosage can be 10 to 15 grams a day, and a lower dosage of 0.6 to 2.5 grams a day is used for high cholesterol patients. It is recommended that a medical practitioner be contacted for the exact dosage.