Fenugreek Herb - Uses And Side Effects
Fenugreek is one of the world's oldest medicinal herbs. It has a variety of uses, including increasing breastmilk production. Fenugreek, or Trigonella foenum-graecum, is native to countries along the Mediterranean's eastern shore. The plant is cultivated in India, Egypt, Morocco and, occasionally, England. Herbalists use only the seeds, which grow in sicklelike pods. Each pod contains about 10 to 20 brownish seeds.
An erect 2 to 3 foot tall annual herb with light green leaves and small white flowers. The seed pods contain 10 to 20 small, flat, yellow-brown, pungent, aromatic seeds to a pod. The seeds have a strong aroma and somewhat bitter taste, variously described as similar to celery, maple syrup, or burnt sugar.
Fenugreek smells and tastes like maple syrup. In fact, drinking fenugreek tea may cause the urine to smell like maple syrup. People used to add the herb to liquid medicines to mask the taste.
Common doses of Fenugreek
Fenugreek is available as unprocessed seeds, extracts in liquid and spray, seeds in a dried powder or capsules, and a poultice. Some experts recommend the following doses:
Uses of Fenugreek
The major use of fenugreek is in curry powders, figuring in many mixtures, especially vindaloo and the hot curries of Sri Lanka. It is an ingredient of Panch phoron, the Indian five-spice mixture. In homemade powders, the amount used can be controlled, but in cheap bought powders it often overpowers. Some of the medicinal uses of fenugreek are:-
Side effects of Fenugreek
Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of fenugreek:
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care
Don't use fenugreek while taking:
Important points to remember
What the research shows
Although fenugreek may hold promise in treating diabetes and high cholesterol, researchers haven't tested the herb on people. What's more, existing drugs have proven benefits in these conditions.
Other names for Fenugreek : -
Other names for fenugreek include bird's-foot,greek hayseed,and trigonella.
Preparation and Storage
Dried seeds should be lightly roasted before using (don't overdo it though, or they will become bitter). After roasting, they are easily ground. A small amount will complement many other spices, but too much can be overpowering. If the seeds are required as part of a curry paste they can be soaked overnight to swell and soften, and be easily mixed with the other ingredients.
Products containing fenugreek are sold under such names as fenugreek seed and fenu-thyme.
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