Fenugreek is a plant not many have heard of, this plant grows annually from seed to crop within a year before dying off and getting replanted. It is a semi-arid plant allowing it to grow with very little water, the plant is believed to have originated from the Middle East in the Iraq region. The leaves are light green, with small white flowers that turn into pods, providing us with its aromatic seeds that make up Fenugreeks main usage. It grows 2-3 feet tall, with the pods containing 10-20 seeds inside its capsule.
The bulk of this plants cultivations and usage spans out through the Indian sub-continent, with its sate Rajasthan accounting for 80% of India’s production. The seed is commonly used in India as culinary ingredient. A lot of your favourite Indian curries owe a debt to Fenugreek leaves, with it’s seeds used as ingredients for salads. Though it can be eaten raw, its often cooked before hand to rid it of its bitter taste. The seeds are a great source of protein and fibre, especially useful for the vegetarians out there. It also contains folic acid making it a nutritional treat.
We touched briefly on the fragrance of this seed, this particular seed contains very interesting notes, it’s often compared to burnt sugar or maple syrup. This unique desert like smell makes it ideal for gourmand style perfumes. Gourmand perfumes are those with food notes, making you smell like a delicious tasty treat. Who doesn’t want to be a delicious tasty treat? Well you have the downside of being eaten, but that’s a small price to pay for being a delicious tasty treat. If you have kids you should definitely dress them up as Fenugreek for Halloween, that way they’ll aspire to be delicious tasty treats when they grow up… sorry I think I’m getting a bit carried away talking about delicious tasty treats, I’ll go munch on some Fenugreek to prevent the delicious tasty treats from raising my cholesterol. Yes, that is also a medicinal property of the plant, though it is one that still needs further research.
The plant has a fascinating history in various regions, from China to Egypt. The herbs historical usage includes the Egyptians using it as an embalming agent, keep that in mind next time you happen across a mummy. The ancient Egyptians also believed the herb to ease child birth, and increase milk flow for mothers. The herb was so revered by the Egyptians that they were used as in religious ceremonies. The Chinese has similar beliefs in the medicinal property of this herb, the seed was often boiled in combinations with various other herbs like anise-seed, or aloe, and drunk as a tonic. All around the world in various regions this herb is believed to contain medicinal properties, in North Africa the plant is even used to help promote weight gain in women.
Fenugreek is really a treat for those looking to improve their health; its benefits seem to be endless , not only is the herb used in traditional medicine, but also modern medicine. There is now a wealth of research to back up the medicinal claims for the plant. It can be effective in treating various stomach, and gut problems such as digestion troubles, inflammation in the stomach, and constipation. The seeds have also shown strong evidence in its ability to prevent, and treat diabetes, though father research is still needed. Women that suffer menstruation pain can also look to this wondrous seed for pain relief. Men aren’t left out either, consumption of the oil has been shown to increase male fertility, there could be a whole batch of children that owe their existence to this herb, we should probably start the construction of a Fenugreek monument for ASAP.