The seeds and leaves of methi (fenugreek) are readily available and widely used in Indian kitchen. They have a strong aroma and a bitter taste. But when used in small quantities they impart flavour to your food. It is commonly used in curries, vegetable dishes, dals and not to forget the mouth-watering methi paratha. But did you know that methi is a rich reservoir of medicinal properties too? Methi contains protein, fibre, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, iron and alkaloids. It also contains a compound diosgenin which has oestrogen-like properties, as well as steroidal saponins. These compounds impart many benefits to methi – from being your beauty product to being an answer to your health problems!
Here are 15 health benefits of methi (fenugreek):
Increase breast milk production
Fenugreek ranks high among the ‘must haves’ for nursing mothers. This is due to the presence of diosgenin in the spice which increases milk production in lactating mothers.
Induce and ease child birth
Fenugreek has been known to be helpful in inducing childbirth by stimulating uterine contractions. It is also known to reduce labour pain. But here’s a word of caution. Excess intake of fenugreek seeds during pregnancy could put you in risk of miscarriage or premature childbirth.
Ease women’s health problems
Fenugreek contains compounds like diosgenin and isoflavones with oestrogen-like properties which help reduce symptoms like discomfort and menstrual cramps associated with PMS. These compounds also ease menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and mood fluctuations. Women are more prone to iron deficiency during adolescence (initiation of menstrual periods), during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Including green leafy veggies like fenugreek (methi) in your diet can supply a good amount of iron. But make sure to add tomatoes or potatoes to the preparations to enhance the iron absorption.
Want to enlarge your breasts? Include fenugreek in your regular diet. The oestrogen-like property of fenugreek can help in breast enlargement by balancing hormones in women.
According to studies fenugreek helps to reduce cholesterol level, especially that of the low density lipoprotein (LDL).
Reduce cardiovascular risk
Fenugreek seed has cardiovascular benefits due to the presence of galactomannan. It lowers the risk of heart attack. It is also an excellent source of potassium which counters the action of sodium to help control heart rate and blood pressure.
Fenugreek is beneficial for people with diabetes. Galactomannan, a natural soluble fibre present in fenugreek slows down the rate of sugar absorption into blood. Fenugreek also contains amino acid responsible for inducing the production of insulin.
Fenugreek helps flush out harmful toxins. It relieves indigestion and helps treat constipation.
Cure acid reflux or heartburn
One teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in your food can be an effective remedy for acid reflux or heartburn. Mucilage of fenugreek seeds coat the lining of the stomach and intestine and sooth irritated gastrointestinal tissues. Before consuming, you can soak the methi seeds in water to make their outer coat mucilaginous.
Remedy for fever and sore throat
Fenugreek when taken with a teaspoon of lemon and honey can work wonders to reduce fever by nourishing the body. The soothing effect of mucilage in fenugreek also helps to relieve cough and pain from sore throat.
Prevent colon cancer
The fibre content (saponins, mucilage, etc.) of fenugreek binds to toxins in the food and flush them out. This in turn helps to protect the mucus membrane of the colon from cancers.
Lose weight by suppressing appetite
Include fenugreek in your weight loss diet by chewing soaked methi seeds in the morning on an empty stomach. The natural soluble fibre in the fenugreek can swell and fill the stomach thereby suppressing your appetite.
Cure for skin inflammation and scars
Apply a clean cloth soaked in methi seed paste for effective treatment of skin problems like burns, boils, eczema, etc. Fenugreek seeds also help in getting rid of scars.
Fenugreek can be an excellent ingredient for your home-made beauty product. Fenugreek can be used in face packs to help prevent blackheads, pimples, wrinkles, etc. Washing your face with water boiled with fenugreek seeds or applying a paste of fresh fenugreek leaves for twenty minutes on your face can work wonders for your skin.
Solution to hair problems
Using fenugreek as a part of your diet or as a paste to directly apply on your hair makes yourhair shiny and black. Massaging your head everyday with boiled fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in coconut oil can be an excellent remedy for thinning of hair and hair fall. What more? Fenugreek is also great to keep the dandruff away