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Trigonella foenum-graecum

Latin Name: Trigonella foenum-graecum 

Common name: Fenugreek

Family: Fabaceae

Parts used: Seeds, sprouts

Constituents: Volatile oils, alkaloids (trigonelline, genitanine, carpaine), saponins (fenugreekine, diosgenin, tigogenin, gitogenin, trigogenin etc.), flavanoids, mucilage (approximately 27%).

Medicinal actions: Galactogogue, demulcent, emollient (vulnerary), febrifuge (mild), appetite stimulant, hypocholesterolemic, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, oxytocic, diuretic.

Fenugreek

Medicinal use: Soothes irritated mucus membranes in gastritis and gastric ulcers, anorexia (due to appetite stimulation), fevers, low breast milk production, diabetes, liver cancer, kidney stones, skin problems (use as paste externally for abscesses, boils, ulcers, or burns).

Pharmacology:

  • Saponins have hypocholesterolemic qualities and are cardiotonic, diuretic, hypoglycemic, antiviral, and antihypertensive.

Pharmacy:

  • Seeds can be sprouted or eaten directly in 1-6 form doses up to three times a day.
  • Macerate 50g of the seeds and add to a ¼ liter water to apply topically or to hot bath. Or, macerate ½ gram powdered seed in 150 mL cold water for three hours, strain and apply topically or drink.
  • Infusion: 1 ½ tsp of herb to 1 cup water, steep for 10 minutes, three times a day.
  • Tincture: 1-2 mL doses 3 times a day

Toxicity: Watch blood glucose levels and possible bruising due to anti-coagulative effects at high doses.

Contraindications: Avoid during pregnancy due to uterine stimulant properties.

Interactions: Be cautious with antidiabetic agents because there can be glucose-lowering effects. Due to the high mucilage and fiber in the seeds, other oral medications may not be optimally absorbed. Can have additive effects with other anti-cholesterol medications.

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