Fenugreek is a plant that is native to southern Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia. Also known as methi, it’s a common ingredient in cuisine, and has been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Fenugreek can be enjoyed in many ways. The seeds are often ground into powder and used to give spice and flavor to many dishes, the plant itself can be eaten as a vegetable, and the leaves can be dried and used as herbs.
Fenugreek has a wide array of health benefits. It’s said to bring relief from pain, fever, dandruff, stomach problems, respiratory problems, ulcers, diabetes, inflammation and even insomnia. It’s popular among women as it’s a galactogogue, which means it can increase breastmilk supply in nursing mothers, and it’s believed to be able to heighten the libido and treat symptoms of PMS and menopause.
Fenugreek contains a wide range of different nutrients like magnesium, manganese, copper and iron. It’s also a great source of protein and dietary fiber, as well as phytonutrients such as choline, gitogenin, diosgenin and tigogenin that further enhance the benefits. Fenugreek seeds contain a soluble fiber called galactomannan, which can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and promote healthy blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes.
Fenugreek is extremely effective in strengthening the hair and treating follicular issues that can delay hair growth, and it’s a natural moisturizer that can provide shine and bounce. To use fenugreek, soak the seeds in water for 24 hours. Strain them out, and rinse your hair with the fenugreek-infused water. Once your hair is soaked with fenugreek water, let it sit for at least three hours before washing out with warm water. Or you can create a paste out of fenugreek seeds and coconut milk, and apply once a week as a deep-conditioning hair treatment.