Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trigonella foenum-graecum L.

English Name : Fenugreek

Family : Fabaceae

Origin : Area including Greece, Asia Minor and Persia

An annual herb 1 to 2 feet high, with an erect, slightly branched, cylindrical, hollow, smooth or slightly pubescent stem; root tapering. Leaves alternate on rather long stalks, trifoliolate, stipules ¼ inch long, triangular-acuminate, entire, ciliate, leaflets shortly stalked, articulated to the rachis, oblong-obovate, blunt or emarginate at the apex, denticulate in the upper half, glabrous. Flowers sessile, solitary in the axils of the leaves. Calyx long and narrow, divided about half way down into 5 narrowly lanceolate or linear acuminate teeth, hairy outside, pale green. Corolla papilionaceous, about twice as long as the calyx, pale yellow, standard about ¾ inch long, with a narrow claw and an ovate emarginate blade, wings much shorter, blunt, lower petals united in front to form a very blunt rounded keel shorter than the wings. Stamens 10, free from the corolla, hypogynous, the uppermost filament distinct, the other 9 combined except at their curved-up extremities to form a sheath round the pistil, open above; anthers very small, similar. Ovary smooth or downy, with numerous ovules, style rather long, somewhat faicate, stigma capitate.

Parts Used : Seed and leaf

Herb Effects
Lowers blood pressure, carminative, increases milk production and/or flow, depresses the central nervous system, cardiotonic, aphrodisiac, hypoglycemic, diuretic, hemostatic, antiinflammatory, emmolient, rids the body of impurities and toxins.

Active Ingredients
Fenugreekine, trigonelline, choline, C27-steroidal sapogenins and mucilage (seed); sterols and flavonoids (leaf); saponins (leaf and seed).

Medicinal Use
As a tonic, emollient (in rheumatism, abscesses, boils and ulcers), inflammations in the intestinal tract, bronchitis, increasing the secretion of gastric juices, hemorrhoids, diabetes, diarrhea and in veterinary medicine (as an ointment, emollient).

Fenugreek contains estrogen and can stimulate the uterus, therefore it should be avoided while pregnant.


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