Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Genus: Trigonella
Botanical name: Trigonella foenum-graecum
Sanskrit: Bahuparni, Bahupatrika, Chandrika, dipani, Gandhabija, Gandhaphala
Hindi: Methi
English: Fenugreek, Greek-clover, Greek hay
Malayalam: Uluva, uluwa
Fenugreek is an ancient spice, although currently not much known in the West. In India, it is popular for pickles and also in cooking. Dry roasting can enhance the flavour and reduce the bitterness, provided care is taken not to overheat the seeds. The plant is an erect annual herb, 10-60 cm tall, sparingly velvety to hairless. Leaves are trifoliate with leaflets 1-3 cm long, 5-15 mm broad, obovate to inverted-lance shaped, toothed or incised. Stipules are lance shaped, long-pointed, entire. Flowers are cream-colored or yellowish-white, sometimes tinged with lilac, 1-2 in leaf axils. Sepal cup is 7-8 mm long, teeth as long as the tube. Flowers are 1.2-1.8 cm long. Fruit is 5-11 mm long, 3-5 mm broad, smooth or velvety, tapering into a beak, 1-3.5 cm long, 10-20-seeded.
Fenugreek is also used as a vegetable. Fresh Fenugreek leaves are an ingredient in some Indian curries. The sprouted seeds and micro greens are used in salads.
Fenugreek seed is widely used as a galactagogue (milk producing agent) by nursing mothers to increase inadequate breast milk supply. For Woman: Its active ingredient known as galactogogue increases the flow of mother's milk within 24-36 hours. Its seeds have been used in many traditional medicines as a laxative, digestive, and as a remedy for cough and bronchitis.
Trigonella foenum-graecum
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