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Fenugreek
shopping: all 4 varieties
Trigonella foenum graecum

fenugreek

plant overview
maple-flavored fenugreek

This herb has a long history of use dating to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Its name stems from the Greek Foenum-graecum, which means Greek hay. The whole seeds are used to make tinctures, while powdered Fenugreek seed is a component of curry seasoning and an alternative to real maple in the manufacturing of candy and other confections.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Fenugreek
01.
A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on fenugreek

description
Fenugreek is an annual plant in the Fabaceae family with leaves consisting of three small oblong leaflets. It may have a single stem or may be branched at the stem base. The plant has an erect growth habit and a strong, sweet aroma. The leaves of the plant are small and trifoliate with oval leaflets which are green to purple in color. The plant produces solitary pale white or purplish flowers and a straight or occasionally curved yellow pod which houses the seeds. Between 10 and 20 seeds are produced per pod and they are small, smooth and brown, each divided into two lobes. Fenugreek can reach a height of 60 cm (23.6 in) and as an annual, survives only one growing season.

common names & nomenclature
The common name Fenugreek comes from the Latin foenum (“hay”) (variant of faenum) + Graecum (“Greek”) (neuter form of Graecus), “Greek hay”.

Also known as:
fenugreek, greek hay, greek clover, bird's foot, methi, menthiyam, venthayam, uluhaal, helba, menthya, uluwa, moshoseitaro, menthulu, foenugreek, goat’s horn


02.
Where in the World
habitat and range for fenugreek

Fenugreek is a native to India and southern Europe. For centuries it has grown wild in India, the Mediterranean and North Africa where it is mainly cultivated.

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting fenugreek

climate
Fenugreek grows on sunny field verges, uncultivated ground, dry grasslands and hillsides.

soil
Fenugreek prefers a well-drained loamy soil, but can grow in ordinary garden soil.

growing
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring directly in the garden.

harvesting
The leaves are harvested in the growing season and can be used fresh or dried. The seeds are harvested when fully ripe and dried for later use.

preserving
Store dried whole or powdered seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

04.
The Rest of the Story
fenugreek history, folklore, literature & more

Fenugreek plants were used to help sick animals long before its seeds became a popular remedy for human ills. Early Greeks mixed the plant into moldy or insect damaged animal forage to make it more palatable, and in the process discovered that sick horses and cattle would eat fenugreek when they wouldn't eat anything else. The Egyptians and Romans adopted "Greek Hay" a name that evolved into fenugreek. Today the plant is widely used to flavor horse and cattle feed, and some veterinarians still use it to encourage sick horses and cattle to eat.

Ancient Chinese healers used fenugreek to treat fevers, hernia, gallbladder problems, muscle aches, and even impotence.

Fenugreek is the only healing herb ever used as a weapon of war. During the Roman siege of Jerusalem general emperor Vespasian ordered his troops to scale the city's imposing walls. The standard defense against this was to pour boiling water or oil on the attackers and their ladders. According to the "History of the Jewish War" by Jewish traitor Flavius Josephus, Jerusalem's defenders added fenugreek to the oil they poured on the Romans, making it more slippery.

Some of fenugreeks traditional uses have been supported by modern science, but its most important potential use has only recently been discovered, cholesterol control. Studies show fenugreek reduces cholesterol in dogs. The herb has not yet been tested in humans, but this finding warrants that such studies be done.

And for women's health—Almost a century after Lydia Pinkham's death, an animal experiment has lent some support to fenugreek's action as a uterine stimulant, especially during the late stages of pregnancy. Fenugreek seeds contain a chemical similar to the female sex hormone estrogen. Estrogen encourages the body to retain water, and one side effect of the Pill is bloating. Water retention means increased weight, so perhaps those Arab women who ate fenugreek to gain weight were on the right track.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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