Tag Archives: Fenugreek

Fenugreek

B0tanical Name :Trigonella foenum-graecum
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Trigonella
Species: T. foenum-graecum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms : Foenum-graecum officinale var. tibetanum. Trigonella tibetana.

Common Names:Fenugreek, Sicklefruit fenugreek

It is known as methi in Marathi  Punjabi, Hindi, Urudu, Bengali and Nepali  as menthiyam, and venthayam  in Tamil, “uluhaal”  in Sinhala, Helba  in Arabic, menthya  in Kannada, uluwa in Malayalam, moshoseitaro  in Greek and menthulu  in Telugu.

Alholva, Bird’s Foot, Boyotu, Chinagreye, Foenum Graecum, Greek Hay-seed, Halva, Helba, Hu Lu Pa, K’U Tou, Kelabat, Koroha, Methi, Shimli, Sickle-fruit Fenugreek, Sicklefruit Fenugreek, Trigonella foenum-graecum

(The name comes from Foenum-graecum, meaning Greek Hay, the plant being used to scent inferior hay.)

Habitat ;Fenugreek is natve to India and northern Europe.Now It grows  in Austria; Belgium; Chile; China; Egypt; S. France; Hungary; India; Iraq; Java; Malaya; Mediterranean; Spain; Sudan; Turkey.

It can grow in Field verges, uncultivated ground, dry grasslands and hillsides

Description:
Fenugreek is an annual, leguminous plant. It has tri-foliate, obovate and toothed, light green leaves. Its stems are erect, long and tender. Blooming period occurs during summer. Flowers are yellow-white, occurring singly or in pairs at the leaf axils. Fruit is a curved seed-pod, with ten to twenty flat and hard, yellowish-brown seeds. They are angular- rhomboid, oblong or even cubic, and have a deep furrow dividing them into two unequal lobes.It is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop.

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Edible Uses:
Funugreek is a common ingredient in dishes from the Indian Subcontinent.An essential oil is obtained from the seed – used as a food flavoring.The dried plant has a strong aroma of hay.

Fenugreek is also used as a vegetable. Fresh fenugreek leaves are an ingredient in some Indian curries. The sprouted seeds and microgreens are used in salads. When harvested as microgreens, fenugreek is known as Samudra Methi in Maharashtra, especially in and around Mumbai, where it is often grown near the sea in the sandy tracts, hence the name (Samudra, which means “ocean” in Sanskrit). Samudra Methi is also grown in dry river beds in the Gangetic plains. When sold as a vegetable in India, the young plants are harvested with their roots still attached. Any remaining soil is washed off to extend their shelf life. They are then sold in small bundles in the markets and bazaars.
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Medicinal use:
Fenugreek is one of the oldest medicinal plants. It has been used for centuries for different female conditions, brain and nervous system ailments, skin, liver and metabolic disorders. It is also considered highly beneficial for respiratory and gastrointestinal problems.  It is a highly potent female herb, since it helps relaxing the uterus and relieving menstrual pains, and is an excellent stimulator of milk production in nursing mothers. As for the gastrointestinal tract, Fenugreek is usually suggested in treatments of poor digestion, gastric inflammations, enteritis, especially for convalescents. It can also be used in cases of weight loss, poor appetite and even in treatment of anorexia nervosa. Different blood conditions, such as anemia, and nervous system disorders (neurasthenia) can also be successfully treated with Fenugreek. As for the respiratory conditions, Fenugreek is excellent in treatment of bronchitis, mucous congestions, different infections, tuberculosis. Used externally, it can help curing abscesses, boils, carbuncles, fistulas, sciatica, various skin irritations,sores & wounds.

Lactation: Fenugreek seeds are thought to be a galactagogue that is often used to increase milk supply in lactating women.

Known Hazards: The seed contains 1% saponins. Although poisonous, saponins are poorly absorbed by the human body and so most pass through without harm. Saponins are quite bitter and can be found in many common foods such as some beans. They can be removed by carefully leaching the seed or flour in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also remove most of them. However, it is not advisible to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.

News: In February 2009, the International Frutarom Corporation factory in North Bergen, New Jersey, was found to be the source of a mysterious maple syrup aroma which had been reported as occasionally drifting over New York City since 2005. The odor was found to be from sotolon, an ester in fenugreek seeds. No health risks have been found.

Fenugreek seeds imported from Egypt in 2009 and 2010 have been linked to outbreaks of Escherichia coli O104:H4 in Germany and France, causing 50 deaths in 2011

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fenugreek
http://www.diet-and-health.net/Naturopathy/Fenugreek.html
http://health-from-nature.net/Fenugreek.html

Gudmar / madhunasini

 

Botanical Name:Asclapias geminata Roxb/Periploca Sylvastris Retz
Family : Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Tribe : Marsdenieae
Gender : Gymnema
Species : G. sylvestris
Division :  Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Subclass:  Asterids
Order :  Gentianales

Synonyms: Periploca sylvestris Willd., Gymnema melicida Edgew.

Common Name:
English :Suger destroyer,Periploca of the wood
Sanskrit:Mesasrngi,Ajaballi, Ajagandini, Ajashringi, Bahalchakshu, Chakshurabahala, Grihadruma, Karnika, Kshinavartta, Madhunasini, Medhasingi, Meshashringi, Meshavishanika, Netaushadhi, Putrashringi, Sarpadanshtrika, Tiktadughdha, Vishani.
Local Indian Names :
Hindi– Gur-mar, merasingi; Bengali- Mera-singi; Marathi– Kavali, kalikardori, vakundi; Gujarati– Dhuleti, mardashingi; Telugu- Podapatri; Tamil- Adigam, cherukurinja; Kannada– Sannager-asehambu; Malyalam– Cakkarakkolli, Madhunashini.

Parts Used: Leaves

Habitat:
Preferentially grows in forests and secondary open scrub and is in heights up to 1000-1200 meters .  It is especially distributed in the monsoon forests and, less frequently, has reached parts of Oceania and America .  It is located in Asia especially in India , in the tropical forests of central and southern Iraq, in Western Ghats is a mountain range that lies west of India and in the territory of Goa .  It also grows in Japan , Sri Lanka , Vietnam , Taiwan and some provinces of China in Fujian , Guangxi , Hainan , Yunnan and Zhejiang .  Less commonly can be found in South Africa .

Description:
Large climbers,rooting at nodes,leaves elliptic,acuminate,base acute to acuminate, glabrous above sparsely or densely tomentose beneath. Flowers small, in axillary and lateral umbel like cymes, pedicels long. Calyz-lobes long, ovate,obtuse,pubescent. Corolla pale yellow campalute,valvate, corona single with 5 fleshy scales. Scales adnate to throat of corolla tube between lobes. Anther connective produced into a membranous tip, pollima2,erect,carpels 2, unilocular; loculus many ovulated. Follicle long,fusiform.

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Extensive, much-branched, twining shrubs. Leaves 3-6 x 2-3 cm, ovate or elliptic-oblong, apiculate, rounded at base, sub-coriaceous. Flowers minute, greenish-yellow, spirally arranged in lateral pedunculate or nearly sessile cymes. Corolla lobes imbricate. Follicles solitary, upto 8 x 0.7 cm, terete, lanceolate, straight or slightly curved, glabrous. Seeds ovate-oblong, glabrous, winged, brown. Flowering: August-March; Fruiting: Winter.

Madhunashini is an evergreen climber and the best season for planting is June-July. After the ploughing and leveling of the land, 45 cm3 sized pits are made at a distance of 2.5 m between the rows and 1.75 m between plants (within the row). The pits are dug open 15 days earlier to planting, they are filled with green leaves and top soil and 2 kgs of well rotten manure per pit is added. The pits are to be irrigated and left for one week, then the rooted cuttings are planted in the pits.

HARVESTING AND YIELD
The crop is ready for harvest two years after planting. Leaves are the economic part and the harvesting of the leaves begins when plants start flowering i.e., during end of June or first week of July. Leaves can be harvested along with flowers either by hand or can be cut with sickle/knife. The harvest leaves are dried under shade by allowing sufficient air to circulate by spreading thinly on clear ground for about7-8 days. Direct sunlight should be avoided to maintain the quality of the leaves.

The crop is harvested only once in a year during flowering and on an average 5-6 kg dried leaves per plant can be obtained from a 4 years old plant yielding about 10,000 – 15,000 kgs of dried leaves per hectare. The crop can be cultivated for 10-15 years under good management.

Chemical Composition:
The leaves contain hentriacontane, pentatriacontane, a-and ß-chlorophylls, phytin, resins, tartaric acid, formic acid, butyric acid, anthraqui-none derivatives, inositol, d -quercitol and “gymnemic acid”. The leaves give positive tests for alkaloids. Flavonol glycosides, kaempferol and quercetin have been isolated from the aerial parts of the plant (Liu et al., 2004). Three new oleanane-type triterpene glycosides were isolated from the leaves of the plant. Six oleanane-type saponins (Ye et al., 2000, 2001). Few new tritepenoid saponins, gymnemasins A, B, C and D were also isolated from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre (Suttisri et al., 1995, Sahu et al., 1996).

Medicinal Property & Uses:  The plant is stomachic, stimulant, laxative and diuretic. It is good in cough, biliousness and sore eyes. If the leaves of the plant are chewed, the sense of taste for sweet and bitter substances is suppressed (Gent, 1999, Persaud et al., 1999, Intelegen, 2004). The leaves are said to be used as a remedy for diabetes (Prakash et al., 1986; Shanmugasundaram et al., 1990; Grover et al., 2002; Gholap & Kar, 2003}. It has been included among the most important herbs for all doshas (Mhasker & Caius, 1930; Holistic, 2004). It has shown effective activity against Bacillus pumilis, B. subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus (Satdive et al., 2003). Tribals in Chhindi rub the leaves on infected body parts to cure infections.

The leaf powder is tasteless with a faint pleasant aromatic odour. It stimulates the heart and the circulatory system, increases the secretion of urine, and activates the uterus. Tribals of Central India prepare decoctions of Methi/ fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), Gudmar (Gymnema sylvestre), Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna), Ajwan (Trachyspermum ammi), gokshura (Tribulus terrestris), vayu-vidanga (Embelia ribes), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Harra (Terminalia chebula), and chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica) to cure diabetes and stress related disorders.

Traditional healers from various states of India use this plant in various ailments. Leaf is given in gastric troubles in Rajasthan. Traditional healers of Maharastra prescribe it in urinary problems and stomachache whereas in Madhya Pradesh, tribals and local healers apply the leaf extract in cornea opacity and other eye diseases. In Andhra Pradesh it is used in glycosuria.

In Indian Ayurveda it is mainly used in the treatment of Diabetes, hydrocil & Asthama.

Few important companies in Product Manufacturing:

Active Ingredients Group., Inc., China

Amitco International Botanical & Nutritional Division, USA

Camden-Grey Essential Oils, Miami, USA.

Christina’s Body & Fitness, USA

Dabur, India

Himalaya Herbals, India

Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd. India

Philly Pharmacy, USA

S&D Chemicals (Canada) Ltd. Canada

Concluding Remarks:

It is the need of the hour to save this highly important medicinal plant of Patalkot valley. If proper initiatives would not be taken in time, there would not be single Gymnema plant in the valley. It is urged to the scientists, conservationists, researchers, NGO’s and other bodies to come forward and take moves to protect this important herb. Local farmers should be encouraged to cultivate this herb. Government and policy makers are having lots of plans/ ideas but they find problems in proper implementations. It is the youth and people from literate world who should come forward to take this task in their hands.

 Other uses: Alcoholic extract has a dry leaves showing antibacterial activity against Bacillus pumilus , Bacillus subtilis , Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus .

Caution:    If the indicated amounts are used, ie no more than 400mg per day is generally safe, well tolerated and no side effects.  During pregnancy and lactation has not been determined whether or not there may be side effects.  Still, it is recommended to consult a medical practitioner before taking Gymnema extract diabetic children and elderly.  Contraindicated if used in combination with oral hypoglycemic drugs.  Be careful when taking gymnema with glipizide, glyburide and insulin.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.allianceingredients.com/pdfdocs/GYMNEMA.pdf
http://horticulture.kar.nic.in/APMAC_website_files/madhunasini.htm
http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/gymnema.shtml
http://www.sacredearth.com/ethnobotany/plantprofiles/Gymnea.php
http://www.orissafdc.com/products_medicinal_plants.php

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Magic of Methi or Fenugreek

 

Fenugric; Botanical name: Trigonella foenum-graecum

Family: Fabaceae/Leguminosae
Genus: Trigonella
Species: T. foenum-graecum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Fenugreek,commonly known as Methi, seeds provide a tangy flavor and powerful curry scent to the vegetable and lentil dishes. Fenugreek seed are used in wide range of curry powder. Fenugreek can also be used as a fresh herb.

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Fenugreek are always roasted before using. Light roast gives a mellow flavor and dark roast will give a bitter. Sometimes the seeds are soaked overnight, when they becomes easier to combine in curry paste. Soaked seeds can also be used as main ingredient for a vegetable or chutney.

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Fenugreek are used and grown throughout the South Asia. The Fenugreek plant grows 2 feet tall with light green leaves and white flower. Each Fenugreek pod gives from 10 to 20 seeds. Fenugreeks are rich in protein, vitamins and mineral

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It is a herb with small, aromatic green leaves. It is also used in dried form (kasoori methi) to flavour chicken and fish and cooked as a classic vegetable dish with potatoes (alumethi). Slightly bitter in taste, it is a popular winter green.

Methi seeds, whole, fried or roasted and powdered, are used as ‘tarka’ or garnishing. It is used commonly in pickles across India and is part of a five spice mixture used in Bengal. Like most herbs, Methi has many medicinal properties.

Fenugreek seeds contain a high percentage of mucilage a natural gummy substance present in the coatings of many seeds. Although it does not dissolve in water, mucilage forms a thick, gooey mass when exposed to fluids. Like other mucilage-containing substances, fenugreek seeds swell up and become slick when they are exposed to fluids. The resulting soft mass is not absorbed by the body, but instead passes through the intestines and also triggers intestinal muscle contractions. Both actions promote the emptying of intestinal contents. Therefore, fenugreek is a mild but effective laxative.

In addition, fenugreek seeds contain chemicals that slow down the time that food takes to go through the intestinal tract. As one result, sugars are absorbed from foods more slowly and blood sugar levels may not rise as high or fluctuate as much as usual. Fenugreek may further affect blood sugar levels by decreasing the activity of an enzyme that is involved in releasing stored sugar from the liver into the blood. Also, fenugreek contains an amino acid called 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which appears to increase the body’s production of insulin when blood sugar levels are high. For many individuals, higher insulin production decreases the amounts of sugar that stay in the blood In some studies of animals and humans with both diabetes and high cholesterol levels, fenugreek lowered cholesterol levels as well as blood sugar levels. However, no blood-sugar lowering effect was seen in non-diabetic animals. Similarly, individuals with normal cholesterol levels showed no significant reductions in cholesterol while taking fenugreek.

Some evidence suggests that fenugreek may also have other medical uses. It may reduce the amounts of calcium oxalate in the kidneys. Calcium oxalate often contributes to kidney stones. In animal studies, fenugreek also appeared to lessen the chance of developing colon cancer by blocking the action of certain enzymes. It may have some ability to protect the liver against damage from alcohol and other chemicals, but much further research is needed to prove or disprove all these possible uses of fenugreek.

Methi is supposed to be natural cure for arthritis. According to ayurveda, the cause of arthritis is a noxious gas produced within the human body known as Va and the gas that causes joint arthritis is known as Sandhiva.

During the course of time, intestines fill with undigested food particles which become glued to the intestine lining. These particles create several different layers in the intestine and act as chemicals that release gases with different constituents. The gas, sandhiva, finds refuge in the joints and creates pressure, immobilizing them and making movement painful, due to inflamation. Methi, if consumed twice a day, cleans the intestines and directs the waste out of the body naturally.

According to Ayurveda, Methi is an antipyretic and anthelmintic herb. Translation: It is an appetizer, relieves constipation, and reduces colic. It is also known to cure leprosy, vomiting, bronchitis, and piles.

Traditional healers recommend that people suffering from digestive problems eat Methi leaves. It also helps you lose weight and reduces dullness, dizziness and drowsiness. In general, it is considered as good appetizer. Methi seeds are considered very effective in combative diabetes.

Topically, the gelatinous texture of fenugreek seed may have some benefit for soothing skin that is irritated by eczema or other conditions. It has also been applied as a warm poultice to relieve muscle aches and gout pain

The fresh juice of Methi leaves prevents hair fall. You can massage it in your hair, particularly the roots, to get rid of dandruff and promote new hair growth. It can also be used in a facepack to reduce wrinkles.

Fenugreek seed is widely used as a galactagogue (milk producing agent) by nursing mothers to increase inadequate breast milk supply. Studies have shown that fenugreek is a potent stimulator of breast milk production and its use was associated with increases in milk production. It can be found in capsule form in many health food stores.

Several human intervention trials demonstrated that the antidiabetic effects of fenugreek seeds ameliorate most metabolic symptoms associated with type-1 and type-2 diabetes in both humans and relevant animal models by reducing serum glucose and improving glucose tolerance.  click & see

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Extracted from: /www.purpleparka.com and http://www.drugdigest.org/DD/DVH/HerbsWho/0,3923,552024%7CMethi,00.html

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