Methi/Fenugreek seeds are very small seeds (dana) but have lots of health benefits which are used for years as medicinal, therapeutic and natural home remedies. It is cultivated once in a year belongs to the Fabaceae family. Methi seeds are very familiar component used in various Indian subcontinent dishes. It is famous by different names in different regions. It is called by the name methi in the Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali and Nepali, venthayam in the Tamil, uluhaal in the Sinhala, Helba in the Arabic, menthya in the Kannada, uluwa in the Malayalam, menthulu in the Telugu, Samudra Methi in the Maharashtra (Mumbai) and etc.
Methi seeds are greatly produced in many countries such as India, Iran, Spain, Argentina, Nepal, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, France, Bangladesh and Morocco. India is the largest producer of the fenugreek seeds in the world. In India, methi seeds are largely produced in many states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Haryana. Rajasthan produces approximately 80% of the total fenugreek seeds in India. Its green and fresh leaves are used to make saag (vegetable, methi paratha), methi dana are used as a spice (panch phoron and sambar powder), sprouts (salads), pickles, vegetable dishes, daals and etc. Methi has a different compound called Sotolon which is responsible for its sweet smell.
Benefits of Methi Seeds/Fenugreek Seeds
Both methi seeds and leaves are generally available and broadly used in the Indian kitchens because of its amazing health benefits. It has minerals, fibre, iron, protein, vitamins (C and B), potassium, alkaloids and etc. It is also famous for having a compound called diosgenin (has property of estrogen and steroidal saponins). I have mentioned some important health benefits of the methi seeds such as:
Removes Body Toxins
- Methi aids a lot in the digestion by flushing out the harmful toxins from the body.
Treats Digestive Disorders
- It provides relief from the indigestion, constipation and other digestive disorders.
- Methi seed helps in curing the acid reflux (heartburn) as it has mucilage which covers the stomach and intestinal linings and soothes the irritated tissues of the gastrointestinal tract. Regular consumption of 1 tsf soaked methi seeds in water provide more relief as the soaking process makes its outer coating mucilaginous.
Relieves Sore Throat
- It provides relief from the fever, cough and sore throat when taken with a tsf of honey and lemon.
Prevents from Colon Cancer
- It is the rich source of the fibres saponins and mucilage which helps in removing the body toxins and protects the colon mucus membrane from cancers.
Reduces Risk of Heart Diseases
- Methi seed reduces the bad cholesterol level (low density lipoprotein, LDL) in the blood thus reduces the risk cardiovascular diseases.
- It prevents from the atherosclerosis which leads to the heart problems.
Prevents from Heart Attack
- It has a special component called galactomannan (natural soluble fibre) which lowers the heart attack risk.
Controls Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
- Fenugreek seeds are the excellent source of electrolyte potassium which help in controlling the heart rate as well as blood pressure by counteracting the sodium action.
Treats Digestive Problems
- It helps in treating the common digestive problems like loss of appetite, stomach upset, stomach inflammation or gastritis and etc.
Rich Source of Vitamins
- It is very helpful in treating the kidney ailments and deficiency symptoms of the vitamin like mouth ulcers, baldness, chronic coughs, chapped lips, beriberi, boils, cellulitis, tuberculosis, bronchitis, cancer and etc.
Rich Source of Phytochemicals
- It has various medicinal properties because of its phytochemical compounds like diosgenin, choline, yamogenin, tigogenin, trigonelline gitogenin, and neotigogens.
Cures Memory Loss Problem
- It is rich in choline and antioxidant beta carotene which are very helpful to cure the problems like memory loss, arteriosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and early ageing.
Cures Roundworms Problem
- Methi seed is very effective against the roundworms and keeps insects away as it has some chemicals which act as an insecticide.
Benefits of Methi Seeds for Lactating (Breast Feeding) Mothers
Promotes Breast Milk Production
- Methi seeds enhance the production of breast milk in the lactating mothers as it has diosgenin compound which increases the milk production.
Benefits of Methi Seeds for Men
Treats Sexual Problems
- Methi seeds are very beneficial for treating various problems in men like hernia, erectile dysfunction and etc.
Boosts Testosterone Level
- It is famous as an aphrodisiac which has ability to boost the testosterone level in the men. High testosterone level maintains the energy level for long time.
- Fenugreek seed enhances the sexual desire as well as treats the premature ejaculation and impotence by increasing the blood flow to the penis.
Benefits of Methi Seeds for Pregnant Women
Induces Labor and Reduces Labor Pain
- It induces and eases the child birth during labor as it stimulates the uterine contractions and reduces the labor pain. However, its excess intake should be avoided during pregnancy as it increases the risk of miscarriage as well as premature childbirth.
Benefits of Methi Seeds for Women
Provides Relief from Menstrual Cramps
- Methi seed provides variety of health benefits to the women of all ages. It has different compounds (diosgenin and isoflavones) which acts as an estrogen hormone and provides relief from the discomfort and menstrual cramps during menstruation in the women.
Relieves Menopausal Symptoms
- It eases the other menopausal symptoms including anxiety, dizziness, insomnia, hot flashes, mood variations and etc as well.
Fulfills Iron Deficiency
- As women come under the most vulnerable group suffering from the iron deficiency during the puberty period, pregnancy and breastfeeding. Regular use of methi (either in the form of leaves or seeds) in the normal diet provides relief from all the deficiency symptoms of the iron by fulfilling the need of iron in the body.
Enhances Iron Absorption in Body
- Eating tomatoes or potatoes together with the methi enhances the power of iron absorption found in it.
Promotes Breast Enlargement
- Fenugreek seed enhances the breast enlargement in the women by including it in the regular diet as it has oestrogen like property which balances the sex hormones among women.
Benefits of Methi Seeds in Diabetes
Controls Blood Sugar Level
- It is well known for controlling the blood sugar level in the diabetic person as it has a natural soluble fibre known as the Galactomannan which has property to slow down the sugar absorption rate in the blood.
Induces Insulin Production
- It also has an essential amino acid (4-hydroxy isoleucine) which is deeply responsible for enhancing the insulin production in the body.
Reduces High Triglycerides Level
- Methi seed lowers the high triglycerides level means blood fats in the person with type 2 diabetes.
Benefits of Methi Seeds for Weight Loss
- Chewing the soaked methi seeds with empty stomach in the early morning makes the stomach full and suppress appetite due to the natural soluble fibres available in the in the fenugreek seeds. In this way it helps in the weight management strategy.
Benefits of Methi Seeds for Skin
Treats Skin Problems
- Applying paste of the methi seeds helps in treating the various skin problems including scar, inflammation, boils, burns, eczema and etc.
Provides Glow to Skin
- It makes the skin shiny, fair and blemishes free.
Provides Relief from Skin Problems
- It is generally used as a poultice to relief various skin problems. Applying warmed methi seeds (wrapped in the cloth) directly on the skin provides relief from the local pain, wounds, swelling, inflammation, muscle pain, gout, lymphadenitis, leg ulcers, eczema and etc.
Beauty Benefits of Methi Seeds
Makes Skin Smooth
- Fenugreek seeds are in use for years as a great homemade beauty product. It is used on the face as a face pack in order to get free from the pimples, blackheads, scar, wrinkles and etc. Applying boiled water with fenugreek seeds or paste of fresh fenugreek leaves on the face for 20 mins works wonderfully for the skin.
- Its seed extracts is used in the beauty products such as soaps and cosmetics.
Benefits of Methi Seeds for Hair
Makes Hair Shiny and Strong
- Adding methi in the diet or applying its paste on the hair makes hair more shiny, strong, long and black.
Treats Hair Thinning and Hair Fall Problems
- Daily head massage with the boiled coconut oil with the fenugreek seeds acts as a superb home remedy for the problems like hair thinning and hair fall.
- Applying fenugreek seeds paste on the hair keeps away from the dandruff.
Promote Better Hair Growth
- It is great source of protein and nicotinic which promotes the hair growth, lecithin which makes hair healthy, strong and hydrated.
Reduces Hair Dryness
- Methi seed reduces the hair dryness and dermatitis, rebuilds hair follicles, nourishes the hair by roots and keeps the scalp free from the dandruff.
Benefits of Methi Powder for Hair
Remedy to Get Immediate Relief from Dandruff
- Applying methi powder paste (using water) directly on the scalp for an hour provides relief from the severe dandruff problem.
Provides Relief from Dry and Itchy Scalp
- Applying methi powder mixed with the cider vinegar for 30 mins on the scalp provides relief from the dandruff, dry and itchy scalp.
Benefits of Methi Water
Good Remedy to Hair, Skin and Stomach Problems
- Drinking soaked methi seeds (1 tsf) water in the early morning with empty stomach makes the hair thicker, stronger and brighter. It also aids in the weight loss, removing pimples, relief from lip cracks and etc.
Relieves Arthritis Pain
- Methi water helps in relieving the arthritis pain because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
Benefits of Fenugreek/Methi Tea
Methi seeds are also used to make methi tea which is prepared by using its seeds and water. Soak the crushed fenugreek seeds in the recently boiled water for 3 hours. After three hours it is ready to drink as a tea hot or cold. It is also available in the market as tea bags. It has various health benefits including:
Promotes Breast Growth
- Drinking its tea or eating sprouts enhances the breast tissues growth and promotes the water retention thus makes the breast fuller and larger.
- Methi tea provides relief from the menopausal symptoms and enhances the libido in both men and women.
Beneficial for Many Diseases
- It is very effective for the person suffering from the type-2 diabetes, beri beri, heart diseases and etc.
Maintains Blood Sugar and Cholesterol Level
- Methi seed maintains the blood sugar level and reduces the blood cholesterol level.
Eases Labor Pain
- It eases labor pain in the pregnant women and suppresses the appetite.
Reduces Risk of Kidney Stones
- Methi tea cleans up the kidneys and intestines thus reduces the risk of kidney stones formation.
Benefits of Methi Leaves/Methi Saag
Rich Source of Essential Nutrients
- Methi leaves are used to make delicious methi saag, methi parantha, methi vegetable and other recipes by the people in India especially in winter season. It is very beneficial for the people of all age groups as it contains lots of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and dietary fibers.
Nutritional Benefits of Methi/Fenugreek Seeds per 100 g
(Source: USDA Nutrient database)
Energy: 323 Kcal
Carbohydrates: 58.35 g
Protein: 23 g
Fat: 6.41 g
Dietary Fibre: 24.6 g
Thiamine: 0.322 mg
Riboflavin: 0.366 mg
Niacin: 1.640 mg
Pyridoxine: 0.600 mg
Folates: 57 µg
Vitamin A: 60 IU
Vitamin C: 3 mg
Sodium: 67 mg
Potassium: 770 mg
Calcium: 176 mg
Magnesium: 191 mg
Manganese: 1.228 mg
Phosphorus: 296 mg
Copper: 1.110 mg
Iron: 33.53 mg
Selenium: 6.3 µg
Zinc: 2.50 mg
Selection and Storage of Methi/Fenugreek Seeds
It is easily available in the market in seed or powdered form. Always select golden bright yellow color seeds with hard skin. Keep it fresh in air tight glass container and dry and cool places. Avoid using old stocks as it may be infected by the fungal mold.
Disadvantages of Methi/Fenugreek Seeds
- Eating methi seeds within limit orally is safe however; its high amount has some side effects like diarrhea, bloating, stomach pain, gas and odour in the urine.
- It may cause wheezing, nasal blockage, facial swelling, coughing and allergy in the hypersensitive people.
- It may lower the blood sugar to the high level called hypoglycemia.
- In the pregnant women it may cause premature uterine contractions.
- Eating methi seeds just before the baby birth may give unusual body odour to the newborn.
- It is not safe for the children as it may cause the loss of consciousness among children.
- It may cause gastrointestinal bleeding which results black and tarry stools and vomiting of blood.
- It may cause hemorrhagic stroke means bleeding in brain which results in the weakness, numbness in the arms, legs and severe headache.
Precautions while Eating Methi Seeds
- Eating it with some of the combinations should be strictly avoided as it may lead to the serious health problems like:
- Avoid it with the medications for diabetes means the anti-diabetes drugs as it interacts with them and cause blood sugar to go too low.
- Avoid it with the medications which slow the rate of blood clotting means anticoagulant or anti-platelet drugs as it interacts with them and causes bruising and bleeding.
Side Effects of Methi/Fenugreek Tea
- It may cause some gastrointestinal discomforts including diarrhea or bloating.
- Overdose may cause nausea, skin rashes and skin irritation.
- It should be avoided by the person having blood disorders as it increases the blood loss by interfering with the blood clotting.
How Much Methi/Fenugreek Seeds Should You Take
It should not be taken more than 30 grams per day as it may lead to the serious health problems and side effects. However, its daily dosage depends on the age, sex and body health. Before using it regularly it must be consulted by the physician if one is going on any medication or has allergy problem.
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