Archeology,Medicinal Properties,Constituents and Phytochemicals of Fenugreek.
- Basic Botanical Information of Fenugreek.
- Brief History of the Fenugreek Herb.
- Nutritional Profile of the Fenugreek Seed.
- Legends,Myths and Stories of Fenugreek.
- Archeology,Medicinal Properties,Constituents and Phytochemicals of Fenugreek.
- Medicinal Action and Uses of Fenugreek.
- Common Uses of Fenugreek.
- Fenugreek Seed(Trigonella foenum-graecum,Hu Lu Ba) Extract.
- Pharmacology of Fenugreek Seed(Trigonella foenum-graecum,Hu Lu Ba).
- Safety and Toxicity of Fenugreek.
- Possible side effects,interactions and cautions of fenugreek.
- Trigonelline(nicotinic acid betaine) from fenugreek.
- How Search engine think about fenugreek.
- Research Update:Fenugreek.
- Photo Gallery of Foenum-graecum.
Archeology,Medicinal Properties,Constituents and Phytochemicals of Fenugreek.
Archeology of "Fenugreek":
The name comes from Foenum-graecum, meaning Greek Hay, the plant being used to scent inferior hay. The name of the genus, Trigonella, is derived from the old Greek name, denoting 'three-angled,' from the form of its corolla. The seeds of Fenugreek have been used medicinally all through the ages and were held in high repute among the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans for medicinal and culinary purposes.
Fenugreek is an erect annual herb, growing about 2 feet high, similar in habit to Lucerne. The seeds are brownish, about 1/8 inch long, oblong, rhomboidal, with a deep furrow dividing them into two unequal lobes. They are contained, ten to twenty together, in long, narrow, sickle-like pods.
General Information of of Fenugreek:
Fenugreek is an annual Mediterranean and Asiatic herb with aromatic seeds. It grows to two feet in height with brownish seeds contained in sickle shaped pods. It is used worldwide as a culinary spice as well as a medicinal herb to soothe the stomach and help maintain blood sugar levels. The seeds are rich in protein and contain about 50% fiber and 25% soothing mucilage.
Fenugreek is one of the primary supplements used to support type II diabetics or noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Most NIDDM patients typically have enough insulin but it is not used effectively. Research as to the cause seems to indicate high levels of body fat, too many calorie consumed from refined foods, lack of polyunsaturated fats and chromium deficiencies. Fenugreek Seed helps by not only reducing blood sugar levels with its high concentrations of phytochemicals, but it has also helped reduce low density cholesterol's and triacylglycerols.
Properties of Fenugreek:
Alterative, Anticatarrhal, Anti-Inflammatory, Antiseptic, Aphrodisiac, Astringent, Bitter, Demulcent, Emmollient, Ecpectorant, Febrifuge, Galactagogue, Mucilant, Vulnerary Taste, bitter and peculiar, not unlike lovage or celery. Odour, similar.
Medicinal Properties:The seed is a source of the steroidal saponin diosgenin, which can be used to manufacture many pharmaceuticals, such as progesterone. The chemical trigonelline is converted into niacin when the seed is roasted. The seeds also provide a mucilaginous fiber content that may benefit the bowel. Of more current interest is the evidence that fenugreek has a minor hypoglycemic effect, thus suggesting it may, in fact, help with diabetes. There is also some evidence that it can reduce hypercholesterolemia in animals.
Constituents and Biochemical Information of Fenugreek:
About 28 per cent mucilage; 5 per cent of a stronger-smelling, bitter fixed oil, which can be extracted by ether; 22 per cent proteins; a volatile oil; two alkaloids, Trigonelline and Choline, and a yellow colouring substance. The chemical composition resembles that of cod-liver oil, as it is rich in phosphates, lecithin and nucleoalbumin, containing also considerable quantities of iron in an organic form, which can be readily absorbed. Reutter has noted the presence of trimethylamine, neurin and betain; like the alkaloids in cod-liver oil, these substances stimulate the appetite by their action on the nervous system, or produce a diuretic or ureo-poietic effect.
Primary Nutrients: Choline, Iron, Lecithin, Minerals, Protein, Biotin,choline, inositol, iron, lecithin, mucilage, volatile oils, PABA, phosphates, protein, trigoneline, trimethylamine, and vitamins A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. Rich in phosphates, lecithin, nucleo-albumin, iron, vitamins A and D (similar in composition to cod liver oil).
Other Content: trigonelline;diosgenin-BD-blucoside;vitexin;saponaretin;isoorientin;vitexin-7-glucoside;vicenin I.
Fenugreek, somewhat resembling sweetclover and lucerne (alfalfa), is a sub-tropical member of the pea family. It has been cultivated since Antiquity for its seeds, being one of the main ingredients of the mixed spice curry. Moreover, the seeds have interesting medicinal properties.
The characteristic irregular, brick-red seeds have no essential oil. Their flavour is due to trace amounts of the extremely powerful odorant 4,5-dimethyl-3-hydroxy-2[5H]-furanone, also called fenugreek lactone or sotolone. Its odour detection threshold in water is as low as 0.001 ppb, meaning that 1 g of this compound dissolved in one million tonnes of water can be perceived! It has a celery and maple syrup-like odour. It belongs to the group of very powerful 'burnt sugar' odorants, characterized as being cyclic C6-alpha-enol-carbonyls.
Etymology: Gr. trigonon, triangle, because of the shape of the flowers; Lat. foenum-graecum, Greek hay, because this plant is used as an additive to hay in Greece. Horses and cattle love it.
Active Constituent of Fenugreek:
Composition is similar to Cod Liver Oil which is rich in phosphates, lecithin, nucleoalbumin, and organic iron. Also like Cod Liver Oil it contains trimethylamine, neurin, and betain which tend to stimulate appetite by their action on the nervous system, or can produce a diuretic effect.
Contains saponins, coumarin, fenugreekine, nicotinic acid, phytic acid, scopoletin and trigonelline all of which are known to lower blood sugar.
The aromatic oil of fenugreek is rich in iron, vitamins A and D (similar in composition to cod liver oil).
The leaves contain at least 7 saponins, known as graecunins. These compounds are glycosides of diosgenin. Seeds contain 0.1% to 0.9% diosgenin and are extracted on a commercial basis. Plant tissue cultures from seeds grown under optimal conditions have been found to produce as much as 2% diosgenin with smaller amounts of gitongenin and trigogenin. The seeds also contain the saponin fenugrin B. Several coumarin compounds have been identified in fenugreek seeds 6 as well as a number of alkaloids (eg, trigonelline, gentianine, carpaine). A large proportion of the trigonelline is degraded to nicotinic acid and related pyridines during roasting. These degradation products are, in part, responsible for the flavor of the seed. The seeds also yield as much as 8% of a fixed, foul-smelling oil.
The C-glycoside flavones vitexin, vitexin glycoside, and the arabinoside isoorientin have been isolated from the plant. Three minor steroidal sapogenins also have been found in the seeds: smilagenin, sarsapogenin, and yuccagenin.
The mucilages of the seeds of several plants, including fenugreek, have been determined and their hydrolysates analyzed. Fenugreek gel consists chiefly of galactomannans characterized by their high water-holding capacity. These galactomannans have a unique structure and may be responsible for some of the characteristic therapeutic properties attributed to fenugreek.
- Fenugreek Trigonella Foenum-Graecum.Fenugreek Seed Extracts.
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