Fenugreek seeds have a rather bitter taste, due to the presence of an alkaloid, trigonellone, which boasts many actions including lowering blood sugar, increasing lactation and killing intestinal parasites. Fenugreek is also a source of lecithin and iron.
If you're into Indian cuisine at all, you probably have some fenugreek seeds in your spice cabinet. And if you don't have fenugreek seeds, maybe you should purchase some, especially if you're a nursing mother or have blood sugar concerns. Fenugreek seeds make delicious sprouts too, helpful in winter salads. Here's a compilation of fenugreek home remedies, including some special recipes for post-partum treats featuring fenugreek.
Bad breath, body odour: Make fenugreek tea by steeping 1 tsp. fenugreek in a cup of boiling water, strain and drink daily.
Bloating, gastritis: Blend 2 Tbsp. yoghurt in 1cup pure water. Add 1 tsp. of fenugreek powder. Take after food to relieve gastritis and bloating.
Sore throat: Add 2 tbsps of fenugreek seeds to about 4 cups of water, and simmer for about half an hour. Cool and gargle to cure a sore throat.
Boils, eczema, muscle pains, gout: Fenugreek poultice. Grind 1 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds into powder. Mix this powder with warm water. Soak a piece of clean cloth in this mixtureApply this on the affected areas of the body as a poultice.
Acne: Grind 1 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds into powder. Mix this powder with warm water Add honey and apply this as a face mask on your skin to treat acne. This can effectively treat cystic acne as well as blackheads and ordinary acne.
Anti-ageing skin toner: Take two teaspoon of fenugreek paste. Add a teaspoon each of boiled milk an honey. Mix it all well to form a smooth paste. Apply to face and leave on for 20 minutes. Use twice a week to tone the facial skin.
Fenugreek exfoliative treatment: Soak 2tsp fenugreek seeds overnight. Save the soak-water, grind the seeds to a paste. Mix together fenugreek paste, 1 Tbsp yogurt, 1 Tbsp. besan or chickpea flour and fenugreek water (approximate measurements). Apply on the face and leave for 15 minutes. Splash your face with water and scrub in a circular motion. Rinse off with cold water and pat dry
Dandruff: soak 2 tbsps of fenugreek seeds overnight. The next morning, grind the seeds to a fine paste. Apply this paste to the scalp and leave for half an hour. Wash hair (ideally with shikakai).
Fenugreek scalp treatment: Make paste of 2 Tbsp fenugreek seeds mix with coconut milk. Apply to your scalp and hair and leave for half an hour before washing hair with shampoo.
Fenugreek Shampoo: Take equal quantities of dry curry leaf, lime peel, fenugreek seeds, mung dal and shikakai. Powder, mix and keep bottled. This can be used as a shampoo. It keeps the hair soft and shiny.
Fenugreek rinse for healthy hair: Soak 1 tbsp. fenugreek seeds 2 cups water water for 24 hours, Strain and use the water to rinse hair. Leave for 3 hours before washing hair.
Fenugreek treatment for hair loss: Take 2 Tbsp. of fenugreek seeds in mixer and grind them as powder. Now take the powder in a bowl and add the 1 tbsp of coconut oil or olive oil to it. Mix the both ingredients well and apply this paste on the hair loss and hair damaged area. Let it dry for 10 minutes. Then washed it off with the mild shampoo.
Post partum: Special sweetmeats such as methi halva and methi laddu are given to the mother post-partum. See recipes at end.
Lactation: Soak one tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in one cup of water overnight. In the morning, boil this water along with the fenugreek seeds for several minutes. Strain the solution, and drink this tea every morning until you get positive results.
For diabetes and metabolic syndrome: A heaped tsp of fenugreek seeds, soaked overnight in half a cup of water and taken in the morning along with the soaked seeds, is an excellent home remedy to reduce blood glucose levels, cholesterol and triglycerides.
Dysentery: Grind a tbsp of fenugreek seeds and store it. Mix one fourth of a tsp of this powder to a cup of yogurt and have 2-3 times a day.
Asthma: An infusion made with, a tsp. of grated ginger and a tsp of pounded fenugreek seeds in a glass of hot water, filtered and drunk twice a day is beneficial.
Methi Halwa for post partum
1 cup brown rice
1 cup fenugreek seeds
1 cup jaggery
1-2 tea spoons ghee
2 tea spoons grated coconut (optional)
Soak methi seeds in water for 2-3 hours.
Roast brown rice on medium flame. Roast till it pops (like popcorn).
Grind roasted brown rice finely in spice grinder, coffee grinder or Vitamix.
Grind soaked methi seeds in spice grinder.
Mix powdered brown rice and ground methi seeds. To this mixture add grated jaggery. You can add grated coconut if you wish to. Also to make it tastier you can add ghee.
Methi Ladoo is a traditional recipe which is more of a Ayurvedic medicine than a sweetmeat. This is given to mothers after they deliver the baby. It is also used as a cure for back or joint pains during winters.
In this freezing cold prepare Methi ke ladoo and give them to the elders at home or send them to other elders around you. This will please them and seeing them happy will make you happy as well.
For post partum and also as a winter treat to relieve aches and pains
1 cup fenugreek seeds
2.5 cups milk or coconut milk
2 cups whole wheat flour of gluten free flour
1.5 cups ghee
1/3 cup slivered almonds
8-10 peppercorns, gently crushed
2 tsp. cumin powder
2 tsp. dry ginger powder
½ tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp. cinnamon powder
¼ tsp. nutmeg powder
1.5 cups jaggery
Grind fenugreek seeds in spice grinder. Boil milk or coconut milk.
Put the ground fenugreek in the hot milk/coconut milk and let it soak for 8-10 hours.
Pour 1/2 cup ghee in a pan, fry soaked fenugreek on a medium flame till it turns light brown, it should be fried till you get a nice smell then put it on a plate.
Fry flour in ghee in the pan till it becomes light brown then take it out.
Put 1tsp. ghee in the pan followed by the pieces of jaggery, melt jaggery on a low flame. Add the remaining ingredients, including the fried fenugreek and mix well.
Take little amounts of mixture, shape it into laddu (a small ball). Let cool for 4-5 hours.
Keep them in an air tight container and take one Methi Laddu every morning or evening with warm milk.
Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.
Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!