What is Fenugreek? Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects of Methi - Easy Recipe for Diabetes

Table of Contents

1. What is Fenugreek? 
2. Morphology & Nutritional Profile
3. Ayurvedic properties of Fenugreek (Methi)
4. Health Benefits of Fenugreek
5. How to use Trigonella? 
6. Side Effects of Methi
7. Fenugreek Seed Recipe
8. Frequently Asked Question

1. What is Fenugreek?

Fenugreek botanical name is Trigonella Foenum-graecum, some other common names are sagmethi, methi, kasurimethi, hhulbah, hhelbah, gemeiner, hornklee, shanbalile and abesh. It is widely cultivated in many parts of India especially Punjab and the upper Gangetic plains. It is an erect, strongly scented, robust annual herb about 30 to 80 cm high.

Fenugreek has been used since ancient times both as a food and medicine by the people lining the Mediterranean region and across India.

Fenugreek is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, and manganese. It also contains several bioactive compounds, such as saponins, flavonoids, and alkaloids, which give it its medicinal properties. Fenugreek has been shown to have a range of health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving digestion, and regulating blood sugar levels.

However, fenugreek can also have side effects, particularly when consumed in large amounts or for extended periods. These side effects can include diarrhea, bloating, and gas. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using fenugreek supplements or incorporating fenugreek into your diet.

One popular use for fenugreek is in managing diabetes. Studies have shown that fenugreek can help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, making it a promising natural remedy for diabetes management. In this article, we will explore the health benefits and potential side effects of fenugreek, as well as provide a delicious fenugreek recipe for diabetes management.

2. Morphology and Nutritional Profile


Fenugreek Leaves

Fenugreek has compound leaves with 2 to 2.5 cm long, yellow flowers, and thin pointed pods, seeds are brown and have a peculiar odor. The leaves contain 86.1 % moisture and 4.4% protein, 0.9% fat, 1.5% minerals, 1.1% fiber and 6.0% carbohydrates. Its minerals and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C.

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Fenugreek leaves

Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek seeds contains 13.7% moisture, 26.2% protein, 5.8% fat, 3.0% minerals and 7.2% fiber and 44.1% carbohydrates. Its minerals and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. Several alkaloids have been found in fenugreek seeds.The seeds also contain fixed and volatile oil, mucilage, bitter extractive, and a yellow coloring substance. Air-dried seeds contain a small amount of trigonelline and nicotinic acid.

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Fenugreek Seeds

3. Ayurvedic properties of Fenugreek (Methi)

Fenugreek, known as Methi in Hindi, is a well-known herb used in Ayurveda for its medicinal and culinary properties. It has been valued for centuries for its various health benefits.

Ayurvedic properties of Fenugreek (Methi):

1. Rasa (Taste): Fenugreek is believed to have a combination of bitter (Tikta) and pungent (Katu) tastes.

2. Virya (Potency): It is heating in nature (Ushna Virya).

3. Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is pungent (Katu Vipaka).

4. Dosha Effects: Fenugreek primarily balances Kapha dosha and, to a lesser extent, Vata dosha. However, in excess, it may increase Pitta dosha due to its heating nature.

Ayurvedic Uses:

  1. Digestive Health: Fenugreek seeds are used to support healthy digestion and manage digestive disorders like indigestion, bloating, and gas.

  2. Blood Sugar Regulation: Fenugreek seeds are known for their hypoglycemic effects and are used to help manage blood sugar levels.

  3. Respiratory Health: Fenugreek is used to manage respiratory conditions like cough and bronchitis due to its warming and expectorant properties.

  4. Galactagogue: Fenugreek seeds are used to promote lactation in nursing mothers and support healthy breastfeeding.

  5. Anti-inflammatory: It possesses anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to manage inflammatory conditions.

  6. Cardiovascular Health: Fenugreek seeds may support heart health by helping to manage cholesterol levels and improve blood circulation.

  7. Joint Health: Fenugreek is used in Ayurveda to manage joint-related issues due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

  8. Hair Health: Fenugreek seeds are used in hair care to promote hair growth and manage scalp conditions.

4. What are the health benefits of Fenugreek?

Fenugreek has excellent medicinal properties; regular use helps keep the body lean and healthy. The leaves of fenugreek are aromatic, cooling, and mild laxative. The seeds have a soothing effect on skin and membranes, relieving any skin irritation and alleviating swelling and pain.

They increase the secretion and discharge of urine, relieve flatulence, and promote lactation in nursing mothers. They are the best cleaners within the body, highly mucus solvent, and soothing agents.

Here are some health benefits of Fenugreek

For Anemia

The fenugreek leaves are beneficial in blood formation, cooked leaves help to prevent anemia and run-down conditions in girls. Seeds are rich in iron and help in recovering from anemia.

For Bad Breath and Body Odor

Fenugreek tea helps to negate bad breath and body odor, unpleasant odors emanating from the body due to the accumulation of hardened mucus and other toxins in the nasal and oral passages, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, and blood.

Fenugreek contains volatile oils which help to cleanse, and regular use of fenugreek seeds emanates from the body pores of a person. The volatile oils are absorbed into the cell tissues to do their job of rejuvenating our body.

For Dandruff

Fenugreek seeds are useful in eliminating dandruff, it helps to clean the scalp and cure dandruff.

For Deadened Sense

The seeds help restore the deadened senses of taste or smell, the sense of taste is often dull due to improper functioning of the salivary glands which may become clogged with mucus and accumulated juices, causing swelling.

For Diabetes

Fenugreek seeds are beneficial to controlling diabetes and blood sugar, it is a highly recommended herb to maintain the blood sugar level.

For Digestive orders

Fenugreek leaves are beneficial in treating indigestion, flatulence, and sluggish liver. Seeds are also useful in treating colic, flatulence, dysentery, diarrhea, and dyspepsia.

For Fever

Tea made from fenugreek seeds is equal in value to quinine in reducing fevers, it is particularly valuable as a cleansing and soothing drink.

For Leucorrhea

Fenugreek is very effective in treating leucorrhea and good for throat gargling.

For Sore Throat

Fenugreek seeds are best for ordinary sore throat.

For Mouth Ulcers

The herbs help in the healing of mouth ulcers, and an infusion of the leaves is used as a gargle for recurrent ulcers.

For Respiratory Disorders

During the early stage of any the respiratory tract infections, such as bronchitis, influenza, sinusitis, catarrh, and suspected pneumonia.

For Stomach Disorders

It is beneficial in the healing of peptic ulcers, as the mild coating of mucilaginous matter deposited by fenugreek provides a protective layer for the ulcers when it passes through the stomach and intestines.

For Swellings

A poultice of the leaves can be applied to heal; external swellings, it is also useful in burns due to its cooling properties.


5. How to use Trigonella?

In Indian homes, fenugreek seeds are generally used as a flavoring condiment. They form ingredients of curry powder and are used in bread and bakery products. In Switzerland, they are used for flavoring cheese. In the U.S.A they are used in the preparation of spice blends and a wide variety of soups and stews.

Steaming is considered the best method of cooking the leaves to retain the vitamins. The dried leaves are comparable to pulses for their protein content. They supplement the lysine-deficient cereal diets.

Dosage and uses depend upon the health problems and conditions or as recommended by an Ayurvedic doctor. The general recommended dosage is 3-6 grams of Alfalfa daily once a day.

Here are some home remedies for Fenugreek

  • Take dried fenugreek seeds and fry them in ghee, powdered them, and mixed with wheat flour and sugar to prepare a halwa. The seeds are made into a gruel and given to nursing mothers increasing the flow of milk.
  • Apply a paste of the fresh leaves over the scalp regularly before the bath to help hair grow with its natural color and silky look.
  • The paste applied on the face every night before bedtime and washed with warm water prevents pimples, blackheads, dryness of the face, and early appearance of wrinkles. It improves complexion and makes one look years younger.
  • Seed is also used in the preparation of some hair tonics and cosmetics.
  • Take fenugreek seeds and boil them in 2 cups of water, reduce them by half. Strain tea in a cup and add lemon and honey. Treat respiratory disorders.
  • Take two tbsp. of fenugreek seeds put in one liter of water and allowed to simmer for half an hour over low flame. Strain the liquid and cool it down, use this liquid as a gargle.
  • Take two tbsp. fenugreek seeds and soak them overnight, then make a fine paste apply on the scalp, and leave on for half n hour. Then wash hair thoroughly with soapnut solution or shikakai.

6. Side Effects of the Methi

All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they don’ have any side effects but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have unique health issues.

Here are some side effects of fenugreek seeds.

  • Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
  • Do not take fenugreek seeds if you are suffering from any kind of critical disease.
  • If you are on diabetes or hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming fenugreek seeds
  • If you are above 65 years old and want to start fenugreek seeds, consult the doctor and discuss the health conditions.
  • If you are on any supplements, vitamins, or herbal medication, consult the doctor before taking fenugreek seeds.
  • Avoid fenugreek seeds when having intestinal ulcers as it could worsen the condition.
  • Stop taking fenugreek seeds at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  • fenugreek seeds may interact with other medicines like blood sugar or blood pressure allopathy medicines.

7. Fenugreek Recipe for Diabetes


  • Dried Fenugreek Seeds – 1 tbsp. overnight soaked
  • Fresh Indian Gooseberry – 4 fruits
  • Black Pepper Powder – 1tsp
  • Salt – ¼ tsp
  • Cumin Seeds – a pinch
  • Vegetable Oil – 1 tbsp.


  • Take a wok and heat the oil, then add cumin and soaked fenugreek seeds with the soaked water.
  • Add pepper and salt and stir.
  • Add Indian Gooseberry and stir again.
  • Cover the lid and cook on low flame.
  • Cook until seeds and gooseberry soften, add water if necessary.
  • Eat with bread or rice.

8. Frequently Asked Question

Q - What is taking fenugreek good for?

Fenugreek has numerous health benefits, it is used in Ayurveda for medicinal purposes and for Culinary purposes. It is beneficial in the treatment of anemia, diabetes, cholesterol, stomach disorder, respiratory disorder, sore throat, and high blood sugar.

Q - What are the dangers of fenugreek?

Fenugreek is a plant-based herb and it has no side effects if it's taken under medical supervision or prescribed dose. Excessive use may cause some serious trouble, here are some.

  • Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
  • Do not take fenugreek seeds if you are suffering from any kind of critical disease.
  • If you are on diabetes or hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming fenugreek seeds
  • If you are above 65 years old and want to start fenugreek seeds, consult the doctor and talk about the health conditions.

Q - Is it good to take fenugreek daily?

Yes, it is good to take a little amount of fenugreek daily in your diet, it helps to maintain the sugar level and boost immunity. You can cook fresh or dry fenugreek leaves with potato, or add a pinch of fenugreek seed powder at the time of cooking. Overnight-soaked fenugreek seed water is also beneficial.  

Q - Does fenugreek increase weight gain?

Fenugreek seeds and leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals, it has excellent medicinal properties; regular use helps keep the body dean and healthy. It helps to control blood sugar and cholesterol. 

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