Monday, June 9, 2008

Fenugreek (வெந்தயம்)

Fenugreek which is used both as a herb and a spice belongs to the family Fabaceae. It is a semi-arid crop cultivated worldwide. Fenugreek, also known as Greek Hay or Methi, is a plant generally grown as a potherb; the seeds of the plant are used as a spice. Though native to Eastern Mediterranean region, the plant is grown worldwide. Fenugreek can be used as both as a herb and as a spice. The leaves of the plant are used as a culinary herb, while the seeds are used as a spice for flavoring.
Indian Name : MethiBotanical Name : Trigonella foenum-graecumFamily Name : FabaceaeParts Used : SeedHabitat : Eastern Meditarranean
Fenugreek is the small seed that is produced from the pod of a bean-like plant. Fenugreek seeds are angular, yellowish brown in appearance and are very hard. Some other shapes in which these seeds come are oblong, rhombic or cubic. The seed is split by two deep furrows. They are available in both the grounded form or as a whole seed form. When the seeds are grounded they give spicy smell. These seed have aromatic and bittersweet flavor.
The spice is used as a milk producing agent by nursing mothers. Fenugreek is mostly used for food flavoring in a number of cuisines and products like sauces, curry powders, pickles and other spicy dishes. Fenugreek seeds are processed for use in alcoholic beverages and perfumery. It is believed that Fenugreek is used to treat various physical disorders
It is believed that Fenugreek is used to treat various physical disorders:
Reduces the sugar level of the blood Lowers blood pressure. Reduces congestion Reduces inflammation Fight infection. Treats sinus and lung congestion Helps in loosening excess mucus and phlegm Natural source of iron, silicon, sodium and thiamine. Mucilaginous in Fenugreek helps in relaxing inflamed tissues. Reduces perspiration, fevers, treats allergies, bronchitis and congestion

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