Fenugreek (E), Methi (H):
Fenugreek is a very warming seed that benefits kapha and va-ta. It is used to treat constipation, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity. Its smell is very pungent, and it is a nourishing seed.
Diabetes Its beneficial effect on the water channels (ambuvahasrotas) and the urinary system (mutravahasrotas) indicate its use in diabetes. It can help to clear some of the fatty deposits that accumulate in the channels that should be nourishing to the pancreas. It helps to balance sugar levels in both types 1 and 2 diabetes. The active components are found in the trigonelline and coumarin content. Clinically effective trials have used 50g per day of the defatted seeds. Cholesterol Its direct action on medovahasrotas makes it useful as part of a formula to reduce cholesterol. Use 10–20g per day to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. Digestion It is an invaluable remedy to treat sluggish and gaseous digestion from impaired kapha and vata. It can benefit diarrhoea and inflammation in the intestines. Its high mucilage content acts as a soothing demulcent that can heal ulcers and also increase the bulk of the stool; it is a useful mild laxative. Its bitter quality helps the liver function and improves assimilation of nutrients . Gynaecology Fenugreek seed has a particular affinity for the uterus and female reproductive system as a whole. Its saponin containing phyto-oestrogen precursor, diosgenin, plays an important role in female health. It is taken post-partum to encourage bowel movements and clean the uterus. Its nourishing effect on rasa dhatu also helps to encourage a healthy flow of breast milk. If there is dysmenorrhoea its warming effect and stagnation reducing properties are beneficial. Reproduction Used in formulas to treat impotence, premature ejaculation and low libido. Its heating energetics stimulate the reproductive system, while its unctuousness and sweet nature nourish s´ukra dhatu. Pain As a superb remedy to settle vata it is indicated in lower back problems, sciatica and arthritis with swelling and pain. A notable diagnostic clue is the sensation of cold on the back and thighs. Its ability to strengthen asthi dhatu indicates its use in osteoporosis, back pain, structural weaknesses and hair loss. External A poultice made from the powder is very useful for drawing infections, boils, splinters and arthritic swelling from the body.