The Fenugreek Seed: Therapeutic Properties and Applications
Pp. 65-91 (27)
Sana Riaz, Muhammad A. Hafeez and Abid A. Maan
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), belonging to the family
Leguminosae, is a distinctive therapeutic plant. Several parts of the plant (leaves, roots
and seeds) are used as a spice, food, culinary herb, and in traditional medicines. It has
been frequently referred in Ayurveda for its various health benefits. Fenugreek seeds
contain high phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamin contents. They have high amount of
non-starch polysaccharide (NSP) fibers. Major NSP’s are tannins, saponins,
hemicelluloses, mucilages and galactomannans. Non-starch polysaccharides enhance
bowel movement, support in smooth digestion and also help in decreasing LDLcholesterol
level in the blood through binding. NSPs also capture toxic substances
present in food and act as a shield for the colon mucosal layers against cancers.
Fenugreek seeds also contain amino acid 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which boosts insulin
secretion. Other essential phytochemicals present in fenugreek seeds (including
trigonelline, gitogenin, yamogenin diosgenincholine and trigogenin) play important
therapeutic roles, such as being anti-anorexic, anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic, antihyperlipidemic,
anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic uses, etc. The present chapter
discusses various biological and therapeutic properties and uses of fenugreek in detail,
along with its toxicological considerations.
4-hydroxyisoleucine, Anti-diabetic, Cardio-protective, Fenugreek
seed powder, Fenugreek seed, Galactomannan, Hyperlipidemia, Saponins,
Trigonella foenum graecum L, Trigonelline.
National Institute of Food Science and Technology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.