Science of Spices and Culinary Herbs - Latest Laboratory, Pre-clinical, and Clinical Studies

Science of Spices and Culinary Herbs - Latest Laboratory, Pre-clinical, and Clinical Studies

Volume: 2

Many herbs and spices, in addition to their culinary use for taste, contain chemical compounds which have medicinal uses. For this reason, herbs and spices have been used for treating various ...
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The Fenugreek Seed: Therapeutic Properties and Applications

Pp. 65-91 (27)

Sana Riaz, Muhammad A. Hafeez and Abid A. Maan

Abstract

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.

Keywords:

4-hydroxyisoleucine, Anti-diabetic, Cardio-protective, Fenugreek seed powder, Fenugreek seed, Galactomannan, Hyperlipidemia, Saponins, Trigonella foenum graecum L, Trigonelline.

Affiliation:

National Institute of Food Science and Technology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.