Generic placeholder image

Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1389-5575
ISSN (Online): 1875-5607

Review Article

Fenugreek Cultivation with Emphasis on Historical Aspects and its uses in Traditional Medicine and Modern Pharmaceutical Science

Author(s): Wenli Sun, Mohamad Hesam Shahrajabian and Qi Cheng*

Volume 21, Issue 6, 2021

Published on: 27 November, 2020

Page: [724 - 730] Pages: 7

DOI: 10.2174/1389557520666201127104907

Price: $65


Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) is a native plant found in the parts of Iran to the North of India, and is presently planted also in other regions of the world. Fenugreek is considered a notable multipurpose medicinal and traditional herb in Iran, India, and China for several centuries. The most important components of fenugreek seeds are protein, neutral detergent fiber, gum, lipids, moisture, ash and starch. Fenugreek seeds and leaves are anti-cholesterolemic, anti-tumor, antiinflammatory, carminative, demulcent, deobstruent, emollient, expectorant, galactogogue, febrifuge, laxative, hypoglycaemic, restorative, parasiticide and uterine tonic and useful in burning sensation. Traditionally, fenugreek seeds being used worldwide are beneficial for bone and muscles, respiratory system, gastro-intestinal system, female reproductive system, cardio-vascular system, endocrinology and hepatic. Fenugreek helps reduce cholesterol, reduce cardiovascular risk, control diabetes, a good consolation for sore throats, a remedy for acid reflux, constipation, colon cancer prevention, appropriate for kidney trouble, skin infection, increase milk production, reduce menstrual discomfort, and reduce menopause symptoms. It is also an appetite suppressant that helps in weight loss. Both modern science and traditional medicine integration with novel technologies and discoveries will secure the cultivation of medicinal herbs and promote sustainability in the long-term and a wide-range.

Keywords: Trigonella, fenugreek, traditional medicine, modern pharmaceutical science.

Graphical Abstract
Ogbaji, P.O.; Shahrajabian, M.H.; Xue, X. Changes in germination and primarily growth of three cultivars of tomato under diatomite and soil materials in auto-irrigation system. Int. J. Biol., 2013, 5(3), 80-84.
Ogbaji, P.O.; Li, J.; Xue, X.; Shahrajabian, M.H.; Egrinya, E.A. Impact of bio-fertilizer or nutrient solution on spinach (Spinaceae Oleracea) growth and yield in some province soils of P.R. China. Cercet. Agron. Mold., 2018, 51(2), 43-52.
Shahrajabian, M.H.; Sun, W.; Cheng, Q. A review of astragalus species as foodstuffs, dietary supplements, a traditional Chinese medicine and a part of modern pharmaceutical science. Appl. Ecol. Environ. Res., 2019, 17(6), 13371-13382.
Shahrajabian, M.H.; Sun, W.; Zandi, P.; Cheng, Q. A review of chrysanthemum, the eastern queen in traditional Chinese medicine with healing power in modern pharmaceutical sciences. Appl. Ecol. Environ. Res., 2019, 17(6), 13355-13369.
Shahrajabian, M.H.; Sun, W.; Cheng, Q. A review of ginseng species in different regions as a multipurpose herb in traditional Chinese medicine, modern herbology and pharmacological science. J. Med. Plants Res., 2019, 13(10), 213-226.
Shahrajabian, M.H.; Sun, W.; Cheng, Q. Clinical aspects and health benefits of ginger (Zingiber officinale) in both traditional Chinese medicine and modern industry Acta Agr Scand B-S P 2019.
Sun, W.; Shahrajabian, M.H.; Cheng, Q. The insight and survey on medicinal properties and nutritive components of shallot. J. Med. Plants Res., 2019, 13(18), 452-457.
Sun, W.; Shahrajabian, M.H.; Cheng, Q. Anise (Pimpinella anisum L.), a dominant spice and traditional medicinal herb for both food and medicinal purposes. Cogent Biol., 2019, 5(1673688), 1-25.
Shen, H.; Shahrajabian, M.H.; Li, C.; Sun, H.; Li, J.; Sun, W.; Cheng, Q.; Bilian, C.; Zhijiang, W. Microbial contamination database and limit standards for herbal medicine. Agrociencia, 2020, 54(1), 107-120.
Shahrajabian, M.H.; Sun, W.; Khoshkharam, M.; Cheng, Q. Rambutan, a tropical plant with ethno-pharmaceutical properties. Agrociencia, 2020, 54(1), 121-128.
Sun, W.; Shahrajabian, M.H.; Cheng, Q. Traditional Iranian and Arabic herbal medicines as natural anti-cancer drugs. Agrociencia, 2020, 54(1), 129-142.
Alaghemand, S.; Ayyubi, H.; Hasanpour, E.; Olfari, J.A.; Saadatian, M.; Hamidoghli, Y.; Kazemi, S.; Karimi, H. Effects of organic fertilizers on growth and biochemical characteristics of Fenugreek. Acta Agric. Slov., 2017, 109(2), 197-203.
Petropoulos, G.A. Fenugreek- The genus Trigonella; Taylor and Francis: London, New York, 2002.
Shashikumar, J.N.; Champawat, P.S.; Mudgal, V.D.; Jain, S.K.; Deepak, S.; Mahesh, K.A. Review: Food, medicinal and nutraceutical properties of fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum-Graecum L.). Int. J. Chem. Stud., 2018, 6(2), 1239-1245.
Altuntas, E.; Ozgoz, E.; Taser, F. Some physical properties of fenugreek seeds. J. Food Eng., 2005, 71, 37-43.
Jhajhria, A.; Kumar, K. Fenugreek with its medicinal applications. Int. J. Pharm. Sci. Rev. Res., 2016, 41(1), 194-201.
Basu, S.K.; Zandi, P. Cetzal-LX. Opportunities for fenugreek (Trigonela foenum-graceum L.) as a chemurgic crop in the emergent global nutraceutical and functional food industries. Int. J. Agric. Sci., 2017, 8(1), 9-13.
Bahmani, M.; Shirzad, H.; Mirhosseini, M. Endocrinologist, Mesripour, A.; Rafieian-Kopaei, M. A review of ethnobotanical and therapeutic uses of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graceum L.). J. Evid. Based Complement. Alternat. Med., 2016, 21(1), 53-62.
Basu, S.K. Thesis for Master of Science: Seed production for Frenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graceum L.) in the Canadian prairies.. 2006.
Kaur, L. Tolerance and accumulation of lead by fenugreek. J. Agric. Econ., 2016, 1, 22-34.
Singh, S.; Dhangrah, V.K.; Singh, V.; Thenua, O.V.S.; Pal, K.; Shukla, R.D. Nitrogen rate and cutting management for fenugreek green leaf and seed production. Int. J. Bio-res. Stress Manag., 2018, 9(4), 523-526.
Moradi kor, N.; Didarshetaban, M.B.; Saeid Pour, H.R. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) as a valuable medicinal plant. Int. J. Adv. Biol. Biomed. Res., 2013, 8, 922-931.
Bukhari, S.B.; Bhanger, M.I.; Memon, S. Antioxidative activity of extracts from Fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum-graecu,). Pak. J. Anal. Environ. Chem., 2008, 9(2), 78-83.
El-Nasir, A.N.; El-Tinay, A.H. Functional properties of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graceum) protein concentrate. Food Chem., 2007, 103(2), 582-589.
[] [PMID: 26059136]
Kochhar, A.; Nagi, M.; Sachdeva, R. Proximate composition available carbohydrates, dietary fiber and anti-nutritional factors of selected traditional medicinal plants. J. Hum. Ecol., 2006, 19, 195-199.
Hooda, S.; Jood, S. Organoleptic and nutritional evaluation of wheat biscuits supplemented with untreated and treated fenugreek flour. Food Chem., 2005, 90, 427-435.
Lubbe, A.; Verpoorte, R. Cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants for specialty industrial materials. Ind. Crops Prod., 2011, 34(1), 785-801.
Bienkowski, T.; Zuk-Golaszewska, K.; Kaliniewicz, J.; Golaszewski, J. Content of biogenic elements and fatty acid composition of fenugreek seeds cultivated under different conditions. Chil. J. Agric. Res., 2017, 77(2), 134-141.
Shukla, A.K.; Kumar, M.; Bishnoi, R.S.; Jain, C.P. Application of fenugreek seed gum: In novel drug delivery. Asian J Biomater Res, 2017, 3(6), 1-10.
Gu, L.B.; Liu, X.N.; Liu, H.M.; Pang, H.L.; Qin, G.Y. Extraction of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graceum L.) seed oil using subcritical butane: Characterization and process optimization. Molecules, 2017, 22(2), 228.
[] [PMID: 28157172]
Chandra, J.R.; Dasegowda, S.M.; Vrushabaiah, G.K.; Shivayogi, P.; Bopanna, K. Effect of fenugreek fiber flakes on appetite scores and glucose homeostasis in healthy subjects. Int. J. Med. Health Res., 2018, 4(10), 14-21.
Dilshad, A. Physicochemical properties of chemurgic-fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) herb of different origin. Pharma Chem., 2017, 9(1), 102-106.
Bano, D.; Tabassum, H.; Ahmad, A.; Mabood, A.; Ahmad, I.Z. The medicinal significance of the bioactive compounds of Trigonella Foenum-Graecum: A review. Int. J. Res. Ayurveda Pharm., 2016, 7(4), 84-91.
Khorshidian, M.; Yousefi Asli, M.; Arab, M.; Mortazavian, A.M.; Mirzaie, A.A. Fenugreek: Potential applications as a functional food and nutraceutical. Nutr. Food Sci. Res., 2016, 3(1), 5-16.
Al-Sebaeai, M.A.; Alfawaz, M.; Chauhan, A.K.; Al-Farga, A.; Fatma, S. Physiochemical characteristics and nutritional value of fenugreek seeds and seed oil. Int. J. Food Sci. Nutr., 2017, 2(6), 52-55.
Emtiazy, M.; Oveidzadeh, L.; Habibi, M.; Molaeipour, L.; Talei, D.; Jafari, Z.; Parvin, M.; Kamalinejad, M. Investigating the effectiveness of the Trigonella foenum-graecum L. (fenugreek) seeds in mild asthma: A randomized controlled trial. Allergy Asthma Clin. Immunol., 2018, 14, 19.
[] [PMID: 29743896]
Bu Ali Sina. Laws in Medicine; Sorush: Tehran, Iran, 1988, pp. 158-159.
Sweetman, S.C. Martindale: The Extra Pharmacopeia, 36th ed; Pharmaceutical Press: Chicago, IL, 2009, p. 2303.
Thomas, J.E.; Basu, S.K.; Acharya, S.N. Identification of Trigonella accessions which lack antimicrobial activity and are suitable for forage development. Cancer. J. Plant Sci., 2006, 86(3), 727-732.
Khan, F.; Negi, K.; Kumar, T. Effect of sprouted fenugreek seeds on various diseases: A review. J. Diabetes Metabol. Disorders Control, 2018, 5(4), 119-125.
Zuk, G.K.; Wierzbowska, J. Fenugreek: Productivity, nutritional value and uses. J. Elem., 2017, 22(3), 1067-1080.
Wijaya, V.H. Abdul Mun,im, A.; Djajadisastra, J. Effectiveness test of fenugreek seed (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) extract hair tonic in halt growth activity. Int. J. Curr. Res., 2013, 5(11), 3453-3460.
Yao, D.; Zhang, B.; Zhu, J.; Zhang, Q.; Hu, Y.; Wang, S.; Wang, Y.; Cao, H.; Xiao, J. Advances on application of fenugreek seeds as functional foods: Pharmacology, clinical application, products, patents and market. Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr., 2019.
[] [PMID: 31286789]
Acharya, S.; Srichamroen, A.; Basu, S.; Ooraikul, B.; Basu, T. Improvement in the nutraceutical properties of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graceum L.). Songklanakarin J. Sci. Technol., 2006, 28(Suppl. 1), 1-9.
Basch, E.; Ulbricht, C.; Kuo, G.; Szapary, P.; Smith, M. Therapeutic applications of fenugreek. Altern. Med. Rev., 2003, 8(1), 20-27.
[PMID: 12611558]
Sharma, V.; Singh, P.; Rani, A. Antimicrobial activity of Trigonella foenum-graecum L. (Fenugreek). Eur. J. Exp. Biol., 2017, 7(1), 4.
Al-Habori, M.; Raman, A. Pharmacological properties in Fenugreek- The genus Trigonella (1st edition) by G.A. Petropoulos (ed.) Taylor and Francis, London and New York, 2002, 10, pp. 163-182.
Tiran, D. The use of fenugreek for breast feeding women. Complement. Ther. Nurs. Midwifery, 2003, 9(3), 155-156.
[] [PMID: 12852932]
Broca, C.; Breil, V.; Cruciani-Guglielmacci, C.; Manteghetti, M.; Rouault, C.; Derouet, M.; Rizkalla, S.; Pau, B.; Petit, P.; Ribes, G.; Ktorza, A.; Gross, R.; Reach, G.; Taouis, M. Insulinotropic agent ID-1101 (4-hydroxyisoleucine) activates insulin signaling in rat. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab., 2004, 287(3), E463-E471.
[] [PMID: 15082420]
Devi, B.A.; Kamalakkannan, N.; Prince, P.S. Supplementation of fenugreek leaves to diabetic rats. Effect on carbohydrate metabolic enzymes in diabetic liver and kidney. Phytother. Res., 2003, 17(10), 1231-1233.
[] [PMID: 14669264]
Suboh, S.M.; Bilto, Y.Y.; Aburjai, T.A. Protective effects of selected medicinal plants against protein degradation, lipid peroxidation and deformability loss of oxidatively stressed human erythrocytes. Phytother. Res., 2004, 18(4), 280-284.
[] [PMID: 15162361]
Venkatesan, N.; Devaraj, S.N.; Devaraj, H. Increased binding of LDL and VLDL to apo B, E receptors of hepatic plasma membrane of rats treated with Fibernat. Eur. J. Nutr., 2003, 42(5), 262-271.
[] [PMID: 14569407]
Thirunavukkarasu, V.; Anuradha, C.V.; Viswanathan, P. Protective effect of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum) seeds in experimental ethanol toxicity. Phytother. Res., 2003, 17(7), 737-743.
[] [PMID: 12916070]
Kaviarasan, S.; Ramamurty, N.; Gunasekaran, P.; Varalakshmi, E.; Anuradha, C.V. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum) seed extract prevents ethanol-induced toxicity and apoptosis in Chang liver cells. Alcohol Alcohol., 2006, 41(3), 267-273.
[] [PMID: 16574673]
Badale, A.; Pallag, A.; Kozma, M.; Hegedus, C.; Kovacs, D.; Gulyas, H.; Zdrinca, M.; Magyar, I.; Marc, F.; Nemeth, S.; Kiss, R. Fenugreek seed and its active agent diosgenin treatment effects on different metabolic parameters in rats. Farmacia, 2019, 67(1), 92-98.
Walli, R.R.; Al-Musrati, R.A.; Eshtewi, H.M.; Sherif, F.M. Screening of antimicrobial activity of fenugreek seeds. Pharm. Pharma Int. J., 2015, 2(4), 00028.
Hassani, S.S.; Arezodar, F.F.; Esmaeili, S.S.; Gholami-Fesharaki, M. Effect of fenugreek use on fasting blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, body mass index, wasit circumference, blood pressure and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trials. GMJ, 2019, 8(56)e1432
Avni, K.; Kavathiya, Y.A.; Lakhani, N.S.; Kandoliya, U.K.; Golakiya, B.A. Nutritional and antioxidant components of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graceum L.) seedlings. J Pharmacogn Phytochem, 2019, 8(1), 443-447.
Lamfon, H.A. Effect of fenugreek seed extract on carbendazim inhibited spermatogenesis in albino rats. J. Appl. Pharm. Sci., 2012, 02(04), 09-13.
Helal, E.G.E. Hewaida, Fadal, A.E.; Ikechukwu, G.C.; Abd-El-Aziz, M.A.; Ahmed, S.S. Phytoestrogens soymilk and fenugreek oil perturb lipid and hormonal profile and other physiological parameters of male albino rats. Egypt J. Hosp. Med., 2019, 76(2), 3494-3499.
Badr, M.I. Effect of fenugreek seeds on kidney structure and some physiological parameters in rats. Middle East J. Appl. Sci., 2017, 07(04), 967-973.
El-Hak, H.N.G.; Elrayess, R.A. Evaluation of trigonella foenum graecum L. (fenugreek) seeds efficiency in enhancing male reproductive health. Kenkyu J. Pharm. Practice Health Care, 2018, 4, 1-3.
Kaya, Y.; Baldemir, A.; Karaman, Ü.; Ildız, N.; Arıcı, Y.K.; Kaçmaz, G.; Kolören, Z.; Konca, Y. Amebicidal effects of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) against Acanthamoeba cysts. Food Sci. Nutr., 2019, 7(2), 563-571.
[] [PMID: 30847135]
Sundaram, G.; Ramakrishnan, T.; Parthasarathy, H.; Raja, M.; Raj, S. Fenugreek, diabetes, and periodontal disease: A cross-link of sorts! J. Indian Soc. Periodontol., 2018, 22(2), 122-126.
[] [PMID: 29769766]
Sharma, R.D.; Raghuram, T.C. Hypoglycaemic effect of fenugreek seeds in non-insulin dependent diabetic subjects. Nutr. Res., 1990, 10, 731-739.
Poole, C.; Bushey, B.; Foster, C.; Campbell, B.; Willoughby, D.; Kreider, R.; Taylor, L.; Wilborn, C. The effects of a commercially available botanical supplement on strength, body composition, power output, and hormonal profiles in resistance-trained males. J. Int. Soc. Sports Nutr., 2010, 7, 34.
[] [PMID: 20979623]
Chourasiya, A.; Sahu, R.K.; Khan, M.A. Anti-nemic and haemopoietic evaluation of Trigonella foenum-graecum (Fenugreek) in rodent model. J. Drug Deliv. Ther., 2019, 9(4-s), 332-337.
Kiss, R.; Pesti-Asbóth, G.; Szarvas, M.M.; Stündl, L.; Cziáky, Z.; Hegedűs, C.; Kovács, D.; Badale, A.; Máthé, E.; Szilvássy, Z.; Remenyik, J. Diosgenin and its fenugreek based biological matrix affect insulin resistance and anabolic hormones in a rat based insulin resistance model. BioMed Res. Int., 2019.20197213913
[] [PMID: 31080828]
Singaravelu, S.; Sankarapillai, J.; Chandrakumari, A.S.; Sinha, P. Effect of Trigonella foenum graceum (Fenugreek) seed extract in experimentally induced gastric ulcer in wistar rats. Pharmacogn. J., 2018, 10(6), 1169-1173.
Devi, R. Jaya, Nandhini, Madhavan, M.; Saikumar. The effect of fenugreek (Trigonella Foecum Graecum) intake on the oxidative stress in hypercholesterolaemic subjects. Nat. J. Lab. Med., 2013, 2(1), 5-7.
Bae, J.; Kim, J.; Choue, R.; Lim, H. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) tea drinking suppresses subjective short-term appetite in over weight women. Clin. Nutr. Res., 2015, 4(3), 168-174.
[] [PMID: 26251835]
Abeysekera, W.K.S.M.; Abayarathna, U.P.T.C.; Premakumara, G.A.S.; Jayasooriya, M.C.N.; Abeysekera, W.P.K.M. Antiglycation and glycation reversing potential of fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum-Graecum) seed extract. Biomed. J. Sci. Tech. Res., 2018, 3(2).
Ajaya, K.S.; Paramahand, V.S. Reno-protective effects of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum greacum) during experimental diabetes. E Spen Eur. E J. Clin. Nutr. Metab., 2009, 4, e137-e142.
Chaudhary, S.; Chaudhary, P.S.; Chikara, S.K.; Sharma, M.C. IRITI, M. Review on fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) and its important secondary metabolic diosgenin. Not. Bot. Horti Agrobot. Cluj-Napoca, 2018, 46(1), 22-31.
Khan, T.M.; Wu, D.B.C.; Dolzhenko, A.V. Effectiveness of fenugreek as a galactagogoue: A network meta-analysis. Phytother. Res., 2017, 32(3), 1-11.
[PMID: 29193352]
Wani, S.A.; Kumar, P. Fenugreek: A review on its nutraceutical properties and utilization in various food products. J. Saudi Soc. Agric. Sci., 2018, 17, 97-106.
Aljofan, M.; Netter, H.J.; Aljarbou, A.N.; Hadda, T.B.; Orhan, I.E.; Sener, B.; Mungall, B.A. Anti-hepatitis B activity of isoquinoline alkaloids of plant origin. Arch. Virol., 2014, 159(5), 1119-1128.
[] [PMID: 24311152]

Rights & Permissions Print Export Cite as
© 2022 Bentham Science Publishers | Privacy Policy