Fenugreek is an amazing plant that dates back centuries. Its taste and aroma are extremely inviting, and it also reaps amazing health benefits too. The plant belongs to the Fabaceae family and the beautiful green fenugreek leaves and yellow/brown seeds are used as an herb and spice. The plant offers a bitter taste and strong aroma.
We know that humans have been using fenugreek for more than six thousand years. Archaeologists think the spice was used as early as 4000 BC, when remanence of the plant was discovered in Tell Halal, in Iraq.
The Ancient Egyptians used fenugreek leaves and seeds as a medicinal drug, believing that it could treat burns and induce childbirth.
Hippocrates, a great Greek Physician used it for many things including soothing cuts and wounds, while other Greeks used the plant as a cure for infections. Ancient Romans used it to treat fevers, respiratory issues, and help heal wounds. Also, during the first Jewish-Roman war, fenugreek was mixed with boiling oil and used to keep intruders from entering the city.
In modern times, India produces more fenugreek than any other place in the world. Most of the plant is used for culinary purposes as fenugreek is a very common ingredient in Indian culture. The spice is commonly used in stews and chutneys while the fenugreek leaves themselves are used to finish a dish – usually a curry. The leafy green adds that something extra to any dish and provides a maple flavour and subtle bitterness. Fenugreek’s distinctive aroma also allows it to be used as a substitute for maple syrup or vanilla.
Nowadays, the plant is taken in capsule form as a supplement. It is also used in tea for general wellbeing and to promote milk flow for people who are breastfeeding. All in all, this is a wonder plant with miraculous benefits.