The benefits of herbs have been widely popularized since ancient times. Today we use products containing just the extracts of such potent herbs but there are several ways in which the benefits of these herbs can be obtained at home. One such medicinal herb is Fenugreek.
What is fenugreek?
Fenugreek is an annual herb which produces brown, distinct yet aromatic seeds. Fenugreek seeds are also used for cooking which is when they add immense flavour to the food. Alone, these seeds can taste bitter. It is stated that the Egyptians were the first ones to actually use this plant for its purposes. Today it is widely grown in various parts of the world. Fenugreek seeds are essential ingredients in many Indian recipes.
- Benefits of fenugreek for skin
- Benefits of fenugreek for hair
- Benefits of fenugreek for health
Benefits of fenugreek for skin
The benefits of fenugreek seeds for skin are not widely known. However, it is true that the seeds contain many nutrients as well as vitamin C. This makes fenugreek seeds an excellent remedy for skin care.
For dry and dull skin
Fenugreek and honey face mask
You will need: ½ cup of dry fenugreek seeds, one tablespoon of honey and a few teaspoons of rose water.
How to: take the dry fenugreek seeds and add to a grinder. Grind until you obtain a fine powder. To make sure that you get the seeds grinded properly, make sure that the seeds are completely dry. If not, put the seeds on a pan and heat until they lose all moisture. You can also leave the seeds out under the sun. This will ensure that they get dried out. Once you have obtained the dry powder, take about a tablespoon of it and add honey to it. If the paste is too thick for application, then use rose water to thin it out. Mix until well combined, and apply over the affected areas in an even and thin layer. Let this mask dry on your face completely and then rinse with cold water.
How this works: fenugreek is excellent for soothing tired skin and adding glow to it naturally. It has nourishing properties. Honey helps to add shine to the face and help with any kind of pigmentation. This mask works very well for people with sensitive and tired looking skin. You can store the fenugreek seed powder in an airtight jar and use this remedy every night before going to bed.
For acne prone skin
Fenugreek and Neem face pack
You will need: 2 tablespoons of fenugreek powder, 1 tablespoon of Neem powder and 5 tablespoons of rose water.
How to: simply combine all the ingredients together until a paste is formed. Apply this mixture to your face and let it dry. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Once the pace pack has hardened, wet it with some plain water and rinse using the same.
How this works: fenugreek contains strong anti-inflammatory properties. This not only reduces the swelling on the face but also helps to treat acne and soothe pimples. Neem powder is an excellent ingredient to get rid of the bacteria on the skin surface, which aggravate acne. This mask is very beneficial for those with problematic skin which is prone to breakouts.
For tanned and pigmented skin
Fenugreek and orange face pack
You need: 1 tablespoon fenugreek powder along with 1 tablespoon of orange peel powder and 5 tablespoons of lemon juice.
How to: mix all the components together until you get a paste. Apply this face pack and leave it on for about ½ an hour. Rinse with the help of cold water.
How this work: fenugreek seeds contain anti-oxidants which help to reduce pigmentation. Orange peels are very beneficial for getting rid of sun tan which can be a result of prolonged sun exposure. Lemon contains natural bleaching compounds and helps to get rid of sun tan as well. This face pack is extremely effective for tanned skin. It is mild enough to be used every day. You may experience a slight itching sensation when you apply this on your face. This is because of the lemon juice.
You will need: ½ cup of fenugreek seeds, ½ cup of rose water, and 2 tablespoon of aloe Vera gel.
How to: boil the fenugreek seeds in 1 and ½ cup of water. Boil the seeds till the water turns yellow in colour. Allow the water to cool. Do not remove the seeds immediately. Strain the mixture only after the water has completely cooled down. Add rose water to this water and then add Aloe Vera gel. Store this toner in a clean spray bottle. Shake vigorously so that the Aloe Vera gel gets mixed completely. You can also add a few drops of the facial oil of your choice. Do not add essential oils to this mixture. Keep in the refrigerator. You can use this toner whenever you like. Make sure you apply this n clean skin.
How this works: when fenugreek seeds are boiled, they release their essential compounds in the water and the solution can be used for treating sun burnt skin as well as oily skin. Rose water soothes the skin while acting as the base of the toner. Aloe Vera gel contains anti-bacterial properties and also helps to moisturise the skin naturally.
For dull and rough skin
Fenugreek and gram flour scrub
You will need: ½ cup of fenugreek seed powder, ½ cup of gram flour and 1 tablespoon of curd.
How to: mix the fenugreek seed powder with the gram flour. You can store this powder in an air tight container for as long as you like. To prepare the scrub, take about 2 tablespoons of this powder and mix it with curd. You may find this mixture quite gritty and that is the desired texture of the scrub. Use this scrub to exfoliate your skin twice a week. Follow it up with a moisturizer of your choice.
How this works: the scrub made from fenugreek seeds and gran flour helps to remove the layer of dead skin cells which result in dullness. Curd makes sure that your skin does not feel dry after using the scrub. You can also use the fenugreek toner afterwards to soothe your skin
Benefits of fenugreek for hair
Fenugreek seeds have multiple uses including benefits for your hair. Listed below are a few solutions to help you achieve healthy hair with the help of this powerful herb.
For dry hair
Fenugreek and avocado hair mask
You will need: ½ cup of fenugreek seeds, pulp of one avocado, 5 tablespoons of honey.
How to: soak the fenugreek seeds in milk overnight. Allow them to get soft. Add the softened seeds to a grinder and grind them until you get a paste. Add avocado pulp to the grinder along with honey and blend until a thick creamy paste is obtained. Apply this hair mask evenly throughout the strands of your hair. Make sure you hair are slightly damp before applying this. Let it to work on your hair for approximately 20 minutes and then rinse off using cold water. Shampoo as usual.
How this works: fenugreek seeds have moisturising properties which makes the hair soft and shiny. Avocado is another excellent ingredient for treating damaged hair. You can apply this mask once every 7 to 8 days to achieve manageable and soft hair. It will also reduce frizzy hair.
You will need: ½ cup of fenugreek powder, 1/4th cup of lemon juice, a few tablespoons of curd and aloe Vera gel.
How to: mix the fenugreek powder with the lemon juice and the curd. Make sure there are no lumps in the mixture. You might notice slight bubbling in the mixture. This is due the reaction between lemon juice and curd. This won’t be harmful in any way and can be safely applied onto the hair. Keep this hair mask on for an hour and then shampoo as you normally would. After doing this remedy and cleaning your hair, apply some aloe Vera gel on your scalp to get rid of dandruff completely.
How this works: fenugreek is known for tackling dandruff very effectively and preventing it from coming back. Lemon and curd help to eliminate dandruff as well and add shine and volume to the hair as well.
For oily and greasy hair/scalp
Fenugreek water rinse
You will need: ½ cup of fenugreek seeds and 2 cups of water.
How to: simply boil the seeds in water until it turns into a mustard-yellow solution. Allow this solution to cool completely. Place it in the refrigerator to make sure that it is chilled. After shampooing your hair as usual, rinse your hair with this water and massage it into your scalp.
How this works: Fenugreek infused water will help to remove build-up from your hair and also help with itchy scalp.
Benefits of fenugreek for health
There are numerous benefits of consuming fenugreek seeds and leaves when consumed internally.
Manages blood sugar levels: Fenugreek seeds contain a natural soluble fibre which helps to reduce the sugar absorption in blood. It also enhances the insulin production and helps to reduce sugar cravings as well. This is the reason why fenugreek seeds are included in the diet of many diabetic patients.
Improves digestion: fenugreek absorbs harmful substances present in the gut and eliminate them from the body over time. It heals the digestive system from within to help with problems like indigestion, constipation and acidity.
Can help with weight loss: Since fenugreek seeds are rich in fibre, they help to supress excessive food cravings and give a feeling of fullness. This in turn helps to lose weight naturally.
Strengthens the metabolism and immune system: When consumed regularly in a healthy amount, fenugreek seeds can help to increase metabolism and make the immune system stronger. It also provides protection against certain allergies and skin issues such as dryness and skin peeling.
How to prepare fenugreek tea?
Fenugreek tea is very simple to prepare. It does not take much time.
You need: 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds, 1 cup of water, and 1 teaspoon of honey.
How to: simply boil the seeds in water. Do not boil for too long. Turn off the heat as soon as the water starts boiling. Remove the seeds by straining the solution and add a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup for some natural sweetness. You can consume this tea daily to reap the benefits of this herb.
How to make Fenugreek vegetable wraps?
You will need: 1 cup of fenugreek leaves, 2 cups of wheat flour, 1/4th tablespoon of salt, 1/4th tablespoon of red chilli powder, 1/4th tablespoon of turmeric powder, 1 cup of cooked noodles with vegetables of your choice, ½ cup of yoghurt.
How to: mix the flour with the fenugreek leaves and the spices. Add water very slowly and knead the mixture into a dough. Add water in batches so that you do not get a wet batter. Take small chunks of this dough and roll into round wraps. Place one chapatti onto a heated skillet and apply oil on both the sides. Once cooked, remove from heat and apply yoghurt on one side only. Put some noodles right in the centre and roll it into a wrap.
|Are there any side effects of fenugreek seeds?||When used externally, like in case of hair and skin remedies, fenugreek seeds will not result in any allergies or problems. However, one must remember that fenugreek seeds are body warming in nature and have to be consumed in moderation. Pregnant women must stay away from this as it may result in early contractions. Any individual allergic to soybeans and green peas may also be allergic to fenugreek seeds as these belong to the same family.|
|Can fenugreek seeds be added to soups?||Yes, they can be added to any soup or vegetable. Allow them to crackle first and then add the rest of the ingredients. However, do not add to many seeds as they have a natural bitter taste.|
|Do fenugreek seeds eliminate menstrual pain?||Since they help to reduce inflammation, fenugreek tea taken twice a day will surely help to deal with pain and bloating due to monthly cycles.|
|Can fenugreek leaves be consumed too?||Fenugreek leaves contain lots of nutrients as well iron and can be used for cooking. To prepare a dry dish, heat some oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and allow them to crackle. Then add the washed fenugreek leaves. Keep the pan covered with a lid for a few minutes or until the leaves have softened and turned a dark green colour. Then add spices of your choice. Add diced boiled potatoes. Cook for some more time as a side dish. You can also add the cooked leaves to sandwiches and vegetable rolls.|
Fenugreek is a relatively harmless herb to use. It does not have side effects except for those who may be allergic to it, although it is rare. Since they produce heat in the body, one must not over use them. When using fenugreek for external remedies, do not store the wet mixtures for over 2 days. Pregnant women must also avoid using this herb as it could induce early pains. It some cases, consuming too much fenugreek could lead to bloating and diahorrea but when consumed in moderation, these seeds are nothing but nutritious.
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