Fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum-Graecum) is an annual indigenous to the Mediterranean and grown widely in Europe and Asia. It has a long medicinal history, and is recommended for cleansing the chest and lungs in Culpepper's Herbal of 1649.
Fenugreek grows to about two feet (60cm), with yellow/white flowers and long yellow seedpods. It likes full sun and well-drained, neutral to slightly acid soil. It doesn't like to be transplanted. In spring, after the threat of frost has passed, sow seeds to a depth of a little less than a quarter inch. The seeds sprout quickly. Unlike many other herbs that thrive on neglect, fenugreek likes fertile soil, so be generous with the compost. Space plants five to six inches apart.
|Fenugreek seed smells like maple syrup|
Harvesting Fenugreek Seed Pods
Harvest and dry seedpods in early to mid fall, and store them in an airtight container in a dry, dark spot.
Using Fenugreek as an Herbal Remedy
Fenugreek can be taken internally or used topically. It is most often used to treat coughs and sore throat, although current research suggests that it may be effective in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, can help lower blood cholesterol levels and increase circulation. It is also often recommended as an herbal treatment for tinnitus.
Fenugreek seed makes a refreshing and very flavorful tea. You'll enjoy it. It really does have a maple fragrance. You can find a recipe here: Fenugreek Tea Recipe
Other Uses for Fenugreek
It is a common ingredient in curries and imitation maple syrup. Fenugreek can also be used as a dye.
Fenugreek usually makes the short list of sexual stimulant herbs, and has been used with some success in treating male impotence. It's thought that Fenugreek's ability to help improve circulation is the reason it's effective.
In women, fenugreek may also help in treating vaginal dryness.
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