Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The Benefits of Fenugreek (Methi / Hulbah).

Fenugreek is a green herb with a pungent flavour which is traditionally used in South Asian cooking. It is easy to grow, even in the Western climate. It has a pleasing flavour when cooked and is my favourite herb :)

It is praised highly in Ayurvedic Medicine and is particularly beneficial for women and for cold, wet illnesses like common colds, flu and bronchitis as it can help clear congested phlegm and soothe a sore throat. Some herbal therapists (Hakeems) have said, “If people knew the benefits of fenugreek, they would pay its weight in gold.”

There is no reference to Methi in the Sahih Sunnah.

A number of sites around the net have reported that Rasool'Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) encouraged the use of Fenugreek as a treatment for the sick, but I have not been able to confirm that from any source of Sahih Hadith.

However, there is no doubt that Ibn Al Qayyim (rahimullah) did mention it in his works and that it is one of the oldest and most beneficial natural medicines and should therefore not be ignored.

Ibn Al Qayyim's commentary on Hulbah [Fenugreek].

Ibn Al Qayyim (rahimullah) said that the health benefits of this plant could be gained from drinking a concoction of Fenugreek seeds, which could help to sooth a sore throat, clear the respiratory tract,  help conditions like asthma, bronchitis, colic and breathing difficulties, ease hemorrhoids and constipation, relieve an upset stomach and strengthen the heart.

He suggested applying a hot cooked fenugreek concoction to skin eruptions and cold sores to sooth and soften them, and using it for washing hair. He also recommended cooking fenugreek with dates, honey or figs and eating this on an empty stomach to dissolve phlegm and relieve a persistent cough.

A teaspoon of fenugreek seeds can be soaked in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes and then this mixture can be drunk to gain the above benefits insha’Allah. Fenugreek can also be used to relieve an upset stomach, it can be used as an aphrodisiac and it also helps constipation, helps reduce cholesterol levels in the blood, lowers blood sugar levels, relieves water/urine retention and it also is particularly beneficial for women as it stimulates menstrual flow and balances female hormones, assists in childbirth by stimulating uterine contractions during labour and increases breast milk for breastfeeding women. Pregnant women should always consult their doctor before self-medicating with fenugreek or other herbal remedies.

Benefits for women.

Fenugreek ranks high among the ‘must haves’ for nursing mothers. This is due to the presence of diosgenin in the seeds and leaves which increases milk production in lactating mothers. Fenugreek has been known to be helpful in inducing childbirth by stimulating uterine contractions. It is also known to reduce labour pains. But here’s a word of caution. Excess intake of fenugreek seeds during pregnancy could put you in risk of miscarriage or premature childbirth. As well as Diosgenin, fenugreek contains isoflavones with oestrogen-like properties which help reduce symptoms like discomfort and menstrual cramps associated with PMS. These compounds also ease menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and mood fluctuations. 

Women who are in child-bearing age are more prone to iron deficiency due to the monthly loss of blood, also during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Including green leafy veggies like fenugreek in your diet can supply a good amount of iron. But make sure to add tomatoes to the dish when cooking it to enhance the iron absorption.

Fenugreek for medicinal use can come in a number of different forms, young fresh leaves, dried leaves, seeds, essential oil or powdered in capsule form. All of these are available in Indian/Pakistani grocery stores or on the Internet.

Fenugreek can be grown for its mildly spicy leaves and shoots by soaking the seed in water for about 30 minutes and then planting it into the ground or into a window box in a bright sunny spot on the windowsill. Young leaves can be cut and used as a garnish, in fenugreek tea, pakoras, curries, in breads or in stews and casseroles.

References -

1 comment:

  1. Jazak'Allah beautifull work,it shows your love towards deen & also people around...Jazaka'Allah for creating this blog...Allah bless you with His mercy...


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