It is an herb similar to clover, that is native to the Mediterranean region, Southern Europe, and Western Asia. They are normally used in cooking, medicinal purposes, or hide the taste of other medications. They smell and taste somewhat like maple syrup. Leaves are eaten in India as a vegetable. Fenugreek contains a compound diosgenin which has the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This is the mucilage from the seeds that helps to soothe gastrointestinal inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
Fenugreek has been attributed to alleviate many ailments. Gastrointestinal, or digestive problems as stated previously, diabetes, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol and triglycerides, even erectile dysfunction, and as a form of natural hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women, treatment for arthritis, and bronchitis, and induces labor. They can be used as poultice for eczema, muscle pain, swelling of lymph nodes, and leg wounds. Now, some of these claims may be effective, as they have been used in Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Indian Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese Medicine but there is just insufficient research to support some of these claims. I would consult a doctor before attempting to use this for any serious ailments.
There’s a video that has been going around on Instagram touting the benefits of fenugreek on acne inflammation and making hair shinier. I’m always looking for homeopathic alternatives for skin care. So, I decided to try it out.
1/2 c Fenugreek seeds
2 c Water
Boil the fenugreek for 5 minutes. Seeds will float as the water boils. Leave soaking overnight.
Strain the fenugreek seeds from the water.
Put the separated “fenugreek water” in a spray bottle.
Blend the soaked fenugreek seeds until you see enough of the mucilage and the seeds are smaller. This will help the seeds adhere to the face.
The blended fenugreek seeds are then put on the face as a mask for 15-20 minutes. I will spare you the scary picture of my fenugreek face mask.
The “fenugreek water” was sprayed all over hair, wrapped hair with a towel or put towel over pillow case (not necessary but I didn’t want to mess up my pillow case just in case), left overnight and then washed the next day.
I found this very messy. It was hard to apply on the face without seeds falling all over. Removing the mask was also messy. Make sure you are near a trash can as you don’t want the mucilaginous fenugreek seeds all over your sink. Cleaning this was not fun!
The mask was tightening and tingly. I didn’t really see a difference in minimizing the acne inflammation or redness. Left my face slightly red after rinsing off the mask. In fact, after a few minutes, it really inflamed my acne a lot more. Perhaps, it is my face adjusting to something new.
Honestly, this was a lot of work, and not too mention the messiness of it. This was not worth all the effort for the lack of results. Results do vary depending on the skin type of the person, but for me I did not see the results that I hoped for.
I can’t say much for the hair results in making it shinier as my hair is pretty shiny already. However, fenugreek has been known to prevent premature white/greys, and cure scalp infections, reduce itchiness. I can attest to the reduced scalp itchiness, it did do this. But for all the work, I would try other things that require less effort to reduce my itchy scalp and just use the fenugreek seeds in my cooking. There are some Indian recipes I might try. Stay tuned for those dishes.