Fenugreek seeds are typically ground up into a spice and used in curry and to contribute a complex sweetness and subtle bitterness to saucy dishes. We also like using the seeds here at Annmarie Skin Care for their natural ability to exfoliate.
It tastes great in your curry, but it can also help soothe.
A Little Bit About the Ingredient Itself
Fenugreek is scientifically known as Trigonella foenum-graecum, and is also called “Bird’s Foot” and “Greek Hay.” A member of the pea family, it grows naturally in Eurasia, in the Meditteranean region, and in China. An annual that grows up to 20 inches tall, it has small, round leaves with pale yellow or off-white flowers. The seed pod grows in the summer, with each containing about 20 yellowish-brown seeds.
The fenugreek plant can be used as an herb, a vegetable, or as a spice, with the leaves and sprouts supplying the first two and the seeds the last. Fresh fenugreek leaves are often found in salads and Indian curries, while the seeds are used in curry powders and pastes, and sometimes in bread and in pickling recipes.
Internal Health Benefits of Fenugreek
Historically, fenugreek was used in mummification and as part of traditional medicine in India, Greece, and the Arab countries. The seeds were used to treat digestive ailments, kidney problems, arthritis, bronchitis, and reproductive problems.
Today, studies have found that fenugreek seeds may help lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar levels in those with diabetes, soothe heartburn and acid reflux, reduce fever, and increase milk production in women who are breastfeeding.
Some studies also indicate that fenugreek nourishes hair.
Benefits to the Skin
One of the main benefits attributed to fenugreek seeds is their calming action.
Here are some more details on the skin-care benefits of fenugreek:
- Oily Skin: Try taking two tablespoons of fenugreek seed, add lukewarm water, soak overnight, and grind into a paste. Add two tablespoons of aloe vera gel and mix, then apply to your face and leave on for 10-30 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water and moisturize. Repeat 2-3 times a week to clean oils and dirt from your skin.
- Exfoliate: Many of today’s exfoliating skin care products use plastic beads to exfoliate skin, and often, these beads are made of petroleum products. How much nicer to have natural scrubbing beads like fenugreek seeds, which exfoliate and rejuvenate skin, revealing a softer, smoother texture. We’ve used the seeds for just that purpose in our Ayurvedic Facial Scrub.
- Cleansing: In addition to the exfoliating action, fenugreek makes the perfect cleanser. Try adding the seeks into three cups of water, boil, let cool, then use the water to cleanse your face.
- Conditioning: Fenugreek seeds also have natural oils, fats, and mucus that help to hydrate, moisturize, and soften skin. You can mix with yogurt for a facial moisturizer, or apply a fine paste to your hair for shiny, conditioned locks. (Leave on for 30 minutes before washing off.)
- Nourishing: Fenugreek is full of nutrients, including protective vitamin C, niacin, potassium, carotene, and more, helping to keep skin healthy and young looking.
If you want to try fenugreek seed, reach for a jar of our Ayurvedic Facial Scrub, which exfoliates, nourishes, and rejuvenates your skin to give you a fresher, livelier look. Because of fenugreek’s calming properties, you may find your skin more comfortable than ever after you use this product.
What do you know about fenugreek seeds? Please share your thoughts.