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Fenugreek

Fenugreek is one of the oldest recorded medicinal herbs, highly esteemed in both the east and the west, and has been regarded as a cure for just about every known ailment. Fenugreek has the most beneficial action on cleansing the blood, and as a diaphoretic, it is able to bring on a sweat and help detox the body through the pores of the skin.

The pungent aroma of fenugreek can be smelt on the skin and in under-arm perspiration. This is evidence that the herb is working well, so shower frequently. The body odour of fenugreek is nowhere near as strong as that of garlic.

Fenugreek also has a reputation as a lymphatic cleansing herb. The lymphatic system is the vacuum cleaner of the body. It has a vital role irrigating the cells with nutrients and removing toxic wastes, dead cells, and trapped proteins. The fluid is cleaned through the lymph nodes before the body’s 13 litres of filtered lymph fluid recycles again via the subclavian vein near the heart.

A blocked lymphatic system can mean poor circulation, fluid retention, pain, loss of energy, and disease anywhere in the body. An efficient working lymphatic system is essential for a strong immune system. Steve Meyerowitz in ‘Sprouts the miracle food’ mentions that the chemical composition of fenugreek resembles that of cod liver oil and is considered a sister herb to garlic, and fenugreek is found to actually enhance the disinfectant properties of garlic.

Fenugreek is a valued herb for all mucus conditions of the body, particularly the lungs, by helping to clear congestion. Use for head colds, influenza, catarrh, bronchial complaints, asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, pleurisy, tuberculosis, sore throat, laryngitis, hay fever, and sinusitis.

Fenugreek has featured for peptic ulcers and inflamed conditions of the stomach and bowel, and with its healing and soothing action creates a protective coating like a lubricant over inflamed areas.

Other medicinal uses of fenugreek have included: indigestion, allergies, anemia, chronic fatigue, toothache, sciatica, neuralgia, arthritis, rheumatism, gout, blood poisoning, anorexia, acne, edema, hernia, muscular pain, constipation, diarrhea, blood cleanser, headache, migraine, menstrual discomfort, menopause symptoms including hot flushes, mood swings and stress, ear infections and waxy ear, failing eyesight, cataracts, glaucoma and sore eyes, palpitations, ulcers.

It has been used to stabilise hormone function, to relieve fevers from infectious diseases like measles and mumps, for sugar cravings, to aid fat metabolism, weight loss, internal ‘spring-cleaning’, and to stimulating the reproductive organs and relieving impotence. Fenugreek has had a reputation for enhancing libido. No wonder it has been called an aphrodisiac. I smiled, when I read in a herbal prescription, ‘Fenugreek, for making an old man into a young man’!

Fenugreek is warming to the kidneys and the reproductive organs of both males and females, and can be taken for any ailments of these organs to help remove congestion and toxins. Fenugreek has also been used to strengthen the nervous system, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas, gall bladder, and glands.

Fenugreek seeds, either dry or soaked in water for a few hours are chewed, as a breath freshener. Eating the sprouts gives a similar benefit to the breath. Fenugreek has a powerful demulcent action, as it is rich in mucilage and can soothe irritated or inflamed tissue. For relief from the agonising symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and diverticulitis, the ‘soak-and-rinse water’ is drunk and the sprouts blended to a liquid.

An old herbal prescription refers to fenugreek tea as the supreme herb for its ability to ‘clean out your insides… nothing else can do the trick with such effectiveness, the mucilaginous properties of fenugreek soften and dissolve masses of accumulated wastes and toxins’.

Scientific research has identified over a hundred biological compounds in the plant, many of them having exceptionally therapeutic benefits to the body. Fenugreek is a truly remarkable, rejuvenating herb; use it to fortify the immune system. No wonder it has been called the herb for ‘every ailment under the sun.