Moondust Ushers Winter Out with Fenugreek Spice & All Things Nice
Aren’t we all just ready for that full outdoor life as the winter’s long cold days come to an end? Well, we can enjoy the goodness of green right in our own cozy kitchens with herbs and spices to add flavor and variety to our favourite interests – food! Fenugreek leaves are the herb part and the spice is derived from the seeds for massive modern appeal as both a menu enhancer and medicine and health extender.
Today, Moondust Cosmetics®, creators of SPP a suncare product formulated to protect skin against the Human Sunburn Cycle with natural ingredients and botanicals, shares some of the secrets of this ancient plant.
How Fenugreek brought the fun to your food pantry
Fenugreek fascinated the people who discovered it in Iraq, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and is used in most Middle Eastern, African and Indian cuisines. It likely reached India and was popularized during the Greek period after Alexander the Great’s invasion. The country is now a major user and a leading producer of the spice.
Fenugreek has a flavor similar to maple and roasted sugar. Whichever pantry it inhabits it accents flavourful stews and curries and is also used in pickling and in breads, casseroles, chutneys, and soups. In addition, fenugreek will enhance meats, poultry and vegetables.
It appears as an ingredient in spice blends for cooking and as a flavoring agent in imitation maple syrup, foods, beverages, and even tobacco.
It is a clover-like plant related to alfalfa, chickpeas and peanuts in the botanical family Fabaceae.
From cuisines of many cultures to popular supplement.
Fenugreek is one of the world’s oldest medicinal herbs with evidence of its seeds being used as far back as 4000 BC by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans – for various purposes.
Fenugreek’s impressive health benefits
Fenugreek has been credited with many benefits for our health. While it has become a common household spice and sometimes used as a thickening agent, it is also an ingredient in products such as soap and shampoo. For thousands of years, fenugreek has been used in alternative and Chinese medicine to treat skin conditions and many other diseases.
Fenugreek powder is derived from the plant’s dried seeds and is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a laxative, and a dietary supplement to treat various conditions including diabetes, high cholesterol, wounds, inflammation, and gastrointestinal complaints.
May help control diabetes and blood sugar levels
Fenugreek has been used to treat a variety of conditions. However, many of these uses have not been studied well enough to reach strong scientific conclusions despite their long standing traditional use.
Fenugreek may aid metabolic conditions, such as diabetes. It increases general carbohydrate tolerance in people without these conditions and its use seems to reduce blood sugar levels.
These benefits may be due to fenugreek’s role in improving insulin function due in part to the high fiber content.
In addition, some reviews and anecdotal reports from traditional medicine suggest that fenugreek can help with ulcerative colitis, skin problems, and numerous other conditions. Preliminary research suggests that fenugreek may aid in:
- Appetite control.
- Cholesterol levels.
Again, it is important to note that research on this botanical is limited. Small studies in humans suggest fenugreek may help reduce blood fats and sugars, or relieve menopause symptoms, but larger-well designed studies are needed.
Studies from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the USA are suggesting in reports from their preclinical studies that fenugreek has chemopreventive (7) (8) (9) (24) and chemoprotective properties (25). Human studies have not yet been conducted.
In vitro, fenugreek acted as an estrogen receptor modulator (26) and stimulated breast cancer cells. Patients with hormone-sensitive cancers should therefore consult their physician before using this product in amounts greater than one might use to flavor foods in a typical day’s diet.
Fenugreek has also been studied for its anticancer potential. Specifically – an example for the deeper science minded, is the MCF-7 estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cells, a fenugreek extract induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis (9). Dioscin, a steroidal saponin isolated from fenugreek, suppressed cell viability of ovarian cancer cells by regulating VEGFR2, PI3K, phosphorylated AKT and phosphorylated p38 MAPK signaling pathways (39).
It may even affect brain serotonin levels.
These sample medical uses have been shared for educational purposes only and to spark interest in adding to our lives from nature’s wondrous elements. Ingredients enjoyed for their lively role in our daily meals and for their life enhancing properties.
Explore more delicious information on healing, consuming and enjoying plants that purify our air in the many posts available at moondust.com
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