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Medical Benefits of Fenugreek
By: Dr. / Zaghloul El-Naggar
Imam al-Haythami reported on the authority of Mu'adh Ibn Jabal (A.S.) that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
"If my nation knew what good is in Fenugreek, they would buy it for gold'."
The Explanation of the Hadith
"Fenugreek" is the common name of one of the seed crops, which belong to "Order Rosales" and fall under one of the following families: "Superfamily Rosaceae", "Family leguminosae" or the "Subfamily Papillonoidae". The plants belonging to these families are herbal plants, the leaves of which are either compound, pinnate (feathery shaped), palmately lobed or trifoliate resembling clover. Their fruits are the pod or legume type and the seeds non-endospermic. Many crops fall under these families such as beans, peas, chickpea, peanuts, fenugreek, broad beans, cowpea, lentil, lupine and soybeans.
The scientific name of fenugreek is "Trigonella Foenum Graecum." There are many medicinal uses of Fenugreek, such as promoting lactation, as an appetizer, in cases of indigestion, anti-inflammatory, in treating arthritis, and also in the treatment of various wounds.
Fenugreek is also highly effective in treating diabetes, as it has been proven that two grams of powdered fenugreek is equivalent to one unit of insulin. The reason is, fenugreek seeds contain zinc-related β-chains, which affect the blood sugar level. Moreover, they contain amino and sulfuric acids, which promote the production of active penicillin in the pancreas, as was indicated by Dr.'Abdul Basit. He published these results in his valuable book Seeking Treatment in Natural Herbs and Prophetic Medicine. In his book, Dr.'Abdual Basit assures that diabetic patient suffer from a disorder in the sulfur-bond which links β-chains in order to produce active insulin molecule. Giving sulfur in an organic form, such as fenugreek seeds, increases the efficiency of the pancreas, which is useful in the treatment of diabetes.
Fenugreek seeds contain 29% proteins, 6% volatile and fixed oils, in addition to a high percentage of vitamin B1, B2, Niacin, Pantonine, the alkaloids Trigonelline and Choline, Saponine, Diosgenine, Methionine, and tri-methylamines. These substances highly affect symptoms of menstruation. Fenugreek also contains other constituents as iron, phosphorus, several enzymes, hormones and gums.
The medical value of these compounds increases when the seeds are sprouted and buds are formed. Through this process, proteins composed of several essential amino acids are broken into acids, vitamins and hormones, which multiply remarkably in the moist environment.