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This plant is also used commonly both as a food and spice, being one of the aromatic herbs, it is used in traditional medicinal uses. It is very much well known in Egypt for a long time ago. Egyptian papyri mention the plant as one necessary for the mummification process. Its common name is fenugreek or Greek hay seed or birdís foot. Its botanical name is Trigonella foenum-graecum. Its arabic name is Hilba, hilbeh. The parts used are mostly the seeds. However, sometimes the fresh leaves are used in cooking by Indians or dried and used as flavoring


In medicinal uses a preparation where seeds are soaked in water until they swell and form a thick paste is used to prevent fevers, is comforting to the stomach and has been utilized in diabetes. In combination with conventional medicine e.g. insulin, it is helpful in gout, diabetes and neurasthenia.
The saponins are thought to inhibit cholesterol absorption and synthesis, and may also have a positive effect on blood sugar control in people who suffer from diabetes. In terms of weight control, the soluble fibre in fenugreek seeds can reduce dietary fat absorption by binding to fatty acids as well as create a sensation of "fullness" and reduced appetite. Thus it is a good agent for reducing serum cholesterol.
The herb affects cholesterol levels in the same fashion as Pectin. Fenugreek also contains saponins. The saponin-containing plant fibres could inhibit the intestinal absorption of cholesterol much the same as Alfalfa saponins do (i.e. by absorbing bile acids and increasing the loss of bile acids by fecal excretion, which then leads to an increased conversion of cholesterol into bile acid by the liver).
Fenugreek is very widely used as culinary herb and considered safe as a food supplement. It is used as a flavoring for both human and animal feed. However, because fenugreek has potential uterine stimulating properties which could potentially lead to miscarriage, it should not be used during pregnancy in any form.



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