Fenugreek, with its aromatic odour and strong flavour is more commonly used in curry powders than as a medicinal herb.
Looking back in history, however, it was used by the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians to:
- prevent fevers,
- comfort the stomach,
- be a poultice for abscesses, boils and carbuncles,
- soothe sore throats and treat colds,
- cure baldness in men, and
- “fatten” harem women (in those days, buxom women were very prized!).
The chemical composition of fenugreek is, surprisingly, extremely similar to that of cod liver oil. It contains (among other things):
- iron (in an easily digestible form)
- several alkaloids
- diosgenin (a precursor to several hormones)
In the past eighty years or so, fenugreek seeds have been extremely widely used by horse people to:
- promote and maintain good condition.
- encourage fussy eaters.
- increase milk production in lactating mares.
- soothe inflamed intestines.
- reduce complications induced by gastric ulcers.
It has also been found to be useful for:
- lung problems, and
- sinus congestion.
Although some people dismiss some of these claims as “quackery”, eighty years of popular use does seem to speak for itself, in my opinion.