Sunday, September 4, 2011

Methi(Fenugreek) cultivation


Scientific classification

Kingdom                        : Plantae
(unranked)                      : Angiosperms
(unranked)                      : Eudicots
(unranked)                      : Rosids
Order                             : Fabales
Family                            : Fabaceae
Genus                             : Trigonella
Species                           : T. foenum-graecum
Binomial name                 :Trigonella foenum-graecum

Fenugreek ( /ˈfɛnjʉɡriːk/; Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a plant in the family Fabaceae. Fenugreek is used both as a herb (the leaves) and as a spice (the seed, often called methi in Urdu/Hindi). The leaves and sprouts are also eaten as vegetables. The plant is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop and is a common ingredient in many curries.

History

The name fenugreek or foenum-graecum is from Latin for "Greek hay". The plant's similarity to wild clover has likely spawned its Swedish name: "bockhornsklöver" as well as the German: "Bockshornklee", both literally meaning: "ram's horn clover".

Zohary and Hopf note that it is not yet certain which wild strain of the genus Trigonella gave rise to the domesticated fenugreek but believe it was brought into cultivation in the Near East. Charred fenugreek seeds

have been recovered from Tell Halal, Iraq, (radiocarbon dating to 4000 BCE) and Bronze Age levels of Lachish, as well as desiccated seeds from the tomb of Tutankhamen. Cato the Elder lists fenugreek with clover and vetch as crops grown to feed cattle.

Production

Major fenugreek producing countries are Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Argentina, Egypt, France, Spain, Turkey, Morocco and China. India is the largest producer of fenugreek in the world where Rajasthan,

Gujarat, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Punjab are the major fenugreek producing states. Rajasthan produces the lion's share of India's production, accounting for over 80% of the nation's total fenugreek output. Qasuri Methi, more popular for its appetizing fragrance, comes from Qasur, Pakistan, and regions irrigated by the Sutlej River, in the Indian and Pakistani states of Punjab.

Use

Cuisine
Methi, or fenugreek, is a green vegetable known for its medicinal properties in India. Methi is grown in the winter season (rabi) in India and is resistant to frost. It's leaves and stems are cooked as a vegetable while the

yellow seeds are used as spices in other dishes. Methi seeds are also used to make chutneys, pickles, curries, or are crushed into powder. Methi is most well-known for its curative properties in diabetes. A teaspoonful of methi seeds, 50 to 100 gm, can be taken daily by diabetics with a glass of water or milk.

Methi seeds give a nice scent to cooked dishes, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. A herbal medicine company, Indus Biotech, is working on a pharmaceutical based on methi seeds extract for diabetes patients. According to the Ayurveda, methi seeds lower blood sugar, increase the appetite, aid digestion, relieve flatulence and acidity, and are useful in controlling heart disease. A paste made from methi seeds is good for the skin, and was used in ancient times for leprosy sufferers.

The cuboid yellow to amber coloured fenugreek seeds are frequently used in the preparation of pickles, curry powders, and pastes, and the spice is often encountered in the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent. The dried leaves – also called kasuri methi (or kasoori methi in India and Pakistan), after the region of Kasur in Punjab, Pakistan province, where it grows abundantly – have a bitter taste and a characteristically strong smell. When harvested as microgreens, it also known as Samudra Methi, in Maharashtra, especially in and around Mumbai, Menthium or Venthayam in Tamil, where it is often grown near the sea in the sandy tracts, hence the name (Samudra means "ocean" in Sanskrit).

Fenugreek is used in Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisine. The word for fenugreek in Amharic is abesh (or abish), and the seed is used in Ethiopia as a natural herbal medicine in the treatment of diabetes.

Some Jews customarily eat fenugreek during the meal of the first and/or second night of Rosh Hashana (The New Year).

Lactation

Fenugreek seeds are thought to be a galactagogue that is often used to increase milk supply in lactating women.

Medicinal










Methi for Arthritis
 

Arthritis has a low incidence rate in India where a lot of fenugreek is consumed. Drinking 1 cup of fenugreek tea per day, made from the leaves, is said to relieve the discomfort of arthritis.

A June 2011 study at the Australian Centre for Integrative Clinical and Molecular Medicine found that men aged 25 to 52 who took a fenugreek extract twice daily for six weeks scored 25% higher on tests gauging libido levels than those who took a placebo.

Fenugreek seeds are a rich source of the polysaccharide galactomannan. They are also a source of saponins such as diosgenin, yamogenin, gitogenin, tigogenin, and neotigogens. Other bioactive constituents of fenugreek include mucilage, volatile oils, and alkaloids such as choline and trigonelline.

Fenugreek seeds are used as a medicinal in Traditional Chinese Medicine under the name Hu Lu Ba, where they are considered to warm and tonify kidneys, disperse cold and alleviate pain. Main indications are hernia, pain in the groin. They are used raw or toasted. In India about 2-3g of raw fenugreek seeds (called Methi in India) are swallowed raw early in the morning with warm water, before brushing the teeth and before drinking tea or coffee, where they are supposed to have a therapeutic and healing effect on joint pains, without any side effects

Fenugreek is frequently used in the production of flavoring for artificial maple syrups. The taste of toasted fenugreek, like cumin, is additionally based on substituted pyrazines. By itself, fenugreek has a bitter taste.

Methi powder for breast milk


Fenugreek seed is widely used as a galactagogue (milk producing agent) by nursing mothers to increase inadequate breast milk supply. Studies have shown that fenugreek is a potent stimulator of breast milk production and its use was associated with increases in milk production of as much as 900%. It can be
found in capsule form in many health food stores.



Methi tea for kidney

In Persian and Arabic traditional medicine, Fenugreek is known as Helba or Hulba, tea made from the seeds is used to flush the kidneys and even fight kidney stones.

Methi powder for diabetis

Several human intervention trials demonstrated that the antidiabetic effects of fenugreek seeds ameliorate most metabolic symptoms associated with type-1 and type-2 diabetes in both humans and relevant animal models by reducing serum glucose and improving glucose tolerance. Fenugreek is currently available commercially in encapsulated forms and is being prescribed as dietary supplements for the control of hypercholesterolemia and diabetes by practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine. Fenugreek contains high dietary fiber, so a few seeds taken with warm water before going to sleep helps avoiding  constipation.

According to a recent study conducted in India, it has been found that Methi powder and yoga can be used to treat diabetes. Methi which is popularly known as Fenugreek can be easily included in your diet plan and most of its beneficial properties lie in its seeds. The fenugreek seeds consist of an amino acid which can start the production of insulin in the body which in turn can help you to lower the level of blood sugar. Methi powder can be used to avoid the type 2 diabetes as it aids in controlling the metabolism of glucose in the body. The side effects related to fenugreek is very uncommon, provided a person consumes it in moderation. Hence it is imperative to take the suggestion of your doctor, before including fenugreek in your treatment plan for diabetes, so that he can ensure that it will not hamper the absorption rate of the other medications, if any, that are consumed by you for the diabetes treatment. If fenugreek is taken is excessive amounts then it can lead to side effects such as nausea and diarrhea.

Methi power and yoga to fight diabetes is the new mantra that is followed by many who want to get rid of this condition in the most natural way possible. The type 2 diabetes is basically triggered when the blood sugar levels becomes extremely high. The blood sugar level increases when the body ceases to produce the right amount of insulin in the body. It has been observed that patients who practice yoga have very good chances of reducing the level of blood sugar. Keeping an eye on the weight is also important for diabetes patients because it the condition can get severe, if a person gets overweight. Yoga can help in keeping your weight in track and as a result one can curb diabetes besides many other health conditions.

Yoga is a great tool for relieving stress and one of the main reasons for an increased level of blood sugar is often connected to stress. There are many special postures in yoga that can be practiced for curbing diabetes and under the guidance of a professional trainer; one can easily learn the ropes of yoga. The initial practice phase of yoga must only consist of simple postures and gradually one can graduate to intricate postures. Methi power and yoga can prove to be a great combination, which can alleviate many problems that are related to diabetes.

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