Fenugreek as a spice, is particularly known to lovers of Asian cuisine. From a medical point of view, fenugreek is a versatile medicinal plant.© kostrez - Fotolia.com Fenugreek is a useful plant that was used as a medicinal plant in ancient times. Fenugreek is native to Africa, India, China and Australia. But the herbaceous plant, which found its way to us from Greece around the 9th century, is also known in Germany. Fenugreek is therefore also used here Greek hay referred to, derived from the Latin name Trigonella foenum-graecum. The horny seeds were the namesake for the butterfly flowering plant, which is also known under the names Kuhhornklee, Ziegenhorn, Hirschwundkraut, Feine Grete or Schöne Margreth.
Fenugreek has become more and more overgrown due to the spread across the Mediterranean, but can still be grown in the home garden. The right location for this is sunny, dry and well protected. The soil for sowing must be dry, clayey and low in nitrogen - fenugreek is particularly fond of strongly salted soil. The seeds are sown broadly, from March to June, with a sowing depth of about one centimeter. If you want to plant fenugreek in rows, keep a distance of 20 cm. The soil must then be kept slightly moist for better germination, but must never be wet.
Fenugreek is an annual plant that grows to a height of 30 to 60 cm. The flowering period is from June to July.
All parts of the fenugreek plant - leaves, flowers and seeds - can be used. The sprouts (seedlings) are particularly popular and can be harvested just a few days after sowing. You have to wait until around August / September if you want to harvest the leaves and seeds.
In his native Greece, fenugreek was mainly used as a forage plant. That has changed in recent years - also in Germany. Fenugreek is more of a popular medicinal and spice plant here. Fenugreek is very aromatic, but also bitter. If the small seeds are roasted, the bitter taste disappears. If you are bothered by the bitter aroma, but do not want to miss the positive effect, you can also use fenugreek as capsules. According to natrea.de, fenugreek capsules can even be a health-enhancing feed supplement for pets.
Use fenugreek as a spice
Fenugreek is an integral part of Asian cuisine. Fenugreek is used especially in the preparation of Indian curry dishes or chutneys. The seeds, which taste reminiscent of lovage, are also often used to flavor roast meat (lamb, beef, pork). Fenugreek also refines homemade bread, vegetable and cheese dishes, as well as soups and stews. The legumes can be used whole or ground. For the latter variant, the seeds are roasted and then crushed in a mortar.➔ Tip: Store the ground spice in a well-sealed container, as the taste is easily lost in the air and in the sun.
If you want to refine your salad with fenugreek, you need the sprouts of the plant.
You can easily pull these yourself:
- Have a large enough glass ready.
- Add three tablespoons of fenugreek seeds.
- Drizzle the seeds with water several times (2-3 times a day).
- Drain excess water again.
- Place the glass in a warm room - about 18 to 21 degrees.
- Cover it with a cloth.
- Wait about eight hours - the fruits will start to sprout.
- The sprouts can be harvested on the second day.
➔ Important: The longer you let the sprouts germinate, the more bitter they become. Early consumption is therefore recommended.
Use fenugreek as a medicinal plant
Fenugreek is rich in valuable minerals and enzymes. If you are interested, you can read about which these are and in what concentration they occur per 100g of fenugreek on bockshornklee.info. The high iron and calcium content is particularly health-promoting. Our body needs iron to ensure the transport of oxygen in the blood, while calcium is needed to build bones. Fenugreek is not only effective internally, the herb can also be used as a pulpy layer to relieve pain and inflammation. Benedictine Hildegard von Bingen already knew about this healing effect and also described fenugreek as appetizing.
Diseases and conditions where fenugreek can help:
- high blood pressure
- to cough
- Gastrointestinal complaints
- hair loss
- varicose veins
- liver damage
- Sore throat