Members of a legume family that includes beans and peas, fenugreek seeds have been used for centuries for digestive problems, skin injuries, sore throats, fever, muscle aches and impotence. The seeds contain a large amount of mucilage, which becomes gelatinous when mixed with water; in this form, it was thought to soothe irritated tissue. Some recent studies suggest that fenugreek has a mild anti-inflammatory effect. That may be why herbalists find it useful in treating boils, rashes and other skin wounds, as well as arthritis. It also may be taken internally for sore throats and coughs.
Taken internally for:
Applied externally for:
Over the counter:
Available in bulk seeds, capsules and tinctures.
Decoction: 2 tsp. ground fenugreek seeds boiled in 1 cup water and simmered for 10 minutes.
Gargle: 1 tbsp. ground seeds mixed in 1 cup hot water, simmered for 10 minutes, and then strained.
Poultice: Enough boiled seeds mixed in 1 cup warm water to make a thick paste, then applied it directly to affected areas daily.