Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Secrets from Mother India: Fenugreek

Fenugreek, called Methi in Hindi, is widely used in Indian cooking. It adds a delicious yet crispy flavor to any curry or sabji (vegetables) dish. Both the seeds and the leaves can be used, each giving their own flavor and benefits. 

Besides being used in the kitchen, methi is another miracle food that can be used for a variety of things! Being rich in vitamins, minerals and protein, methi can be applied on the skin, hair, and taken internally with medicinal properties. It's known to remove toxins, increase digestion, and provide a relief for long-term diseases.

Hair fall? Dandruff? Dry brittle hair? I have had all of these the last three years. Climate change, hard water, and nutrition play a huge role. But when they not in your control, there's not much you can do to change them.... But... Not to worry: you can resort to using methi seeds! I can honestly say that they have helped my symptoms tremendously. Methi seeds are excellent in reducing hair fall, promoting hair growth, reducing dandruff, and are possibly the best all natural conditioner, making your hair silky and shiny!

It's simply, effective, and all natural! Soak the seeds overnight in hot water. Once you are ready to wash your hair, grind the seeds along with the water it was in, and make it into a fine paste. It should be creamy in colour and slimy in texture. Apply this on your hair. You can add a bit of coconut oil if you like. Let it stay on your hair for some time, but it's better to wash it out before it dries otherwise it will be difficult to remove! After you're done, continue your normal hair washing routine. 
Once your hair dries, you will feel how soft and shiny it is! It is recommended to use this mask at least once a week to combat hair fall and dandruff.

If you have already made the paste and applied it on your hair, why not spread some on your face too? It helps to make the skin soft, it reduces redness, and over time can reduce scars too! 

Feeling Hot?
Take some "methi seeds water". Okay, i admit, it doesn't sound too appealing maybe, but it definitely helps! Trust me, this is how i survived the hot summer in India, without AC, on a top-floor room, directly under the sun!! Soak the seeds in hot water, and drink the mixture after it cools down. The remaining seeds you can always use for cooking or making a mask. 
Soaked methi water works really well to cool down the body. It is also useful when you have a fever to reduce the temperature.

Cholesterol & Diabetes
I don't have personal experience with these two, but it is well known that methi seeds help to reduce the 'bad cholestrol' in the body, due to its flavanoids. They are also said to bring down the glucose level, being hyploglymacemic, which is great for diabetic patients. One can soak the seeds and drink the water, as well as chew the soaked seeds.

All in all, methi is a fantastic food to have. With not enough awareness about its properties, this little seed often gets overlooked for its incredible healing powers. I would say this is a must have in everyone's house! Try it... and feel free to let me know how it works!

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