胡芦巴 (hú lú bā)
Fenugreek, Hulba, Shambala or Greek Hay is one of the oldest ancient remedies for health, wellness and beauty widely used in Middle East and North Africa, but also increasingly throughout the world. The healing properties of this plant were first mentioned in ancient Egyptian medical manuscripts. Prophet Mohammed apparently also highly valued fenugreek saying: “If my people know what there is in fenugreek, they would have bought and paid its wight in gold”.
The member of bean family, fenugreek has small, hard, sort of triangular shaped seeds of yellow mustard color. Used as a herb and spice, fenugreek combines range of versatile qualities, including anti-inflammatory, calming and soothing for skin irritations and gastrointestinal problems, lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels, strengthening overall immunity. The raw fenugreek is a bit bitter, and once roasted it has aroma and taste of burned sugar.
The earliest and original name of fenugreek is arabic al-hulbah, originating from the word “milk” due to strong lactating qualities of the herb known to ancient arabic doctors. Avicenna prescribed fenugreek for various conditions. For example boiled with honey, fenugreek was used to treat strong coughs and asthma. Leaves of fenugreek were widely used by Ayurvedic healers in India, originally discovered by Brahmin priests.
Women throughout harems of Middle East and Middle Asia, applied the paste of roasted fenugreek seeds on hair to give it gloss, fullness and specific aroma.
South West Asia, South Europe.
Found in any bazaars from Damascus to Cairo and Tehran, fenugreek has a wide use as culinary spice in cooking, beverages and baking. The soaked seeds have thickening qualities for curries, soups stews. In India fenugreek is used in surrogate coffee and in Egypt it is brewed as hot tea. Georgian cuisine use it in its national spice mix homely-sune li, armenians put it in bastruma chaman - national meat dish and Bengalis make it into panch phoron - 5 spices mix.
Due to its valuable therapeutic qualities, fenugreek is widely used in alternative and herbal medicine for conditions ranging from dermatology to hormonal imbalance, gastrointestinal problems, weakened immune system, lactation aid for new moms and more!
Full of valuable minerals and vitamins fenugreek is excellent ingredient for skin care and beauty. The seeds are full of amino acids, vitamins A, B, C, zinc, iron, calcium and other valuable micro elements.
Fenugreek is particularly high in niacin acid, which has regenerating and anti-aging effect on skin, helping to heal sun damage and scars and recover damaged cells.
Fenugreek is valuable ingredient both in skin and hair care.
For skin, used with some nourishing oils (olive, wheatgerm), it helps to feed skin and heal acnes, blemishes and pimples.
For hair, used with cumin or olive oils with small amount of freshly ground black pepper, fenugreek enhances hair grows, nourishes scalp and prevent skin dryness and dandruff.
Water, where fenugreek seeds were boiled or soaked is great too for rinsing the face to smooth and brighten skin.
Pregnant women should avoid using fenugreek during the first trimester.
Please try our nourishing Fenugreek & Soy with Rosehip and Evening Primrose Oil treatment in Winter Menu.