The seeds are used as a condiment or seasoning. The flavor of these seeds is mildly bitter and at the same time is slightly sweet. The seeds are rhombic in shape and usually they are yellow to amber in color. The Arabic word hulb (Helba in Egypt) for the seed resembles its Mandarin Chinese counterpart hu lu ba. Fenugreek is regarded as a herb native to the semi-arid regions of southeastern Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia, but is widely cultivated in other parts of the world. The word ‘fenugreek’ is derived from the two Latin words ‘foenum-graecum’ meaning Greek hay. It is known as Methi or Mithi in Hindi.
Nutritional and Medicinal Properties
The chemical components of fenugreek seed include iron, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin C, phosphates, flavonoids, saponins, trigonelline, and other alkaloids. Fenugreek seeds are high on polysaccharide galactomannan.