From time immemorial, spices have played a vital role in world trade due to their varied properties and applications. We primarily depend on spices for flavor and fragrance as well as for color, as a preservative and for its inherent medicinal qualities. Although about 107 spices are recorded, only about a dozen are important – black pepper, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, large cardamom, cumin, coriander, fennel, fenugreek, chillies, saffron and celery. Of all those spices the marketing analysis here will focus on fenugreek, although problems frequently arise with production and trade statistics since spice products are frequently combined under one heading. Although the spice industry has undergone substantial changes since early developments, the product range and the global pattern of trade has not altered radically. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Asian producers had achieved a dominant position in the export of spices, British India was by far the most important of these followed by Japan, Thailand, China and Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). The main flow of trade was to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), which was the hub of the Asian market, and to the British Straits Settlement (now Malaysia) in which Read more […]
Archive for category Fenugreek'
Fenugreek is traded mainly in seed form and to a lesser extent as a spice and as an extract (oil, oleoresin). However, all three forms of traded fenugreek are often aggregated with other seeds, spices or extracts in trade statistics thus impeding the exact calculation of fenugreek traded volume. Here, an attempt is made to outline the market structure for fenugreek products in the major importing and exporting countries. Exporting countries India India has a predominant position in the world spice trade with substantial production back up and availability of a wide range of spices. India produces over two million tons of spices every year. The total world trade in spices is only one-fifth of India’s spice production. India is the largest supplier accounting for more than one-third of the total world spice trade of 450,000 tons. Indian spices are exported to over 130 countries. India is a major supplier of a large number of seed spices such as coriander, cumin, celery, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, etc. India is also the leading manufacturer and supplier of spice oil and oleoresins. Spice exports from India until recently were in raw form and in bulk packaging. The recent changes in market behavior, changes in consumer Read more […]
Medical Uses Fenugreek has been used to lower blood glucose levels in diabetics and to lower high cholesterol and blood lipid levels. It has also been used to increase fiber in the diet, to reduce inflammation, and to aid digestion. And it has been used for bronchitis and loss of appetite. Historical Uses In folklore, fenugreek was said to stimulate milk production and increase appetite. It has been used traditionally to lower blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. In India it has been used as a condiment. Growth This annual plant grows in the Mediterranean region. Fenugreek: Part Used • Seeds Major chemical compounds • Steroidal saponins • Mucilage • Alkaloid trigonelline • Flavonoids Fenugreek: Clinical Uses Fenugreek has been used to lower blood glucose levels in diabetics, to increase fiber in the diet, to reduce inflammation, and to aid digestion. It has also been used for hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia, bronchitis, and loss of appetite. It is approved by the German Commission E for “loss of appetite and external use as a poultice for inflammation”. Mechanism of Action Fenugreek contains soluble fiber that indirectly decreases blood glucose. Its anti-inflammatory and Read more […]
Trigonella foenum-graecum L. (Fabaceae) Synonym(s) and related species Bird’s foot, Bockshornsame, Foenugreek, Greek hay. Not to be confused with Bird’s foot trefoil, which is Lotus corniculatus. Pharmacopoeias Fenugreek (European Ph, 6th ed., 2008 and Supplements 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4). Constituents Fenugreek seeds are about 25% protein (particularly lysine and tryptophan) and about 50% mucilaginous fibre. The seeds also contain flavonoids (luteolin, quercetin and vitexin). Saponins, natural coumarins and vitamins (nicotinic acid) are also present. Use and indications The seeds of fenugreek have been used as an appetite stimulant and for digestive disorders (including constipation, dyspepsia and gastritis). It has also been used in respiratory disorders and is said to be an expectorant. Topically, fenugreek has been used for wounds and leg ulcers, and as an emollient. It has been reported to have hypocholesterolaemic and hypoglycaemic activity. Pharmacokinetics No relevant pharmacokinetic data found. For information on the pharmacokinetics of individual flavonoids present in fenugreek, see under flavonoids. Interactions overview Fenugreek saponins may modestly enhance the antidiabetic effects of Read more […]
Toxicity Safety studies indicate that fenugreek is extremely safe. When consumed as 20% of the diet, it did not produce toxic effects in animal tests. Adverse Reactions One clinical study found that a dose of 50 g taken twice daily produced mild gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea and flatulence, which subsided after 3-4 days. Allergic reactions have been reported, but are rare. Significant Interactions Where controlled studies are not available, interactions are speculative and based on evidence of pharmacological activity and case reports. HYPOGLYCAEMIC AGENTS Additive effects are theoretically possible in diabetes — monitor concomitant use and monitor serum glucose levels closely — potentially beneficial interaction. IRON Frequent use of fenugreek can inhibit iron absorption — separate doses by 2 hours. WARFARIN Although there is a theoretical concern that concomitant use could increase bleeding risk due to the herb’s coumarin content, this is unlikely. A placebo-controlled study found that fenugreek does not affect platelet aggregation, fibrinolytic activity or fibrinogen. Contraindications and Precautions Fenugreek is contraindicated in people with allergy to the herb, which has been Read more […]
Clinical Use DYSPEPSIA AND LOSS OF APPETITE Although controlled studies are unavailable, the increased activity of pancreatic and intestinal lipase seen in animal studies provides a theoretical basis for its use in dyspepsia. Commission E approved the internal use of fenugreek seed for loss of appetite. ELEVATED LIPID LEVELS Several clinical studies conducted in people with and without diabetes have identified significant lipid-lowering activity with different fenugreek preparations, such as defatted fenugreek, germinated seed and hydro-alcoholic extracts. As can be expected, the dose used and type of preparation tested has an influence over results. An open study using a daily dose of 18.0 g germinated fenugreek seed in healthy volunteers demonstrated significant reductions in total cholesterol and LDL-choles-terol levels. A placebo-controlled study found no effect after 3 months with a lower dose of 5 g seed daily, suggesting that higher intakes may be required for lipid-lowering activity to become significant. DIABETES Fenugreek is a popular natural treatment used to aid blood sugar regulation in diabetes. Overall, results from clinical studies have produced positive results however trials have used diverse Read more […]
Historical Note Fenugreek’s seeds and leaves are used not only as food but also as an ingredient in traditional medicine. It is indigenous to Western Asia and Southern Europe, but is now mainly cultivated in India, Pakistan, France, Argentina and North African countries. In ancient times it was used as an aphrodisiac by the Egyptians and, together with honey, for the treatment of rickets, diabetes, dyspepsia, rheumatism, anaemia and constipation. It has also been described in early Greek and Latin pharmacopoeias for hyperglycaemia and was used by Yemenite Jews for type 2 diabetes. In India and China it is still widely used as a therapeutic agent. In the United States, it has been used since the 19th century for postmenopausal vaginal dryness and dysmenorrhea. Common Name Fenugreek Other Names Trigonella seeds, bird’s foot, Greek hay, hu lu ba, methi, trigonella Botanical Name / Family Trigonella foenum graecum (family Leguminosae) Plant Parts Used Dried mature seed, although leaves are used less commonly. Chemical Components The main chemical constituents are fibre, tannicacid, fixed and volatile oils and a bitter extractive, steroidal saponins, flavonoids, polysaccharides, alkaloids, trigonelline, trigocoumarin, Read more […]