17 Comments

June 15, 2019

fenugreek oil and seeds

Google Fenugreek oil and most of the links will point you towards fenugreek essential oil. But that’s not the whole story. Fenugreek seeds play a large part in Ayurvedic medicine and Indian cooking traditions and have for thousands of years.

And like most seeds, fenugreek seeds also contain fatty oils that can be pressed for its lipid oils which are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. And like most lipid oils fenugreek can be used in cooking and in medicinal remedies as well as topically on the skin.

Unsaponifiables in fenugreek oil

Beyond the fatty acids in fenugreek oil, its beneficial unsaponifiable portion is significant. The unsaponifiable portion can also be called the healing fraction, or the non-fatty acid part of the oil that does not form soap in the presence of hydroxide ions.

Forming an idea of what this non-fatty part of the oil contains, the traditional herbal uses for the plant are an ideal guide. Used in Ayurvedic disciplines and popular in India, fenugreek is a universal herb solving many health issues and support of body systems.

Hair, skin, breast tissue, immune system, hormonal system, and digestive issues, fenugreek seeds appear to be the miracle plant for health especially for women. All parts of the plant are used in India, leaves both fresh and dried, seeds, and oil.

Herbal uses

Looking up the herbal usage of fenugreek on the Internet, the first thing I noticed is that it is commonly suggested for breast enlargement, a nod to its ability to affect the hormonal system. Traditionally the herb is renowned for its ability to increase milk production and maintain the health of women’s breasts, yet it is also recommended for male fertility and erectile dysfunction.

The seed, in addition to female steroid precursors, contains similar compounds that increase production of milk. Since the seeds contain diosgenin and other plant, phyto-estrogens, fenugreek provides a mastogenic effect resulting in the growth of healthy breast tissue. Saponins found in fenugreek are significant in its ability to impact hormone levels.

fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek Seeds

For the digestive system, fenugreek has a variety of compounds that normalize glucose metabolism; 4-hydroxyisoleucine, trigonelline, galactomannan, and trigoneosides. These compounds work together to benefit and support blood sugar.

An EO, a herbal tea and a lipid oil…

Fenugreek seeds are multi useful, distilled to make an essential oil, pressed for fixed oil, brewed into teas and medicinal combinations, used in food, and for hair, skin and general body well being. When the seeds are pressed, 5 to 8% oil is recovered from to make a bitter fixed oil. There is certainly a place for this oil in skin care, herbalism and lipid formulating.

There is still little information on the uses of the fixed fenugreek oil with more information available on the aromatic distillations. Be warned, some posts confuse the volatile essential oils with the heavier fatty oil. The information is then a mixture of both but missing an accurate presentation of either. Reading articles with a discerning mind is always recommended.

Fenugreek as a lipid oil

As a lipid oil we first want to know the fatty acid profile to gain a fundamental knowledge of how the oil will behave on the skin, or nourish us, or how best to store for optimal shelf life.

The lipid oil of fenugreek is dominated by unsaturated fatty acids, namely linoleic at 37% and Alpha-linolenic acid at 19% and oleic at 21%. Here is what I’ve found so far for the fixed fenugreek oil.

fenugreek fatty acid profile

Therefore fenugreek oil used topically will help maintain both barrier and passage functions of the skin, protect the moisture held in the cells while taming inflammation and nourishing new cell development.

The 20% of oleic acid will help protect the the suppleness and functionality of the skin and protect against moisture loss. Being monounsaturated, oleic acid will help to create a thin film of protection to the complexion.

The minor percentages of saturated and very-long chain, over 20 carbons, fatty acids will give the skin important trace fatty acids that it needs in very small amounts.

One of the obvious ways to use fenugreek lipid oil is to make massage oils for women. The use of the oil on the breasts to as well as full body will help maintain hormonal health and balance for women’s individual make up.

Fenugreek as a lipid oil is still pretty rare and hard to find, but the plant has been around for centuries.

Have you used Fenugreek as an herb, essential oil or lipid oil? Leave a comment below.

  • I was going bald and lost almost all my hair. I had given up hope, until I started to use fenugreek seeds to treat my balding head. Within three months my hair had all grown back to a thick , beautiful bouncy hair. Fenugreek seeds are a miracle of nature. I have started to use the seeds for my face too, as a mask and a skin toner. The results are amazing.

  • yeah,its so good,my kids loves it alot when I make egg source for them…I’m 38,but looks like a 16 yr old teenage,because i use fenugreek in my tea.. it’s a wonderful seed.

  • Yes, I am using it daily. From Walmart under$10.00 a bottle of 100 ct. pure organic fenugreek capsules. Immediately I began to experience the benefits. I am a middle age woman and no diabetes buy hyperglycemic and some overweight I take a capsule with water never take medicine with juice(s) the juice can cause a reaction. Anyway, my blood sugar levels are controlled, my appetite is controlled, in one week without exercising lost 17 lbs and next about 5 etc my weight is coming off safely. I used to have stuffed up like sinuses and ears no more. Fenugreek has natural mucilage and so no more sinus etc problems like drain and hear better and deep breathing too. Helps constipation, helps also with acid reflux. People who have nausea need to take it took all my nausea away controlling AC1 levels of blood glucose, no pain, no muscle aches. Why take prescription Big Pharma medicines with all those dangerous side effects when there is none and no toxicity with what God gave us the herbs for mankind “medicine”? Not getting religious but that was something as to a “scripture reference.” Nonetheless, the potassium and all the vitamins and minerals I noticed the fluids abnormal around my heart have safely drained so as to anyone with congestive heart asthma bronchial, instead of giving cough medicine take this it will clear up sinuses the ears the breathing, swallowing and can deep breath no more angina no more shortness of breath. I regained stamina. Oh also cleared up itchiness and agitation. Google and look up put on line locate all the health benefits of fenugreek for more info. I hope this encourages and helps someone.

  • People or parents of kids with ALD should try pure organic fenugreek capsules for the oleic properties in addition to “Lorenzo’s Oil” there is NO toxicity to fenugreek.

  • People with or children with ALD should try this besides “Lorenzo’s Oil” or in addition as to fenugreek organic pure capsules as to the health benefits of the herb fenugreek. It does contain the oleic acid and trace euraic acid but all the health benefits of fenugreek, zinc, etc. and its’ non toxic why NOT try fenugreek?

  • Wow! I love this write up about fenugreek seed, thanks, I have the powder, planning to infuse & use for skin. Has anyone use it on there skin, face etc.

  • I love learning about unusual plant extracts for skin care. This was exciting to learn about and I look forward to trying it… that’s if I can find it 😊 thank you

  • It’s a very common condiment often methi or fenugreek is used to make digestive products mixed with sugar and whole wheat as a bitter sweet sweet , I have used it’s oil for pain with mango butter and it’s quite effective

  • We soak few seeds at night and have it early morning empty stomach.
    In winters we mske sweets of fenugreek for knee pain

  • In East Africa use for drinking when someone gives a birth to increase milk. It smells so bad what do you do to get rid of the small when blend it for face oil. Thanks for the information about the fatty acids profile.

  • Thanks for this information, never knew fenugreek seeds could be pressed. Will try it someday as I have a mini oil press (I press most of the oils I use myself ) I use from time to time.

  • Hi Susan, great article! I didn’t know that fenugreek has so many potential benefits. I happened to have some now and wonder how to make an oil infusion with these hard seeds. Which oil is best to make fenugreek oil infusion with? Thanks????

    • Hi Irene, the article is actually about the pressed seed oil – not an infusion, but you can infuse as well. Break them up some and use an oil like olive or almond, one that is mostly monounsaturated. It’s amazing how these seeds can be so helpful for us; tea, oil, infusion and essential oil – all from one seed!

      • We have a daily intake of Fenugreek seeds in our food, use it for for making rice lentils steamed idlis and dosas with sambhar Indian curry where again we temper the curry with Fenugreek seeds and other condiments. Baby saplings also the mature plants are used to make vegetables, salads and added in making Indian bread. Is also used in making herbal shampoos.

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