Fenugreek Oil

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Fenugreek oil is obtained from the seed of fenugreek. These seeds are quite nutritious and have a plethora of health benefits. Fenugreek seed oil has some really powerful health benefits, specially for the most common health conditions. This just makes this oil quite useful, even though it is not as popular as other oils. It is generally not a cold pressed oil, like most other seed oils. It is actually an essential oil obtained from seeds. So, it contains volatile organic compounds and is used in aromatherapy.

Source

Fenugreek essential oil is obtained by steam distillation from the seeds of fenugreek ( Trigonella foenum – graecum ). The seeds are rhomboid shaped and are used in cooking and as a medicine. Fenugreek seeds have been used for a number of health benefits since ancient times. They are also found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. Fenugreek seeds are mentioned in some ancient medicinal books as well. The steam distilled oil is organic and natural.  There are two kinds ( varieties ) of fenugreek oil.

  • Fenugreek seed pressed oil – This oil contains healthy fatty acids.
  • Fenugreek seed essential oil – It contains volatile compounds which have unique health benefits.
  • Fenugreek infused oil – This is prepared by infusing the seeds and other parts of fenugreek in a base oil. On can make this oil at home itself.
fenugreek leaves to make fenugreek infused oil at home
fenugreek leaves to make fenugreek infused oil at home ( Photo credit : [email protected] )

Properties

Fenugreek oil, just like the seeds has tremendous healing properties.

  • Anti-Viral – fights certain viruses.
  • Anti-Cancer – This oil has some anticarcinogenic properties.
  • Antioxidant – It prevents the cells from free radical damage.
  • Hypoglycemic – lowers blood glucose.
  • Phytoestrogen – It mimics the female hormone estrogen.
  • Circulant – It boost blood circulation.
  • Anti-Inflammatory – It reduces inflammation on the skin.
  • Expectorant – It promotes the release of phlegm from the throat.
  • Neuroprotective – It protects the nervous system.
  • Immunomodulatory – It helps to modulate the functioning of immune system. [1]
  • Beta cell stimulant – It is one of the few substances that stimulate beta cells of the pancreas. [1]
  • Hypotensive – It alleviates hypertension. [2]
  • Antispasmodic – It prevents muscular spasms.
  • Galactagogue – It promotes lactation.

Color and Aroma

Fenugreek essential oil has a yellowish color with a hint of brown. It has a powerful aroma which is fragrant but with tones of bitter.

Blends Well With

Fenugreek essential oil goes brilliantly with the essential oil of cinnamon in aromatherapy.

Health Benefits

Fenugreek Oil
Fenugreek Oil (Image:Shutterstock)

Because of its healing properties, fenugreek oil can be used in a number of home remedies through which one can avail health benefits.

Acne

Fenugreek essential oil helps in acne. Put about 5 drops of essential oil in 5 ml of base oil, for which jojoba oil is ideal choice. Massage this oil on the face and skin covered with acne pimples. It reduces inflammation and redness around the pimples. It also alleviates swelling and the pain that comes with these pimples. This application also prevents formation of new blackheads. This is because blackheads are formed by oxidation and fenugreek oil is an antioxidant, so it prevents the pimples from oxidizing.

Boils

Fenugreek oil is great for getting rid of boils and similar conditions like carbuncles, cysts, furuncles, ingrown hair and folliculitis. It is simple to apply. One just has to add a few drops of fenugreek essential oil to a herbal poultice made for any of these conditions. Its presence in the poultice improves the efficiency of the home remedy.

Irritated Skin

Many a times, our skin is irritated because of some environmental stress. It can be extreme dry, harsh cold weather or some allergen that makes the skin irritated. One can add a few drops of fenugreek oil to olive oil and massage it on the skin. This provides relief from swelling, like that from hives and itching.

Massage

Fenugreek essential oil is a great additive to a massage treatment. It can be added to a massage oil, like sweet almond oil and massaged onto the skin. This massage soothes the skin, relieves inflammation and makes the skin perform better.

Expel Mucus

Fenugreek essential oil is used as an expectorant. One can take it in the form of a steam. Add about 10 drops of fenugreek oil to a pan of boiling water. Inhale steam from this mixture. It aids the body in expelling out the phlegm. This is quite helpful in conditions that cause a productive cough, like bronchitis.

Aromatherapy

Fenugreek essential oil is used in aromatherapy for ushering in many therapeutic actions. Add about 4 – 5 drops of fenugreek oil to a vaporizer, diffuser or an oil burner to spread its aroma in the air.

  • Its aroma reduces high blood pressure.
  • It exerts a calming influence on the nervous system.
  • If the environment inside is hot, then it stimulates sweating. This helps to alleviate a fever.

Diabetes

Fenugreek oil is quite helpful in diabetes. Fenugreek oil improves the glucose intolerance and and can lower blood glucose levels. It also stimulates the pancreas and reduces damage to beta cells. Fenugreek essential oil stimulates insulin as well, which is a powerful health benefit. One can take fenugreek oil by diluting it in a base oil. One can add about 2 -3 drops to 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and drink it.

Kidney health

Fenugreek oil helps to restore normal kidney health. It exerts a protective influence on the kidneys and the pancreas.

Uses

There are not many uses for fenugreek oil apart from its health benefits.

  • It is used in products that stimulate lactation.
  • It is used in solutions to kill mosquito larvae.

Side Effects, Safe Dosage and Toxicity Issues

Fenugreek oil is an essential oil an as such should not be applied directly, undiluted on the skin or ingested. It should not be taken by pregnant women. There is not enough information about the safety and interaction of fenugreek oil with medication, especially for diabetes. One should definitely consult with a doctor before taking fenugreek oil as a supplement.

Nutritional and Medicinal Information

From a nutritional point of view, fenugreek essential oil and the seed oil are quite different. The cold pressed seed oil is somewhat like other edible oils. It has a different chemical composition that fenugreek essential oil.

Fenugreek essential oil chemical composition and nutrition facts

Nutrient Percentage
ω – Cadinene 27.6 %
α – Cadinol 12.1 %
γ – Eudesmol 11.2 %
α – Bisabolol 10.5 %

Source : 3

The rest of the essential oil is made up of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in smaller amounts. Fenugreek seed oil obtained by cold pressed method provides many healthy fatty acid.

Fenugreek seed oil chemical composition and nutrition facts

Nutrient Percentage Property
Gamma Linoleic Acid (18:3) PUFA
Stearic Acid (18:0) 2.4 % Saturated fat
Palmitic Acid (16:0) 7.3 % Saturated fat
Palmitoleic Acid (16:1) – % MUFA
Oleic Acid (18:1) 21 % MUFA
Linoleic Acid (18:2) 37 % PUFA
Alpha Linolenic Acid(18:3) 19 % PUFA
Erucic Acid (22:1) MUFA
Gadoleic Acid (20:1) MUFA
Behenic Acid (22:0) 0.6 % Saturated fat
Arachidic Acid (20:0) 0.9 % Saturated fat

Source : 4

Fenugreek seed oil is thus quite different from fenugreek essential oil. The seed oil is high in omega – 3 fatty acids ( alpha linolenic acid ) and thus lowers inflammation in the body. Because of the presence of behenic acid, it can be applied on the hair to improve the quality and strength of hair. Fenugreek seed oil also has anti-aging properties and can be applied on the skin to reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging. This cold pressed oil is also a strong antibacterial. It kills bacteria like E. coli. Fenugreek seed oil is particularly effective against the black mold fungus, Aspergillus niger [5]. It can be used to spray food products, fruits and vegetables to prevent them from getting infested by this fungus.

Buying and Storage

Fenugreek oil can be obtained online. One can easily get the fenugreek essential oil from an essential oil store. It needs to be stored in an air tight bottle away from sunlight and heat.

References

1. Immunomodulatory, beta-cell, and neuroprotective actions of fenugreek oil from alloxan-induced diabetes.Hamden K1, Masmoudi H, Carreau S, Elfeki A. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2010
2. Inhibitory potential of omega-3 fatty and fenugreek essential oil on key enzymes of carbohydrate-digestion and hypertension in diabetes rats. Khaled Hamden et. al. Lipids in Health and Disease 2011
3. Volatile Constituents from the Oil of Trigonella foenum-graecum L. Abolhassan Ahmadiani et. al. Journal of Essential Oil Research
4. Fenugreek seed oil. H. A. Schuette, Milford A. Cowley, H. A. Vogel, Milvin M. Mueller. Oil & Soap
5. The Chemical Composition of Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graceum L) and the Antimicrobial Properties of its Seed Oil. Abdel Moneim E. Sulieman, Heba E. Ahmed, Awad M. Abdelrahim

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