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Notes ethnobotanique et phytopharmacologique sur Trigonella foenum-graecum

Oueslati, H. -A., Ghédira, K.
Phytothérapie 2015 v.13 no.4 pp. 234-238
Trigonella foenum-graecum, amino acids, anti-infective properties, antioxidants, crude fiber, diosgenin, fenugreek, food allergies, galactomannans, glycemic effect, medicinal plants, medicinal properties, medicine, minerals, patients, phytopharmaceuticals, protein sources, sapogenins, seeds, temperate zones, toxicity, traditional foods, vitamins, India, Mediterranean region
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is one of the oldest cultivated spice and medicinal plants which belongs to the family Fabacecae. It is an annual leguminous crop that has been commonly used as a traditional food and medicine. It is native of a region extending from Northern India, but now it grows widely in the Mediterranean countries. Fenugreek is a cool climate species and grows best in sub-tropical and temperate areas. Fenugreek is highly nutritious and could greatly impact health: its seeds are good source of protein, fat, crude fiber, minerals and vitamins and contain three very important component of significant medicinal importance namely, complex carbohydrates (galactomannan), steroidal sapogenins (diosgenin) and amino acids (hydroxy-isoleucine). Therefore it is valuable as food and medicine. In addition it has a broad spectrum of therapeutic properties, as it was reported to have gastroprotective effect, antimicrobial activities, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, gastroprotective, hepatoprotective, hypocholesterolemic and hypoglycemic properties due to its rich composition of phytochemicals. Moreover, there is no sign of toxicity, suggesting that consumption of aqueous extract of seeds of this plant is harmless to health. Nevertheless, precautions of use are recommended for patients suffering from food allergies.