Records from as far back in history as 1500 BCE show the trust ancient Egyptian medics reposed in fenugreek, recommending it for a variety of ailments.

This time-tested spice and natural medicine, also known as Greek hay, fenigreek or ‘methi’ in local vernacular, can be consumed in the form of seeds or leaves, often added to flavour meat or fish curries, or to complement vegetable ones, but flavour is not what it’s all about. This plant has a hidden reservoir of health benefits you’ll reap when you add it to your diet.

1. It helps diabetics. Galactomannan, the soluble fiber in fenugreek slows down the absorption of sugar in your bloodstream, so it’s good for diabetic and pro-diabetic patients. Also, the amino-acids in it help in insulin production.

2. It lowers cholesterol. Fenugreek contains chemicals called steroidal saponins, which hinder the absorption of triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol), so it’s good for your circulation and keeps your cholesterol at bay.

3. It’s good for your heart. The galactomannan content in fenugreek helps maintain a healthy heart. Fenugreek seeds are rich in potassium, which is particularly beneficial for people whose diet contains a lot of sodium or salt.

4. It aids digestion and lowers acidity. Fenugreek is an age-old remedy for stomach cramps and indigestion. Frequent sufferers of acidity or heartburn should add half a teaspoon of its seeds to their food. The mucilage in them relaxes gastrointestinal tissues and protects the lining of the stomach.

5. It helps with weight loss. Fenugreek is great for burning unwanted fat from your body. Soak a teaspoon of seeds overnight and chew them first thing in the morning to help melt excess weight away.