Fenugreek or Methi is a plant botanically known as Trigonella foenum-graecum. It has green leaves, small white flowers, and pods that contain small golden-brown seeds. Fenugreek is grown in warmer climates all over the world such as India, West Asia, Middle East, North Africa, and numerous other countries. Fenugreek has been used in ayurvedic medicine to aid in digestion, reduce hair fall, reduce cholesterol and diabetes symptoms, and improve libido. Additionally, fenugreek is used on the hair to fight dandruff, for shiny, conditioned hair, to reduce hair fall and promote hair growth, and prevent premature graying.
Fenugreek seeds contain flavonoids (protect our hair from environmental damage), amino acids (building blocks for proteins), saponins (detergents), alkaloids and vitamins including vitamin A, C, folic acid, iron, biotin, and niacin. Fenugreek seeds also have high protein and nicotinic acid content which is beneficial against hair fall and dryness. The seeds also contain fatty acid Lecithin which improves the structural quality in hair producing hydrated, shiny hair. One of the most active components in Fenugreek’s seeds that contributes to its therapeutic potential is the alkaloid Trigonelline.
According to one patent, Trigonelline is responsible for stimulating and enhancing hair growth in living creatures. It is said to increase blood flow and deliver nutrients directly to the hair follicles, increasing length, thickness and increased pigmentation of the hair. Trigonelline is also responsible for the maple syrup smell found when soaking or roasting the seeds.
Other Research Benefits
One study testing the efficacy of Fenugreek extract for the treatment of hair loss involved 60 participants with a moderate state of hair loss. The participants consumed fenugreek capsules twice a day. The results indicated a successful treatment of low to moderate hair loss including positive effects on hair growth. Another study testing the efficacy of a hair tonic developed from fenugreek seeds was conducted on rabbit fur. The researchers believed that hair loss may be caused by estrogen deficiency and that by using Fenugreek seeds, which contain phytoestrogen, they could improve hair loss. The results indicated that a 10% fenugreek concentration showed significant hair growth over the placebo and resembled the same result of using minoxidil (hair loss cream).
Though the research is not extensive, and the exact process of how fenugreek improves hair growth is not exactly clear, many scientists are acknowledging the powerful use of fenugreek seeds to treat hair loss. I also wanted to note that though there were many positive benefits for taking fenugreek internally, there is a toxicology warning for pregnant women to avoid this herb. As always please consult with a doctor before starting any herbal treatments.
How To Use
There are numerous ways to use fenugreek seeds, some as a hair conditioner, as an oil, or as a leave in spray. See my favorite recipe on how I make my fenugreek spray for hair growth. How doyou use fenugreek in your recipes?