Simple fenugreek [in Israel Chilbe]
Medicinal Properties of Hulba (Fenugreek) in Unani System of Medicine
- Mohammad Zakir
- Safiya Khanam
- Munawwar Husain Kazmi
ChapterFirst Online: 06 October 2021
Hulba consists of the dried ripe seeds and/or whole herb of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L. (Fabaceae). When seeds are used it is called Tukhm-i-Hulba and when whole plant is used it is known as Hulba or Methi. It is also known as Bahubeeja, Goat’s horn, Greek hay, Menthi, Shamlit, Shamlid, etc. It is indigenous to the Mediterranean region, India, Indonesia and China and commonly cultivated in these countries. It is used as vegetable herb and its seeds used as spices in such countries. It is an annual aromatic herb, with a well developed taproot, leaves alternate and trifoliolate, flowers whitish, fruits are linear pods, glabrous and seeds oblong rhomboidal, yellowish brown to reddish brown in colour. It contains pharmacological active constituents like mucilage (25–45%), small amount of essential oil (0.01%) and a variety of secondary metabolites, like alkaloids and flavonoids. Recent studies have proved that it possesses anti-hypercholesterolemia activity, anti-hyperglycaemic activity and antioxidant activities. According to traditional medicine literature it is used to treat abdominal colic, bronchitis, indigestion, impotence, liver disorders, wounds, common cold, etc. As per Unani medicine it possesses several important actions like Mundij (concoctive), Muhallil-i-Waram (resolve inflammation), Muqawwi-i-A’sab (nervine tonic), etc. and used to treat Falij (hemiplegia), Laqwa (facial palsy), Waja’al-Zahr (backache), Waram al-Tihal (splenitis), etc.