By: Rogia al-Shafee
KHARTOUM (Sudanow) – Fenugreek (locally known as Hilba) has a perennial presence in the Sudanese kitchen, both in seed form or in powder. That is because of its nutritional and medicinal properties.
Taking a cup of fenugreek emulsion can help the body a good deal. It is a refresher and a cure from stomach trouble. It had been in use since times immemorial for the treatment of many diseases. It also invigorates the body and enhances the general health due to its content of minerals and vitamins. Because of this, the conventional wisdom in this region has it that women should take it after child birth. In this case fenugreek also mitigates womb contractions after birth and relieves the body. It is also known to help with abundant milk for the newborn. In this situation of lactating mothers fenugreek is added to a glass of milk or, else, cooked as porridge and served to woman.
To prepare this porridge, a mix of wheat flour, milk, butter and sugar is boiled for quarter an hour.
However, thus prepared, this meal is not a monopoly of lactating women. All Sudanese enjoy taking it. A passerby around this city would notice signboards touting fenugreek porridge on the fronts of restaurants and food kiosks. Some of these signboards would read: Energy Home!
According to herbal and aromatic specialist Dr. Ehsan Alhadi, fenugreek is an annual plant in the family of legumes and contains a lot of vitamins. It also contains a lot of minerals needed by the human body that include magnesium, phosphorus, iron, manganese and copper. It also contains fibers, fats and starch.
Fenugreek varieties grown in the districts of Berber, Abuhamad, Addamar and Dogola (all in the North of the country) are the best fenugreek varieties money can buy, says Dr. Ehsan. It is one of the best types in the world and can be grown in commercial quantities for export.
Dr. Ehsan said fenugreek helps reduce sugar in the blood and cuts on cholesterol, thus prevents arterial problems.
Taking fenugreek purifies the blood from toxins, maintains the liver functions and gives a feeling of satiety because of its high content of fibers.
A cup of fenugreek helps with relaxation and drives away anxiety and tension.
Fenugreek fights stomachache, constipation, stomach inflammations and enhances the functions of the digestive system and prevents colon infection. It is also an antidote for mouth ulcers and other body sores.
It is also used as a cure for respiratory system diseases such as coughs, colds, bronchitis and influenza. It contains a high content of vitamins and minerals that resist cancer and is considered as one of the best herbal cures for kidney disorders.
Fenugreek is also anti-oxidant and fights skin inflammations, eczema and muscle pain. It also helps mitigate menstruation symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue and fainting.
As an appetizer fenugreek helps increase weight.
Fenugreek is also a good cosmetic: It clears the skin and hair and prevents pimples and wrinkles. As a mask with honey it keeps the skin bright and unifies the skin color. Here it also fights dandruff, clears the scalp and prevents hair fall.
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