Fenugreek is a native to India and southern Europe. For centuries it has grown wild in India, the Mediterranean and North Africa. where it is mainly cultivated. A limited crop grows in France. It was used by the ancient Egyptians to combat fever and grown in classical times as cattle fodder.
In the West, fenugreek’s therapeutic use is now largely confined to the treatment of animals, though historically. it has been used in human medicine. The name derives from the Latin ‘Greek hay” illustrating its classical use as fodder.
Fenugreek is the small stony seeds from the pod of a bean-like plant. The seeds are hard, yellowish-brown, and angular. Some are oblong, some rhombic, other virtually cubic, with a side of about 3mm (1/8”). A deep furrow all but splits them in two. They are available whole and dried, or as a dull yellow powder, ground from the roasted seeds.