Methi or metihka is an important ingredient of kitchen not only as a leafy vegetable but also as a spice. Though it is best available in winter season in India yet it is used in whole of the season after drying in many parts of the country. Used, cooked and eaten as a vegetable methi or fenugreek by patients of diabetes, has to its credit a lot of medicinal values. Its synonyms are gandhphala (called due to its aromatic fruits), bahupatrika owing to its abundant leaves or dipani due to its efficacy in improving appetite.
Properties of Methi
Known botanically as Trigonella foenum graceum, methika is pungent in taste and also has pungent post digestive effect. Hot in potency, methika pacifies vata and kapha. Methi is light and snigdha in its attribute. Methi enhances appetite, acts as a tonic and is useful in fever. Methi pacifies swelling and reduces body fat but vitiates pitta dosha.
Medicinal uses of methi
When there is constipation, methi cooked das vegetable give relief. . Seeds of methi give relief in piles. Methi gives relief when there is poly uria that a person is in the habit of going to urine frequently. Methi juice gives relief in prameha or diabetes. Methi cooked with ginger , spices etc helps in low blood pressure. When there is condition of worm infestation, vegetable of methi gives relief. Pain in the body get relieved with the use of methi. Mehti juice with sugar candy and curd gives relief in aamaj atisar. Sweet preparation or modak made from methi gives relief in pains in the body. Dip some methi leaves in water and crush the same and using it with honey gives relief in side effects of scorching heat. Preparations made form methi and Shunthi gives relief in pains and nourishes the body. It is used frequently in jaundice, insanity, vata roga, epilepsy, malaria, and gout, disease of head, diabetes, and nasal disease. It promotes semen and strength in the body. Leaves of methi boiled in water after adding little ghee and applied as poultice over the abscess.
Description of methi is not available in ancient texts of Ayurveda
Interestingly ancient texts of Ayurveda have no mention of methi, yet the later texts like Bhava prakasha of sixteenth century has mentioned its properties. In today’s era methi owing to its apparent bitter taste is used frequently in diseases like diabetes where bitter things are indicated.