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Since May 10th 2008

Initial T

Thymus vulgaris
Tanacetum parthenium
Taraxacum officinale
Trigonella foenum-graecum



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Trigonella foenum-graecum L. (Fabaceae/Leguminosae)

Buceras foenum-graecum (L.) All., Foenum-graecum offi cinale Moench, F. offi cinale Moench var. cultum Alef., F. sativum Med., Folliculigera graveolens Pasq., Tels foenum-graecum (L.) Kuntze, Trigonella foenum-graecum L. subsp. culta (Alef.) Gams, T. graeca St Lag. and T. jemenensis(Serp.) Sinsk.

Local names
Alholvabockshorn, bahubeeja, bahupatrika, bhaji, Bockshornklee, bothinee, boukeros, bukkehorn, chamliz, chanbalid, chanbalila, chanbalit, chandrika, chilebe, deepanee, el halbah, fariqua, feenugreek, fenacho, fenigrek, fenogreco, fenogreco, fénugrec, fenugreek, fenugriego, fi eno-greco, foenugreek, fumugrec, gandhaphala, goat’s horn, Greek hay, halba, halbet, hay trigonella, helba, henogriego, hilba, hinojogriego, hoolbah, hula- pa, hulba, huluba, hulupa, jyoti, kelabat, kelabet, klabet, koroha, kozieradka pospolita, Kuhhornklee, kunchika, l-helba, maithi, maithy, mathi, menle, mentepale, menthiam, menthi, menti-kuroa, methi, methika, methiky, methini, methra, methuka, methisak, mentikoora, mentulu, methun, ethy, mitha, monte soffu, munichhada, pe-nam-ta-zi, penan-ta, peetabeeja, samli, schöne Margret, schöne Marie, senegré, shamlit, shamlid, shamlitz, shanbalileh, shandalid, thenthya, tifi das, tilis, uluhaal, uluva, vendayam, venthiam, ventayam

Annual aromatic herb, up to 60 cm high with a well developed taproot and much branched roots. Stem solitary or basally branched, terete, slightly pubescent, green to purple. Leaves petiolate, alternate, trifoliolate; stipules triangular, small, adnate to the petiole. Rachis short. Leaflets obovate or oblong, 1.5–4.0 cm long, 0.5–2.0 cm wide, upper part of margin denticulate. Flowers whitish, solitary, axillary, subsessile, 12–15 mm long. Calyx campanulate, fi nely pubescent, tube 4.5 mm long, with fi ve lobes. Pistil with sessile ovary, glabrous style and capitate stigma. Fruits straight to occasionally sickle-shaped, linear pods, glabrous, with fi ne longitudinal veins, terminating in a beak 2–3 cm long. Seeds oblong-rhomboidal, 3– 5 mm long and 2–3 mm wide, with a deep furrow dividing each into two unequal lobes, with rounded corners, rather smooth, brownish

Plant material used
dried ripe seeds

Chemical assays
To be established in accordance with national requirements.

Major chemical constituents
Semen Trigonellae Foenugraeci is rich in mucilage (25–45%) and contains a small amount of essential oil (0.01%) and a variety of secondary metabolites, including protoalkaloids, trigonelline (up to 0.37%), choline (0.05%); saponins (0.6–1.7%) derived from diosgenin, yamogenin, tigogenin and other compounds; sterols including ß-sitosterol; and flavonoids, among which are orientin, isoorientin and isovitexin

Medicinal uses
Uses supported by clinical data
As an adjunct for the management of hypercholesterolaemia, and hyperglycaemia in cases of diabetes mellitus. Prevention and treatment of mountain sickness.

Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
Internally for loss of appetite, and externally as a poultice for local inflammations. Treatment of pain, and weakness and oedema of the legs

Uses described in traditional medicine
As an aphrodisiac, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, emollient, galactagogue and tonic. Treatment of abdominal colic, bronchitis, diarrhoea, eczema, gout, indigestion, dropsy, fever, impotence, chronic cough, liver disorders, wounds and the common cold.

Proven pharmacological activity
Animal study
Antihypercholesterolaemic, Antihyperglycaemic, Anti-implantation, Antioxidant

Human study

Adverse reactions
Allergic reactions to the seeds following ingestion or inhalation have been reported. These reactions range from rhinorrhoea, wheezing, fainting and facial angioedema. A 5-week-old infant had a 10-minute episode of unconsciousness after drinking a tea prepared from the seeds; however, upon medical examination, all tests were normal

Semen Trigonellae Foenugraeci is contraindicated in cases of allergy to the plant material. Owing to its stimulatory effects on the uterus, the seeds should not be used during pregnancy

No information available.

Drug interactions
Owing to its effect on blood glucose levels in diabetic patients, Semen Trigonellae Foenugraeci should only be used in conjunction with oral antihyperglycaemic agents or insulin under the supervision of a health-care professional.

Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
An aqueous and a chloroform/methanol extract of the seeds were not mutagenic in the Salmonella/microsome assay using S. typhimurium strains TA98 and TA100. The extracts were also not mutagenic in pig kidney cells or in trophoblastic placental cells.

Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
See Contraindications.

Other precautions
No information available on general precautions or on precautions concerning drug and laboratory test interactions; teratogenic effects in pregnancy; nursing mothers; or paediatric use.

Dosage forms
Dried seeds, extracts, fluid extracts and tinctures. Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and light.

(Unless otherwise indicated)
Average daily dose. Internal use, cut or crushed seed, 6 g, or equivalent of preparations; infusion, 0.5 g of cut seed macerated in 150 ml cold water for 3 hours, several cups; fluidextract 1:1 (g/ml), 6 ml; tincture 1:5 (g/ml), 30 ml; native extract 3–4:1 (w/w), 1.5–2 g. External use: bath additive, 50 g of powdered seed mixed with 250 ml water, added to a hot bath; poultice, semi-solid paste prepared from 50 g of powdered seed per litre of hot water, apply locally


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