Shambala (Fenugreek) – Golden Spice of the East
“If people only knew what is contained in shambhala, they would sell it at the price of gold,” ancient arabic saying.
Fenugreek is an herb similar to clover. It is an annual plant belonging to the family Fabaceae, with oblong leaves and small light brown beans. The pod contains 10 to 20 smooth, hard seeds. It grows in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, in the mountainous areas of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Central Asia, also found in Egypt and Ethiopia.
Botanical name: Trigonella foenumgraeceum Leguminosae
Synonyms: Fenugreek, Fenigreek grass, Methi, Greek hay, Camel grass.
Rasa (taste): pungent, bitter.
Veerya (potency): hot.
Vipaka (taste after digestion): pungent.
Guna (quality): light to digest, unctuous, oily.
Strongly increases Vata dosha and slightly Pitta dosha.
Since ancient times, Fenugreek has played an important role in cooking, herbal medicine and cosmetology.
Unripe seeds and leaves of Fenugreek are rich in iron, protein and vitamins A and C. As a valuable source of protein, Fenugreek is indispensable in vegetarian cuisine and therefore is widely used in the Middle and Far East, where the majority of the population are vegetarian. Fenugreek seeds contain a lot of nutritional components, among which are proteins, potassium, starch, sugar, essential oil, vitamins A, C and B and enzymes. Fenugreek seeds contain all the essential amino acids our body needs. The energy value of 1 tsp. of Shambhala seeds is 12 kcal.
The composition includes mucus, fatty oil, non-toxic alkaloids, trace elements, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, calcium, vitamins C, B1, B2, PP, and folic acid.
This spice promotes the digestion of proteins, therefore it is mainly used with legumes. It is added to vegetable dishes for better assimilation. For treatment, it is used in the form of a decoction, powder (from 250 mg to 1 g), and paste.
Fenugreek is an excellent remedy for the weak and recovering from an illness, especially for diseases of the nervous, respiratory and reproductive systems.
Eaten as a porridge, it increases lactation in nursing mothers and also promotes hair growth.
Fenugreek seed paste can be applied to boils, ulcers and poorly healing wounds, since its seeds contain a lot of plant mucus and adhesives. Applying this paste to the wound is good for soothing irritated and inflamed tissue. It works in a similar way when taken orally.
When combined with valerian, Fenugreek is a good nerve tonic.
It can be added to curries as a digestion-enhancing spice. Sprouted seeds are used as a medicinal food for indigestion, decreased liver function and weak sperm.
As a tonic, you can take one tablespoon of the powder daily by warming it up in a cup of milk.
– Disease of the respiratory system.
Shambhala is perhaps one of the best home remedies for colds and lungs.
Boil 2 tsp. seeds in 200 g of water for 10-15 minutes over low heat.
Take 3-4 times a day with honey. With a dry cough, milk broth helps a lot. For a sore throat, use a strong infusion for gargling: 2 tbsp. Shambhala seeds are boiled for 30 minutes in 1 liter of water over low heat.
– Women Health.
Shambhala seeds contain diosgenin, which is similar to the female sex hormone estrogen. In large quantities, Shambhala acts as a stimulant that promotes the onset of menstruation.
It causes the flow of breast milk. In case of milk deficiencies, drink 3-4 glasses of shambhala seeds infusion per day (2 tsp seeds per glass of boiling water). Milk broth is even more effective.
Douching with strong infusion (1-2 tablespoons per glass of boiling water) is successfully used in the treatment of leucorrhoea.
– Cholesterol control.
Shambhala lowers blood cholesterol. Drink an infusion of shambhala, add it to food and you will do your heart a good service, preventing the deposition of cholesterol on the walls of blood vessels.
– Skin cleansing.
Ground seed paste is successfully used for warts, ulcers and difficult-to-heal wounds.
– Hair treatment.
A gruel made from Shambhala seeds applied to the scalp promotes hair growth. Also eat sprouted shambhala seeds for an enhanced effect.
For dandruff, soak 2 tablespoons. seeds in water overnight. In the morning, grind the softened seeds into a gruel and apply on the scalp for 0.5 -1 hour. Then wash your hair thoroughly with Ayurvedic herbal shampoo.
Take 2 tsp. crushed seeds daily with milk. Alternatively, soak the same amount of seeds in water and leave overnight. Drink the infusion in the morning.
Shambhala seeds are rich in iron. Take 1-2 tsp. with milk and honey. In this combination, iron is well absorbed, and the level of its content in the blood rises.
1 tbsp. crushed seeds are taken daily in a cup of hot milk as a tonic. Sprouted grains of Shambhala are useful as well.
Shambala seeds are very effective for inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. Boil 1 tsp. seeds in 250 ml of water until half the volume remains. Drink 3-4 cups of broth a day.
– Powdered shambhala seeds can be taken as a tonic for osteomyelitis and tuberculosis.
– A decoction or infusion of Shambala seeds helps with an enlarged liver and spleen, gout, diabetes and dysentery. In the latter case, you should drink an infusion of slightly toasted seeds.
Pregnancy (tonic and hormone-like properties of fenugreek can cause uterine tone and premature birth),
Diseases of the thyroid gland (hormonal imbalance may occur),
Vaginal bleeding (fenugreek can make them worse).
Diabetics, allergy sufferers, asthmatics need to consult a doctor before using the spice.
It is not recommended to exceed the established dosages of taking fenugreek.
Cooking with Fenugreek.
Shambala seeds are slightly bitter and give a nutty flavor to food. When frying, keep the seeds light brown. If they darken too much, the bitterness will become excessive. The seeds can be added to soups and vegetable dishes without frying, 5-10 minutes before the end of cooking.
VEGETABLE SOUP WITH SHAMBALA
1.Wash and finely chop a small head of cauliflower or white cabbage, 4 large potatoes and 4 tomatoes. Put potatoes and cabbage in a pot with water and bring to a boil, then add a glass of cow or vegetable milk and leave to simmer over low heat.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a small skillet and add 1 tsp Shambala seeds, a pinch of hot chili, turmeric, asafoetida and coriander seeds. Make sure that the Shambala seeds are only lightly roasted, otherwise their taste will be bitter. After a minute, add chopped tomatoes, stir, and pour the fragrant seasoning into the broth. Add 1.5 tsp. salt.
3.Garnish with fresh herbs.
TEA FROM SHAMBALA (morning tonic)
Put 1 tsp. Shambala seeds in 1 cup water and leave overnight. Boil the tea in the morning, strain to remove seeds and add 1 tsp. honey. This tonic tea is very beneficial for the nervous system and digestion. It also strengthens the respiratory system and reproductive organs.
BAKED POTATOES WITH SPICY PASTE
8-10 medium-sized potatoes, 200 gr sour cream, 2 tsp. ground shambhala, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and dill, 50 grams of cheese, salt and black pepper.
Bake the potatoes.
Stir spices, cheese and salt in sour cream, grind this mass until a homogeneous paste is formed. Serve with hot potatoes.
TODAY’S TIP: The famous “Golden tea” from Egypt – “Helba” tea recipe: combine Shambala seeds (1.5 tsp) with two glasses of boiling water and simmer for at least five minutes, then cool and drink half a glass twice a day.