Trigonella foenum graecum is an annual, straight, herbaceous species, 30-60 (70) cm in height, unbranched or branched only at the top. The root of the plant is pivotal. The stem is cylindrical, fistulous and glabrous. Leaves are trifoliate, resembling to those of clover, long petiolate (1-2 cm) and lanceolate stipels, leaflets are obovate, slightly oblong, slightly toothed, glabrous and sparsely hairy on the upper inside. Flowers are 1-2 on the sideby upper leaves, 12-18 mm long, papilionate, yellowish or light lilac, have hairy calyx with teeth equal to tube and corolla with purple streaks at the base, where the lower petals, that form the carina are very short. The fruit is in the the form of pod, oblong, straight or slightly curved, compressed, 8-10 cm long and 0.5-1 cm wide, ending in a 2-4 cm long rostrum; prismatic tablets containing 10 to 20 seeds 4-5 mm long and 3-4 mm wide, yellowish brown in color, finely tuberculated.
Chemical composition – Seeds contain carbohydrates and sugars muco- glucoside, vitamins – B1, niacine (provitamin PP), choline, carotene (provitamin A), etc., protide amino acids and alkaloids pyridine – trigoneline, gentianine; glycosides and free aglycones – saponins, rutoside; triglycerides and phytosterols – lecithin, mono and poly unsaturated fatty acids, volatile oils – coumarin, sulfur organic substances (diallyl-disulfidox); tannin; bitter substances; Mineral salts – iron, phosphorus, magnesium. Trigoneline conained in fenugreek seeds is a substance that acts as antivitamin PP.
Properties – Anti-inflammatory, hypocholesterolemic, hypoglycemic, secretolytic, source of vitamin PP, antitussive, aphrodisiac, increases breast firmness, increases body resistance, stimulates glucose, protein and lipid metabolism.
Recommendations – Anorexia, dyspepsia, anemia, impotence, mental and physical fatigue, neurosis, goiter, digestive disorders, convalescence, hyperglycemia, diabetes, cough, atherosclerosis.