Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.): An Underutilized Edible Plant of Modern World

  • M. Aasim
  • F. S. Baloch
  • M. A. Nadeem
  • Allah Bakhsh
  • M. Sameeullah
  • S. Day


Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) is an important forage, spice legume herb of Fabaceae family. It is well known for its medicinal uses due to high nutraceutical and pharmaceutical properties for curing diseases or disorders in Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Tibetan medication since ancient times. Currently it is a cultivated crop in most parts of the world with major focus on the isolation of its important secondary metabolites rather than its use as edible plant. Both seeds and leaves of fenugreek are of immense importance as they contain medicinally important phytochemicals like alkaloids, carbohydrates, steroidal saponins, amino acids and other important organic as well as inorganic compounds and minerals. Fenugreek seeds and leaves can be used as spice, food additive, flavoring agent, preservative, or directly as vegetable. Great efforts are spent on its improvement using traditional breeding programs or modern biotechnological tools because of the increasing demand of phytochemicals like disogenin and trigonelline extracted from this herb. In spite of its high medicinal value it is still considered as an underutilized plant. There is dire need to focus on the development of new cultivars in order to exploit its full potential as an edible plant along with its medicinal value. This study highlights its botanical features, distribution, genetic resources, possibilities for trait improvement and edible uses together with data on its pharmaceutical and nutraceutical characteristics, adverse effects as well as role in the functional food industries.


Fenugreek Underutilized Edible Nutraceutical Pharmaceutical 



The authors highly acknowledge the efforts of Esra Kavcı, Büşra Behiye Taşbaşı, Burak Kahveci, Ecenur Korkmaz, and Arife Kirtiş for their support.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Aasim
    • 1
  • F. S. Baloch
    • 2
  • M. A. Nadeem
    • 2
  • Allah Bakhsh
    • 3
  • M. Sameeullah
    • 4
  • S. Day
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of Science, Department of BiotechnologyNecmettin Erbakan UniversityKonyaTurkey
  2. 2.Faculty of Agricultural and Natural Science, Department of Field CropsAbant Izzet Baysal UniversityBoluTurkey
  3. 3.Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technologies, Department of Agricultural Genetic EngineeringÖmer Halis Demir UniversityNigdeTurkey
  4. 4.Faculty of Agricultural and Natural Science, Department of HorticultureAbant Izzet Baysal UniversityBoluTurkey
  5. 5.Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Field CropsAnkara UniversityDiskapiTurkey

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