Introduction of Hu Lu Ba:Common Fenugreek Seed or Semen Trigonellae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Common Fenugreek Seed, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Trigonella foenum-graecum L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Common Fenugreek Seed, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Semen Trigonellae(Common Fenugreek Seed).

Semen Trigonellae:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Hú Lú Bā.
 English Name: Common Fenugreek Seed.
 Latin Name: Semen Trigonellae.
 Property and flavor: warm nature, tastes bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Semen Trigonellae is the dried ripe seed of Trigonella foenum-graecum L., used to warm the kidney, dispel cold and relieve pain for the treatment of cold pain in the testis, hernial pain, weakness, and edema of the legs due to cold-damp. The herb is commonly known as Semen Trigonellae, Common Fenugreek Seed, Hú Lú Bā.

 Trigonella foenum-graecum:growing plants Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Semen Trigonellae (Common Fenugreek Seed) as the dried ripe seed of species (1). Trigonella foenum-graecum L. It is a plant of the Trigonella L genus, the Fabaceae family (Leguminosae, Papilionaceae, legume, pea family) of the Rosales order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Trigonella foenum-graecum L.


 Trigonella foenum-graecum:plants Botanical description: The plant, Trigonella foenum-graecum L is commonly known as Hú Lú Bā, or Xiāng Cǎo (means fragrant grass). A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 30–80 cm high. The whole plant has an aromatic flavor. Stems and branches are covered with sparse hairs. Trifoliolate leaves, alternate; petioles are 1-4 cm long; 3 lobules (leaflets); apical lobelets are obovate or oblanceolate,1-4 cm long, 0.5–1.5 cm wide, apex is blunt, the upper margin is serrate, both surfaces are covered with sparse hairs, lateral lobules are slightly smaller; stipules (peraphyllum) connate with petioles, broadly triangular, entire, piliferous.

 Trigonella foenum-graecum:flowering plant 1-2 flowers are axillary; the calyx is tubular, calyx teeth are lanceolate, nearly equal length as the calyx tube; the corolla is papilionaceous, yellowish white or faint yellow (pale yellow), the base is slightly violet, vexilla (vexil) is oblong, apex is deeply undulated concave; the alae (winged stem) is narrowly oblong, tropis (keel pelals) is rectangular obovate; 10 stamens, 9 stamens connate into a bundle, 1 stamen is separated.

 Legumes (pods) are linear cylindraceous, straight, or slightly falcately curved, the front end has a long rostrum (beak), and the surface has vertical, long reticulated patterns. 10–20 seeds, nearly elliptic, slightly flattened, tawny (yellow brown). Its flowering period is from April to July, and the fruiting period is from July to September.

 Ecological Environment: The plant is cultivated in all parts of the south and north of China, and it is semi-wild in the northwest and southwest areas.

 Growth characteristics: The plant Trigonella foenum-graecum prefers a warm climate, and drought resistance is strong. The terrain should be high and dry, sunny, and have good drainage. Its soil requirement is not strict, generally, it is appropriate to choose a field with fertile, loose sandy loam with good drainage for cultivation.

 Fenugreek Seed Traditional Uses: The herb Trigonella foenum-graecum, is a reminder that the Romans imported it from Greece as a desirable crop. That was used as a portion of cattle food. However, the seed became a popular spice and has long been used as a nourishing dietary herb in the middle east, where it is native, and in the far east. It is more familiar in many countries as a component of curry powder, to which it contributes a curry-like taste. It is also used raw or roasted to give flavor to mango chutney and imitation maple syrup and some artificial licorice preparations. Other constituents impart a strong celery-like odor, and they are utilized in the fragrance industry.

 The herb is used as an appetizer, a tonic, and an aphrodisiac, and it is included in many foods and beverages. Fenugreek has a long history of dubious indications, including fevers, colic, flatulence, dyspepsia, dysentery, cough, tuberculosis, edema, rickets, leg ulcers, gout, diabetes, and even baldness. There is little evidence to suggest the spice is toxic or that it has significant anticoagulant or hormonal effects.

 The plant originated in the Mediterranean region and Asia, Fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum-graecum) is one of the oldest herbs. Its seeds were highly praised for their beneficial uses in ancient Egypt and later among the Greeks and Romans. The seeds were also used to produce a yellow dye for coloring wool. As fenugreek spread around the Mediterranean, ancient physicians learned that its seeds contained a great deal of mucilage and, when mixed with water, provided many health benefits. The most common uses of fenugreek today are culinary, such as providing a maple flavor for confectionaries, as an ingredient in curry powders, and as an enhancement for meats, poultry, and marinated vegetables.

 Common Fenugreek Seed:herb photo Characters of herbs: The seeds are slightly rhombus or rectangular, one end is slightly pointed, 3~4 mm long, 2~3 mm wide, and about 2 mm thick. The surface is yellowish-green or fallow (yellowish-brown) to reddish-brown, pale brown, and smooth. There is a deep oblique groove on both sides, and the hilum is punctate, the hilum and micropyle are visible at the junction of the two grooves. The texture of the herb is firm and hard, not easily broken. The seed coat is thin, and there is a circle of endosperm in the longitudinal cross-section, translucent, after soaking in water, the endosperm is glutinous, the 2 cotyledons are slightly asymmetrical and pale yellow (faint yellow), and the radicle is curved, hypertrophic and long. The endosperm shares a large area on the cross-section, and there are two cotyledons, which are oblong with a round radicle at one end. The herb has a slight odor, and a special aroma when crushed, it tastes mild and slightly bitter. The herb of a better grade is big, full, and free of impurities.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.anti-fertility and anti-androgenic effect; ②.antitumor effect; ③.lower the blood pressure of experimental animals, dilate coronary blood vessels, inhibit smooth muscle; ④.lowering blood sugar effect; ⑤.diuretic; ⑥.anti-inflammatory activity; ⑦.inhibit the growth of vaccinia virus; ⑧.cardiac stimulant; ⑨.antihypertensive effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Warming kidney, dispelling cold, dispelling cold and dampness, alleviating pain. It is indicated for deficiency-cold of the kidney, kidney deficiency and lumbago, asynodia and spermatorrhea (impotence and seminal emission), cold pain of the lower abdomen, hernia of the small intestine, cold hernia, distension and fullness of abdomen and hypochondria, cold dampness and beriberi, diarrhea.  

 Administration of Semen Trigonellae (Hú Lú Bā): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Semen Trigonellae (Hú Lú Bā)
TCM Books: ①.Internally: 4.5~9 grams; ②.or water decoction, 0.5~2 qian (about 1.5~6 grams), or prepare to pill, powder; ③.Internally:water decoction, 3~10 grams, or prepared to pill, powder.

 

 
  

 

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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Hu Lu Ba:Common Fenugreek Seed or Semen Trigonellae.

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