Are you familiar with fenugreek seeds? This under-the-radar seed has been around thousands of years. In fact, ancient Romans used fenugreek to flavour their wine way back in the 1st century!
But as you probably already suspected, the seeds aren’t just used for cooking. They’re also used in traditional medicine to aid digestion, boost metabolism, and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
And fenugreek seeds’ health benefits extend to your skin, as well.
With powerful moisturizing and antioxidant properties – fenugreek seeds can do a lot to brighten up a dull complexion.
Know how to use this ancient seed to get beautiful skin:
Bright, beautiful skin begins with what you put in your body. You’ve probably heard about the health and beauty benefits of green tea, which is filled with antioxidant polyphenols. Do you know what other tea is chock-full of polyphenols? You got it – fenugreek tea. These polyphenols help to combat the effects of damaging free radicals on your body.
Free radicals are damaging molecules that come from pollution, cigarette, smoke, UV rays and a variety of other sources, and they contribute to the visible signs of ageing on your skin. These signs of ageing might show up as wrinkles, fine lines, redness, and skin irritation. So, if you want to keep premature ageing at bay, help yourself to a cosy cup of polyphenol-rich fenugreek tea.
Here’s how to brew your own at home.
Crush the desired amount of fenugreek seeds. (Use one teaspoon of seeds per cup of water). You can use a mortar and pestle, or the flat edge of a knife on a cutting board.
Boil water in a kettle, and add the crushed seeds. When the water is boiling, turn off the heat, cover, and let the mixture steep for several minutes.
Strain the seeds, and drink the tea hot or cold.
Consider drinking the tea after a meal, as drinking fenugreek on an empty stomach may cause an upset tummy.
Cook With It
Fenugreek seeds add flavour and flair to a lot of Southeast Asian dishes. Not only are they tasty, but they’re also a great source of nutrients that can help nourish your skin. Here are a few of the nutrients in the seeds that work to brighten your complexion:
Zinc: Helps protect the skin from sun damage, that can show up as sunspots.
Copper: Boosts the formation of collagen.
Manganese: Activates enzymes that help produce collagen.
Never cooked with fenugreek seeds? Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:
Acorn Squash With Fenugreek Seeds
1 tablespoon mustard, olive, or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 dried, whole red chile peppers, chopped
1 medium-sized acorn squash, skinned, seeded, and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons amchur (dried mango powder) or 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
½ tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground coriander
Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add a few fenugreek seeds to see if they sizzle and pop. If they don’t, keep heating up the pan, then test again. Add the remaining seeds.
Add garlic and chile pepper. When the garlic begins to brown, add acorn squash and turmeric. Mix well, cover with a lid, and stir occasionally for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, uncover and season with salt to taste.
Continue to cook, uncovered, until squash is tender – about 5 to 10 minutes.
When cooked through, add amchur (or lemon or lime juice), brown sugar, and coriander. Mix well, cook one more minute, then remove from heat and serve.
Cleanse Your Skin With It
Bottle of face wash suddenly empty? If you have fenugreek in the pantry — you can try combining it with milk for a cleanser-in-a-pinch. And fenugreek is fairly gentle, so it shouldn’t irritate sensitive skin.
Fenugreek and Milk Wash
1 tablespoon fenugreek powder – you can buy this at a natural foods market, or grind your own at home. Make sure the powder is finely ground (you want it to be gentle on your skin).
2 tablespoons milk
Combine fenugreek powder and milk into a paste. Gently massage the paste into your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
Fight The Signs of Aging With It
Light reflects more easily off of smooth surfaces, which is why firm, youthful skin tends to look brighter. As wrinkles and fine lines creep in, skin can begin to take on a duller appearance. Well, here’s some good news: if you’re looking for a little anti-ageing help, fenugreek seeds may be able to give you a boost. Studies have shown the seeds can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
And remember: fenugreek seeds are also potent antioxidants, which can help defend your body from free radicals that cause visible signs of ageing.
This mask also uses yogurt, which has great natural exfoliant properties, thanks to the presence of lactic acid. As your skin ages, skin cell turnover slows. This can lead to a buildup of skin, making your complexion appear dull. Skin cells that are being renewed and regenerated, on the other hand, lead to the appearance of brighter skin.
Fenugreek and Yogurt Mask
1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds, soaked in water overnight
1 tablespoon plain yogurt
Blend fenugreek seeds and yogurt into a smooth paste. Apply to your face, and let your skin absorb the paste for 30 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.
Soothe Sensitive Skin With It
Irritated skin can diminish your skin’s brightness, making your complexion look tired and overworked. So, if your skin needs a little TLC, try this mask. Fenugreek seeds have properties that soothe damage and skin irritation, while also helping to diminish skin redness.
Fenugreek seeds will also go a long way in keeping your skin protected. You see, fenugreek seeds contain something called polysaccharides. When combined with a liquid (like aloe vera), polysaccharides form a gel that can work as a protective second skin on top of your skin. In other words, polysaccharides can work as a shield to protect your skin.
And aloe vera is an ideal addition to this mask. Its hydrating properties are also known to soothe sensitive skin and minimize redness and irritation.
Fenugreek and Aloe Vera Mask
2 tablespoons fenugreek seeds, soaked in water overnight
2 tablespoons aloe vera gel
Grind the soaked fenugreek seeds into a paste, then add the aloe vera. Apply to your face, and leave it on for 10 to 30 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.
Restore Moisture to Dry Skin With It
Many things can contribute to skin dryness, including fluctuating blood sugar levels, air conditioning, and harsh weather conditions. Dry skin can make your complexion look dull and uneven, so if your skin needs a hefty dose of hydration, try this mask.
Fenugreek seeds are natural emollients that can help keep skin hydrated and smooth. And the addition of honey – a natural humectant that draws water to the skin – will give your face a burst of moisture.
Fenugreek and Honey Mask
1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds soaked in water overnight
1 teaspoon honey
Blend seeds and honey and apply to your face, avoiding your delicate eye area. Fair warning – it will be sticky. Leave on your skin for 30 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.
Ancient Seeds For Brighter Skin
This ancient seed, which you can eat, drink, or apply to your face, can be a great little addition to your everyday skincare regimen. So how about a cup of fenugreek tea while you’re nourishing your skin with other great products?