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Helba - Fenugreek

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Helba (Fenugreek) Seeds

Photo © Christine Benlafquih

Definition:

Moroccan Arabic: حلبة

Helba (sometimes spelled halba) is the Moroccan Arabic word for fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)). Fenugreek leaves may be used as an herb while the aromatic, bitter seeds are used whole or ground as a spice. The sprouts may also be eaten.

Fenugreek seeds are a key ingredient in the Moroccan chicken and lentil dish of Rfissa. Helba is also used in a number of other cuisines, including Indian, Pakistani, Egyptian, Chinese, Turkish and others.

In traditional medicine, fenugreek has long been used as a remedy and a supplement. It's been shown to increase uterine contractions during labor, increase milk production in lactating women, help relieve menopause symptoms, improve glucose tolerance in diabetic patients, reduce cholesterol levels, improve libido, reduce fever and flu symptoms, improve skin problems and soothe digestive complaints including heartburn, gastric inflammation and reflux.

 

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