Fenugreek best way to ward off cold

Friday, January 21, 2011

LONDON - Don’t reach out for paracetamol if you’re down with a cold, instead, try out fenugreek in your curry to keep yourself warm, says a study.

A nutritionist claims fenugreek, a common ingredient in Indian cuisine, is a ‘winter elixir’ whose anti-viral properties not only alleviate cold and flu symptoms but also prevent the conditions starting in the first place.

The spice, also called Greek hay and wild clover, has been recognised as having medicinal properties for centuries.

During a three-month winter period, 20 volunteers, 10 with colds and flu symptoms and 10 without, consumed half a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds twice a week in a curry, the Daily Mail reports.

The cold-afflicted volunteers reported immediate and sustained relief from symptoms of running nose, cough, sneezing, sore throat and fatigue.

Volunteers who were fit and healthy at the outset remained that way for the duration of the trial, despite usually coming down with a cold at least once in the same period.

The test was conducted by Anglo-Indian chef Gurpareet Bains, author of Indian Superfood. He plans further clinical trials with the help of an American university.

“We already know that some foods and spices can help alleviate the symptoms of cold, but the results of these studies show that fenugreek is significantly more beneficial,” he said.

Filed under: Medicine, World

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