Fenugreek seeds, like those of most legumes, are rich in protein, so fenugreek adds valuable nutrients as well as flavor to the diet. The plant is native to west Asia and southeast Europe. Charred seeds from the Middle East date from about 4000 bc onwards. Fenugreek was present in Tutankhamen's tomb and was a component of the "holy smoke" used for fumigation and embalming. It was used in a medieval cure for baldness. The steroid in its seeds may be useful in oral contraceptives, and is widely used as a galactagogue (to increase milk supply). Fenugreek is an important component of curry powders, a popular ingredient of Egyptian and Ethiopian bread, and the principal flavoring of artificial maple syrup.
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