Review on Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) and its Important Secondary Metabolite Diosgenin
AbstractFenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) is a medicinal plant used worldwide since ancient times. Its use as smelling agent and spice was documented since 15th century. The genus Trigonella includes around 260 species diffused worldwide and belonging to Fabaceae family. In the last decades, a number of studies highlighted the biological activities and therapeutic properties of this species mainly attributed to bioactive secondary metabolites such as alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids and saponins. In particular, diosgenin, a steroidal saponin, has been investigated for its medicinal uses and fenugreek has been reported as source of raw material for the production of steroidal hormones. This review article focuses on the cultivation, genetics, ecophysiology and traditional uses of fenugreek, as well as on its medicinal properties, phytochemical and nutrient contents. Extraction procedures and pharmacological activities of diosgenin are also reviewed, as well as methods for its chemical analyses. This review focuses on the medicinal importance of Fenugreek and its important secondary metabolite diosgenin. The review article complies the results of pre-clinical studies conducted to establish the various medicinal applications of diosgenin. This will help researcher to discover fundamental role of diosgenin as a potential product for drug manufacturers and use of fenugreek as a source of diosgenin.
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