This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Foenum GraeCum Pharm. Lond. & Edinb. Foenum graecum sativum C. B, Faenu-gracum J. B. Trigonella Faenum-gracum Linn. Fenugreek: a plant with slightly serrated oblong or roundish leaves, set three on a pedicle; and whitish papilionaceous flowers, which are followed by long slender crooked flattish pods, containing yellowish rhomboidal seeds furrowed from angle to angle. It is fown annually in the southern parts of Europe, from whence the seeds are brought to us.
Fenugreek seeds have a strong disagreeable smell, and an unctuous farinaceous taste accompanied with a flight bitterishness. An ounce renders a pint of water thick and slimy: the decoction.
decoction, infpiffated, yields an unctuous mucilaginous bitteridh extract, retaining a consider-able share of the ill flavour of the seeds, and amounting to about three fourths their quantity. To rectified spirit they give out the whole of their distinguishing smell and taste; and afterwards to water a strong flavourless mucilage.
The principal use of these seeds is in cata-plasms and somentations, for fosterting, maturating, and difcussing tumours; and in emollient and carminative glysters. They are an ingredient in the oleume mucilaginibus of the shops, to which they communicate a considerable share of their smell.