Around her figure myths and legends were born, about her Plutarch, a Greek biographer and writer who lived between the first and second century AD, wrote that she was famous for her irresistible charm and presence, in modern times unforgettable movies have been dedicated to her. We are talking about Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, one of the most fascinating characters that history has handed down to us and the result often of a perfect mix between reality and fantasy. One thing seems certain, Cleopatra cared a lot for her skin and hair, creating, with the natural ingredients offered by Egypt, small but powerful cosmetics that may be for us a great source of inspiration. Today, we’ll see how Cleopatra used the seeds of fenugreek for her beauty.
Fenugreek for skin and hair, between tradition and science
Fenugreek seeds contain vitamins, such as A, group B and C, but also fatty acids such as linoleic and linolenic acids, mucilage and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances such as saponins and flavonoids. Science has confirmed what Cleopatra, and many Egyptians, knew. In other words, fenugreek seeds are emollients, fight wrinkles and free radicals, are useful for the skin by soothing irritations and promoting the healing of blemishes and wounds, pimples and acne, providing hydration, helping to make the skin smooth and soft and counteracting dark spots (Ahmad et al, Saudi J Biol Sci., Mar 2016 - Goyal et al, J Toxicol, 2016). Remedies prepared with extracts of fenugreek seeds have been able, when applied topically, to attenuate erythema (Wagas et al, Acta Pol Pharm, 2010). Not only that, creams prepared with these extracts have improved skin elasticity (Akhtar et al, Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 2010).
Fenugreek seeds, how to use them to prepare beauty masks
The fenugreek requires, in order to be used correctly and not to get the opposite of the intended effect, a certain procedure of hydration. Therefore, every fenugreek cosmetic should be prepared a day in advance. If you have whole fenugreek seeds, soak half a tablespoon of seeds overnight in 200 ml of hot water. After this time blend with an immersion blender and apply on the face. Leave on for ten minutes, then rinse. Alternatively, fenugreek powder can be found on the market. In a bowl pour half a tablespoon of powder and add, slowly and by continuing to stir with a spoon, 200 ml of hot water. Cover with a plastic wrap and leave to rest overnight. Then apply to the face. Fenugreek seeds, due to their characteristics, also lend themselves to be used as a hair mask. In fact, they help to relieve itching, irritation and dandruff. Therefore, if you want a hair mask, hydrate the fenugreek seeds as we have seen. Then take two tablespoons of the mixture and add to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil melted in a double boiler. Let cool down and apply on hair and damp scalp. Leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse with your shampoo. If you don't like the smell of fenugreek, which reminds of liquorice, you can add a few drops of lavender or ylang ylang essential oil.