Fenugreek: An Herb with Impressive Health Benefits


Alternative medicine has historically used fenugreek. Fenugreek, a prevalent constituent in Indian cuisine, is frequently consumed as a dietary supplement. This herb has the potential to provide numerous health benefits.

This article provides comprehensive information on fenugreek, including its uses, benefits, and adverse effects.

What is fenugreek?

The fenugreek plant (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is approximately 60–90 centimeters (2–3 feet) in height. It is characterized by its green foliage, tiny white blossoms, and clusters containing golden-brown seeds.

For millennia, alternative and Chinese medicine have used fenugreek to treat skin conditions and a variety of other diseases.

Additionally, it is a prevalent thickening agent and ubiquitous household spice, present in numerous products, including shampoo and soap.

Numerous Indian dishes also incorporate fenugreek powder and seeds due to their nutritional value and delicately sweet, earthy flavor.

Nutrition facts

Whole fenugreek seeds, which are 11 grams (g) in size, have 35 calories and a number of nutrients, such as

  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Carbs: 6 g
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Iron: 21% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Manganese: 6% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 5% of the DV

Breastmilk production

Breast milk is the best food for your baby’s growth and development. That being said, some people may find it hard to make enough.

Many people use prescription drugs to increase breast milk production, but new research suggests that fenugreek could be a safe, natural substitute.

In an older study that looked at 78 new mothers over 14 days, drinking herbal tea with fenugreek seeds increased breast milk production. This made the babies gain more weight.

Another 2011 study divided 66 moms into three groups. The first person got fenugreek tea, the second person got fake medicine, and the third person got nothing.

In the fenugreek group, the amount of pumped breast milk went from about 1.15 ounces (oz), or 34 milliliters (mL), in the control and placebo groups to 2.47 oz (73 mL).

Herbal tea made from fenugreek was used in these tests instead of supplements, but supplements are likely to have the same effects.

Even though this study is positive, you should talk to a doctor or nurse if you are worried about your ability to produce breast milk.

Testosterone levels in men

Boosting testosterone is one of the main reasons men take fenugreek pills.

Some studies have found that raising your appetite is good for you.

One study found that men who took 300 milligrams (mg) of fenugreek twice a day for 8 weeks had much higher testosterone levels when they also did strength training.

The participants also lost body fat compared to a control group, but their muscle power did not change.

Thirty men took a supplement with 600 mg of fenugreek extract, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B6 in an older study that lasted 6 weeks. The goal was to see if their sexual function and drive changed. Most of the people who participated said they got stronger and had better sexual functions.

Control diabetes and blood sugar levels

Some metabolic diseases, like diabetes, may get better with fenugreek.

People with type 2 diabetes who took 5 grams of fenugreek seed powder twice a day for two months saw their fasting blood sugar, belly fat, body mass index, and hemoglobin A1c levels go down. This is a sign of better long-term blood sugar control.

The high fiber content of fenugreek seeds or powder could also help people who don’t have diabetes keep their blood sugar in check.

In fact, one study found that people who didn’t have diabetes had much lower blood sugar levels after eating buns and flatbreads that had 10% less refined wheat flour.

Other health benefits of fenugreek

People have used fenugreek to treat a variety of health issues. However, we haven’t thoroughly examined many of these uses to draw definitive conclusions.

According to early studies, fenugreek may help:

  • Controlling your appetite: Some studies show that cutting back on fat and hunger can help. In one 14-day study, people who took part naturally cut their overall fat intake by 17%.
  • Cholesterol levels: There is some evidence that fenugreek can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Chronic heartburn: In an older two-week test study, fenugreek helped people with chronic heartburn feel better. As a result, it had the same benefits as antacids.
  • Inflammation: Research has shown that this plant can effectively reduce inflammation in rats and mice. Further study is necessary to confirm this effect in humans.

Some reviews and informal reports from traditional medicine also say that fenugreek can help speed up the metabolism, ease digestive problems, and treat a wide range of other health problems.

How to use fenugreek

Many products contain fenugreek. Each supplement has a different suggested amount due to its unique manufacturing process. There is no one amount that is best.

Also, the dose may be different based on what you want to achieve.

Most studies looked at testosterone use between 250 mg and 600 mg of fenugreek powder. Studies examining breast milk production typically utilize a dosage of 1 to 6 grams of fenugreek powder.

Researchers in other fields have used far higher amounts.

In fact, research on how fenugreek lowers cholesterol and blood sugar suggests that amounts between 5 and 25 g may work best.

Generally, you should take supplements either before or after a meal. This plant can help keep your blood sugar in check, so it might be best to eat it with your food that has the most carbs.

Always follow the instructions on the box for how much to take. If you’re not sure, talk to a medical provider.

Safety and side effects

Most people should be fine with fenugreek

However, as with most supplements, there have been reports of less serious side effects like diarrhea and indigestion.

Some people may also lose their appetite, which could be bad if you have an eating problem or are trying to put on weight.

Some people also say that when they boost, they get a strange, slightly sweet body odor, but this has not been proven.

Some people also say that when they boost, they get a strange, slightly sweet body odor, but this has not been proven.

Only those who are not diabetic or who are taking other vitamins that also lower blood sugar should use fenugreek.

Studies on animals show that very high amounts have many bad effects, such as DNA damage, less fertility, neurological problems, and a higher risk of miscarriage.

Some experts are worried about people taking fenugreek supplements, even though most of these side effects haven’t been proven in humans and the doses used are very high.

First, it’s always a good idea to talk to a doctor about taking a new supplement. The most important thing is to make sure you’re taking the right amount.

The bottom line

Alternative health has long used this unique herb. According to the data that is available, fenugreek can help lower blood sugar, raise testosterone levels, and make breastfeeding women produce more milk.

Fenugreek may also help control your appetite, lower your cholesterol, and lower inflammation, but these claims need more study.

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