Fenugreek is a herb found mostly in Asia and around the Mediterranean Sea. Various parts of the fenugreek plant, such as the leaves and seeds are used for various purposes.
Fenugreek leaves and seeds have long been used as spices in Indian cuisines, and there are traces of the use of it in alternative and Chinese medications.
Fenugreek has a long list of medical benefits and is used widely as a medicine and in FMCG products such as soaps and shampoos.
It is also used as an appetizing agent and also for the treatment of constipation, diabetes, inflammation, kidney diseases, among others. It is also used for lactation promotion by many.
Fenugreek seeds are mostly filled with carbohydrates, along with equal amounts of fiber and proteins. It also has a healthy percentage of minerals, like iron and magnesium.
Benefits of Fenugreek
The seeds and leaves of the Fenugreek plant have been used for a wide variety of benefits for ages.
- Boosts Breast Milk Production
Breast milk is the first and the most nutritive food that a baby consumes and is essential for the baby’s all-round growth and development. However, a lot of mothers struggle to produce an appropriately sufficient amount of breast milk.
While there are multiple prescription drugs available on the market to treat the same, Fenugreek is a safe and natural alternative.
Herbal Fenugreek tea has been found to double breast milk production in lactating women.
Since herbal fenugreek tea might be difficult to get hold of, there are ample supplements available that have similar effects. Fenugreek also increases the rate at which the newborn baby gains weight.
- Increase Testosterone levels
Fenugreek supplements are used by a lot of men to increase the level of testosterone, along with increased libido.
Additionally, studies have also found that the use of it to boost the levels of testosterone by men has also led to weight reduction in the study group.
Even though there is not enough adequate research on the topic, the initial studies confirm that Fenugreek can be used to increase the level of testosterone and the libido in men.
- Control Blood Sugar Levels
Fenugreek has been found to aid metabolic conditions such as diabetes. In people without type 1 or type 2 diabetes, consumption of it has been found to increase the general tolerance of carbohydrates.
Studies have shown that oral consumption of fenugreek powder has reduced overall levels of bad cholesterol and an increase in the blood sugar levels.
This herb improves insulin function and the fact that it is high in fiber, causes it to increase the levels of blood sugar in people without type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
- Appetite Control
Fenugreek has been shown by studies to reduce appetite in people. It also leads to a reduction in the consumption of fat in the same group by 17%.
- Heartburn and Cholesterol Levels
In people with frequent heartburn, Fenugreek has been found to act like antacids and reduce the symptoms of heartburn. There is also evidence to suggest that consumption of Fenugreek leads to a reduction of Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels.
- Other Benefits
In certain research, Fenugreek has also been found to help with ulcerative colitis, skin problems, and inflammation. However, human tests have not been done to confirm the effect of Fenugreek on inflammation.
Usage of Fenugreek
Fenugreek has multiple uses in different forms, each with its own dosage. Fenugreek is used to treat different diseases and conditions also vary in its dosage.
For Diabetes, 5 grams to 100 grams of powdered Fenugreek should be added to one or two meals daily. Alternatively, if fenugreek extract is being used, then the dosage changes to one gram of extract of fenugreek seeds are to be consumed on a daily basis.
In case of usage of Hydroalcoholic extracts, one gram of the extract is to be consumed orally per day or 5 grams of seeds per day.
- Painful Menstruation
For Dysmenorrhea, 1800 mg to 2700 mg of powdered fenugreek seeds are to be taken thrice daily for the first three days of menstruation. For the rest of the days, 900 mg of the same are to be taken thrice per day.
- Sexual Performance
It has been long used by men to increase testosterone levels and sex drive. For this purpose, 600 mg of fenugreek seed extracts are to be consumed daily.
In the case of inflammation, a paste made out of fenugreek seeds is to be used and applied to the inflamed area. For this purpose, around 50 grams of powdered fenugreek seeds are to be mixed with 250 to 1000 ml of water and used.
In the case of fenugreek seeds being used, the dosage should not exceed 6000 mg per day. If herbal fenugreek tea is being consumed, then around 150 ml of water is to be infused with 500 mg of fenugreek seeds, for every cup of fenugreek tea.
Even though Fenugreek is considered to be relatively safe for human consumption, it has a number of side effects, common to supplements such as these. These are usually less serious like diarrhea or indigestion and are not considered to be general side effects.
- Lack of Appetite
It has been found to cause a lack of appetite and a reduction in fat consumption. In case anybody is trying to gain weight or has eating disorders, consumption of Fenugreek might cause problems.
- Body Odour
Even though this has not been confirmed by human studies, a lot of consumers of fenugreek supplements report that consumption of Fenugreek causes their bodies to emanate a strange and sweet odor.
If a person is on diabetic medication, Fenugreek should be consumed with caution. Since it affects blood sugar levels, consuming Fenugreek along with other medicines to lower blood sugar levels, may have an adverse impact.
Although these have only been found in animal studies and have not been confirmed by human studies, Fenugreek has been found to reduce fertility, cause DNA Damage and other neurological problems.
Even though Fenugreek is an old herb that has been used for centuries to treat a wide variety of diseases and conditions, it has its own side effects. It is advisable to consult a medical practitioner before consumption.