Fenugreek seeds has long been well-known for multiple health benefits. The first recorded use of the herb is actually from Egypt in 1500 BCE, but it has been used both as a spice and in traditional medicine widely across the Middle East and South Asia. The leaves are edible, but it because of the small, brown seeds that the herb is famous. It has a slight maple taste and are often used as an imitation for maple flavorings. Traditionally seeds has been used as medicinal herb to treat symptoms of menopause, relieving constipation, controlling diabetes, reducing cholesterol, and for easing minor indigestion and diarrhea.
Modern scientific research has confirmed that fenugreek contains substances that are similar to the female sex hormone estrogen (diosgenin, isoflavones) and mimics the effect of estrogen in the body. The herb provides a mastogenic effect which may result in the swelling and growth of healthy breast tissue. Moreover, because of these estrogen-like substances, blood levels of total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides is reduced without any change to the “good” HDL cholesterol.
The seeds also contains up to 40% of a soluble fiber that is known as mucilage. The mucilage makes a gelatinous structure (like guar gum), which may slow down digestion and absorption of food in the intestine. Overall, the herb is a rich source in a variety of nutrients, like dietary fibers, vitamin C, niacin, and potassium.
- Diabetes and blood sugar levels. One study found that a daily dose of 10 grams of the seeds soaked in hot water may help control type 2 diabetes. Another study suggests that eating baked goods, such as bread, made with the flour may reduce insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Menstrual pain. It can also help alleviate the symptoms of dysmenorrhea. This condition causes severe pain during menstrual cycles.
- Cardiovascular health. Particularly for the hardening of arteries or atherosclerosis.
- Exercise performance. On study showed that taking 500 mg of fenugreek supplement for 8 weeks decreases body fat and increases testosterone levels, but does not change muscle strength or endurance in young men. Other research shows that taking 500 mg of the extract daily for 8 weeks reduces body fat and increases leg and bench press performance in a similar group of young men.
- Lactation. Some indication that consuming the herb at the beginning or shortly after giving birth can increase milk production in breastfeeding women. But not all research agrees.
- Liver protection. One study found that the herb can protect your liver from the effects of toxins.
- Male infertility. Early research suggests that taking the seed oil drops by mouth three times daily for 4 months improves sperm count in men with a low concentration of sperm. But taking the other parts of the seed does not seem to have this effect.
- Anticancerigen. One study also suggests that the seed can stop the growth of cancer cells and act as an anticancer herb.
- Laxative. The seeds have a mild bulk-forming laxative that’s suited for long-term use in people with constipation.
Take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon a day as a supplement.
For prediabetics: Taking doses of 5-50 grams of the seed once or twice daily seems to work, but lower doses appears ineffective.
For menstrual pain: Taking 1.8-2.7 g of the seed powder three times daily for the first 3 days of a menstrual period followed by 0.9 g three times daily for the remainder of two menstrual cycles reduced pain.
Fenugreek seed (Trigonella foenum-graecum) powder. The supplement is all natural and does not contain preservatives, artificial colors, flavorings, or fillers.
The herb are generally considered safe. When taken in large doses, side effects can include gas and bloating. The herb may have effects on sciatic nerve issues and peripheral neuropathy, which can cause your muscles to feel weak. Some people report a maple syrup-like smell coming after extended use possibly due to the plant chemical dimethylpyrazine. The seeds can cause allergic reactions to some people.
The fiber in seeds can also make your body less effective at absorbing medications taken by mouth, so don’t use fenugreek within a few hours of taking medications. The seeds also have an effect on blood clotting and diabetes, so talk to your healthcare professional to rule out any interaction with medicines. The supplement should be avoided during pregnancies, since not enough is known about the effect.
The various effects are not guaranteed and results may vary due to several factors between different people.
We strive to ensure the accuracy of the information provided by the manufacturers and recommend that you read all labels and warnings. However, the information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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