Benefits of Fenugreek
Are there any fenugreek side effects?
The benefits of fenugreek have a very long impressive history as it was prized not only for its flavor, but also for its medicinal powers and to feed cattle.
In it's past, fenugreek had quite the reputation and considered a cure for many aliments such as indigestion, respiratory infections, skin wounds and inflammation, kidney disorders, arthritis, and other numerous complaints. Today, the benefits of fenugreek continue a boastful reputation among the medicinal herbal healers.
However, before we delve into fenugreek's health benefits, let's briefly explain what it is.
What is Fenugreek?
Fenugreek is an annual herb with small clover-like leaves and yellow-white flowers, similar to those of peas.
The herb is a native plant of the Mediterranean and western Asia, but it's currently grown in many parts of the world. The seeds of fenugreek - a hard brown, red, and yellow "bean" are where all of its therapeutic benefits lie.
The Benefits of Fenugreek
How can it benefit you?
Today, fenugreek seeds are mostly used internally to ease digestive-tract disorders and externally to soothe and promote healing of minor skin wounds and infections. It is also used internally to relieve bronchial congestion, calm coughs, and to ease menstrual and menopausal complaints.
Some experts claim that a warm fenugreek gargle soothes a sore throat.
Thanks to modern day science the benefits of fenugreek grow even more impressive as studies reveal some other possible benefits of fenugreek.
High Cholesterol - In one study, researchers at the S.N. Medical College in India measured the cholesterol levels of 60 people who were not taking any cholesterol-lowering medications. Then, the participants where instructed to eat a bowl of soup containing approximately 1 ounce of powered fenugreek seed before lunch and dinner daily. After 4 weeks of daily consumption of about 2 ounces of powdered fenugreek seed –the participants saw their cholesterol levels begin to decline. After a 24 week period - their average total cholesterol dropped 14%.
Diabetes- Clinical studies in India found 25 grams, or nearly an ounce per day of fenugreek seed lower blood-glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
In this next section, we would like to briefly cover the benefits of fenugreek on related women topics which are: Fenugreek and Breast Feeding, Fenugreek and Nursing, and Fenugreek and Breast Milk.
Fenugreek seed has been used to support healthy milk production since biblical times. The benefits of fenugreek in breastfeeding are believed to stem from diosgenin, a compound that is similar to the female hormone estrogen. More specifically, diosgenin has been shown experimentally to increase milk flow. As such, the use of fenugreek to encourage lactation could offer help to women with insufficient supply. However, there needs to be more scientific evidence of the herb's effectiveness in increasing milk production.
In addition, there is anecdotal evidence that it may help enlarge woman's breasts in women who are not nursing.
Nutritional-Supplements- Educational- Centre’s Opinion
Although the benefits of fenugreek are substantial - it's unfortunate that there's very little clinical evidence supporting many of its applications. In our opinion, you may want to seek alternatives that are better researched. For example, policosanol is an excellent source for lowering cholesterol, and so is garlic and gugulipid (guggul).
In addition, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support the use of fenugreek and nursing women with reduced breast milk volume. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you speak with a qualified healthcare professional before starting any fenugreek supplements.
Fenugreek Side Effects and Precautions
Minimize fenugreek side effects!
Fenugreek appears to be safe at recommended dosages. However, high doses of over 100 grams daily may cause nausea, diarrhea, and upset stomach. In addition, fenugreek can cause a maple syrup odor in urine and sweat.
Fenugreek can interfere with iron absorption so people who have anemia should avoid it. And, it is not recommended to those who take thyroid hormone since the herb can alter balances of various forms of thyroid hormones.
People who have asthma, allergies, and diabetes should consult a physician before taking any fenugreek supplements.
Fenugreek should be avoided by women who are pregnant since it has shown to stimulate uterine contractions in animal studies.
Also, keep in mind that experts do not recommend women that are pregnant or nursing to take any dietary supplements without consulting their physician first, due to the lack of scientific evidence in regards to safety.
To reap the full benefits of fenugreek, always consult a physician if you're on medications or have a health condition before taking any dietary supplement, including fenugreek.
Tips on Choosing a Fenugreek Supplement
Select a supplement from pharmaceutical GMP compliant facilities. These facilities adhere to very stringent manufacturing standards. This is crucial because supplements are barely regulated in the U.S. and many products have been shown to harbor contaminants or do not even contain what is stated on the label.
General Health and Wellness Product
If you are interested in a product to serve as a foundation for vibrant health we highly recommend Total Balance from a company located in New Zealand.
Total Balance contains a full spectrum of over 70 nutrients including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, specialty nutrients, potent antioxidants, and many herbal extracts.
We hope this web page discussing fenugreek was useful to you!
To Your Health!
As with all health supplements, make sure you consult your physician or other qualified medical professional before using fenugreek supplements. In addition, to reap the full benefits of fenugreek, choose a supplement from a company that follows strict GMP compliance.
Much more than the Benefits of Fenugreek can be found at our Herbal Guide web-page