Fenugreek (Fenugreek) is a spice used in cooking and is also believed to have health benefits. Fenugreek seeds are commonly used in complementary and alternative medicine and can be found in supplement form or used to make extracts. The dried seeds can also be brewed into medicinal tea.
Fenugreek is used in herbal medicine to prevent or treat a variety of unrelated health conditions, from diabetes and menstrual cramps to enlarged prostate glands and obesity.Fenugreek has also been used for centuries Prolactinmeaning a substance that stimulates breast milk production.
This article looks at some of the health benefits of fenugreek along with current research findings. It also lists some possible side effects and explains how to use fenugreek supplements safely.
While fenugreek has many uses in folk medicine, there is no strong evidence that it can treat or prevent any disease. However, there are some smaller studies that suggest potential benefits.
blood sugar control
Some research suggests that fenugreek seeds can improve blood sugar (sugar) control in people with diabetes. It also prevents people with prediabetes from developing diabetes.
published in Nutrition Journal Fenugreek seeds appear to slow the absorption of carbohydrates, including sugars, in the gut, according to reports. By doing so, blood sugar control is improved. That being said, results vary widely and the quality of studies is generally poor.
A three-year study published in Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders concluded that fenugreek may slow the progression of prediabetes. The trial involved 140 prediabetic patients and found that those who took a 1,000 milligram (mg) daily fenugreek supplement had a 400% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who took an inactive placebo (“sugar pill”). .
breast milk production
Fenugreek is a popular folk remedy used to stimulate breast milk production. Certain substances in fenugreek are thought to have similar effects to the female hormone estrogen.
A 2011 study Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Nursing mothers who took fenugreek tea were found to produce significantly more breast milk than those who took placebo tea. Also, their babies gained weight earlier.
Despite the positive findings, the study was relatively small (66 participants). Further research is required.
Herbs and Medicines to Increase Breast Milk Production
Fenugreek seeds and tea are traditionally used for prevention or treatment dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps). Even so, the evidence to support this use is limited.
According to 2016 published in Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, None of the 27 studies showed that taking fenugreek (or any other natural menstrual cramping remedy, such as chamomile, ginger, or valerian) relieved symptoms of dysmenorrhea.
There is also a lack of research to support the long-term safety of fenugreek in menstruating patients.
natural remedies for menstrual cramps
Fenugreek contains furostanol saponins This may help stimulate the production of the male hormone testosterone.Some people think that this may improve sexual desire (Libido) Tends to older men with lower testosterone levels.
A small study published in Phytotherapy research A 2011 study found that daily fenugreek supplements appeared to improve some aspects of libido (including arousal and orgasm), but did not significantly affect testosterone levels.
A similar study published in 2015 reported an initial spike in testosterone levels in men after taking a 300 mg daily fenugreek supplement. However, at the end of the eight-week trial, the fenugreek and placebo groups had exactly the same levels.
There is some evidence that fenugreek can improve blood sugar control and increase breast milk production. On the other hand, there is no evidence that fenugreek can treat menstrual cramps or improve male libido.
possible side effects
Fenugreek is “generally recognized as safe” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Even so, fenugreek can cause side effects such as diarrhea, dizziness, and gas, especially at higher doses.
High doses may also cause a significant drop in blood sugar.Therefore, fenugreek should be avoided if you are taking diabetes medication as it may cause Hypoglycemia (Hypoglycemia).
Fenugreek can also lower blood potassium levels. People taking medicines that lower blood potassium, including certain diuretics (“water pills”), should avoid taking fenugreek.
Cross-reactive allergies can also occur with fenugreek. If you’re allergic to peanuts, chickpeas, or cilantro, stay safe from fenugreek.
There have also been isolated cases of hepatotoxicity in people using high doses of fenugreek.
Fenugreek is generally considered safe. Common side effects include diarrhea, dizziness, and gas. People who take diabetes medications or certain diuretics may need to avoid fenugreek because of its effects on blood sugar and potassium.
Select, prepare and store
As a culinary herb, fenugreek leaves and vegetables are used in curries and dishes throughout the Mediterranean, Middle East, and South Asia. You can sometimes find fresh fenugreek leaves at international grocery stores, or you can grow your own from seeds. Fenugreek seeds are also a staple in many Indian cuisines.
Raw fenugreek seeds are bitter, so they are usually roasted to mellow the flavor. The seeds can be ground or whole and used to flavor food or brew tea. The toasted seeds have a nutty flavor with a distinct maple syrup flavor.
Fenugreek supplements are made from powdered seeds. Liquid extracts made from whole seeds can also be used. Both can be found online or at health food stores, supplement stores, or retail pharmacies.
There is no recommended dose of fenugreek in any form. As a general rule, you should not exceed the dosage on the product label. Due to a lack of research, the safety of fenugreek in children or people who are pregnant or breastfeeding has not been established.
Notably, supplements are largely unregulated in the United States. Therefore, the quality may vary from brand to brand. To ensure purity, only buy supplements certified by third-party agencies, such as ConsumerLab, United States Pharmacopeia (USP), or NSF International.
Fenugreek supplements and extracts are available online or at many drugstores, supplement stores, or health food retailers. There is no recommended dose of fenugreek in any form.
Fenugreek is a spice used in cooking and is believed by some to prevent or treat diabetes, menstrual cramps, low libido and many other unrelated ailments. Fenugreek is also used to boost breast milk production in nursing mothers. To date, there is little evidence to support these claims.
Fenugreek is generally considered safe, but may cause diarrhea, dizziness, and gas in some people. In addition to culinary uses, fenugreek is available in supplement or liquid extract form. There is no recommended dose of fenugreek. The long-term safety of fenugreek supplements is unknown.
Because of its effects on blood sugar and potassium, fenugreek should be avoided if you are taking diabetes medications or certain diuretics.
Self-medicating the disease or delaying standard care can have serious consequences. If you are considering using fenugreek for any health reason, be sure to consult your healthcare provider first. Just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does fenugreek contain protein?
Like many seeds, fenugreek seeds contain a lot of protein, about 1 gram per teaspoon or 2.5 grams per tablespoon.
Does Fenugreek Cause Weight Gain?
Fenugreek’s ability to slow carbohydrate digestion, stimulate insulin release, and lower blood sugar could theoretically increase appetite. Although research is limited, this may lead to weight gain.
Can Fenugreek Improve Hair Health?
Research on the effects of fenugreek on hair growth or dandruff relief is limited. One study found that oral fenugreek supplementation improved hair growth compared to a placebo. In laboratory studies, fenugreek leaf extract has shown some anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. These may help fight dandruff and other scalp conditions.
Where can I buy fenugreek?
You may find fresh fenugreek leaves in international markets. Dried fenugreek leaves, seeds and powder can be purchased online.
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