What is Fenugreek?
Fenugreek is in the spice blend garam masala. It’s used to flavor imitation maple syrup and as a condiment. Its extracts are also in soaps and cosmetics. Historically, fenugreek was used for a variety of health conditions, including digestive problems and to induce childbirth. Today, fenugreek is used as a dietary supplement for diabetes, to stimulate milk production during breastfeeding, and for other health conditions. It’s also used topically as a dressing for wounds or eczema. The seeds are made into capsules, powders, teas, liquid extracts, and a dressing for the skin.
Benefits of Fenugreek supplement
“It is concluded that 500 mg of this proprietary Fenugreek extraction had a significant impact on both upper- and lower-body strength and body composition in comparison to placebo in a double blind controlled trial. These changes were obtained with no clinical side effects.”
“The effects of fenugreek supplementation on the regulation of insulin and hyperglycemia are well established. Defatted fractions of fenugreek seeds, high in fiber content and containing steroid saponins, lowered blood glucose and plasma glucagon concentrations after eight days of consumption in dogs.”
“Fenugreek has shown to be a useful remedy in combating abnormal cholesterol profiles in hyperlipidemic populations. A daily dose of fenugreek seed administered to rats (100 or 500 mg/kg) for eight weeks lowered LDL, VLDL triglyceride and total cholesterol and increased HDL when compared to a control group.”
“A daily supplementation of 500 mg of the commercially available fenugreek supplement (Torabolic(tm)) in conjunction with an eight week, structured resistance training program can significantly increase upper- and lower-body strength, reduce body fat percentage, and thus improve overall body composition when compared to a placebo group under identical experimental protocols.”
Fenugreek is supplied as seed, powdered seed, or capsule. Because the seeds of Fenugreek are somewhat bitter, Fenugreek is best taken in capsule form. Orally used for lowering blood glucose in diabetes, loss of appetite, dyspepsia, gastritis, constipation, atherosclerosis, high serum cholesterol and triglycerides, and for promoting lactation. Topically used as a poultice for local inflammation, boils, wounds, and eczema. Fenugreek is also used as a spice in food.
RECOMMENDED DOSES AND DURATION
When taken orally for hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia dose ranges from 5 grams powdered Fenugreek seed to 100 grams daily twice daily with 25 grams being the most common daily dose. In capsule form, the typical dosage is 5 grams to 30 grams 3 times a day with meals, taken indefinitely10. When used topically for inflammation, the typical dosage is 50 grams powdered seed mixed with 0.25 L water, applied as needed. Fenugreek may also be administered as a tea product, typically one cup of tea several times a day. The tea is prepared by steeping 500 mg seed in 150 mL of cold water for three hours and the straining. Data for duration of use is not available, except for capsule form that is taken indefinitely. To prepare a poultice (semi-solid paste), powder: 50 grams powdered seed mixed with 1 liter water, applied as needed.
“Do not take fenugreek while pregnant because it may affect uterine contractions.”
“Fenugreek may act like estrogen in the body and be unsafe for women with hormone-sensitive cancers.”
“Side effects of fenugreek may include diarrhea; a maple-like smell to urine, breast milk, and perspiration; and a worsening of asthma.”
Fenugreek (/ˈfɛnjᵿɡriːk/; Trigonella foenum-graecum) is an annual plant in the family Fabaceae, with leaves consisting of three small obovate to oblong leaflets. It is cultivated worldwide as a semiarid crop, and its seeds are a common ingredient in dishes from South Asia.
Fenugreek is used as an herb (dried or fresh leaves), spice (seeds), and vegetable (fresh leaves, sprouts, and microgreens). Sotolon is the chemical responsible for fenugreek’s distinctive sweet smell. Cuboid-shaped, yellow- to amber-colored fenugreek seeds are frequently encountered in the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent, used both whole and powdered in the preparation of pickles, vegetable dishes, daals, and spice mixes such as panch phoron and sambar powder. They are often roasted to reduce bitterness and enhance flavour.