Benefits of Fenugreek
Fenugreek is loaded with antioxidants and has laxative and anti-parasitic effects. It also soothes irritated tissues, lowers fever, reduces blood sugar, improves digestion and promotes healing.
Fenugreek is loaded with antioxidants and has laxative and anti-parasitic effects. It also soothes irritated tissues, lowers fever, reduces blood sugar, improves digestion and promotes healing. It stimulates the immune system and aids in the removal of toxins from the body through lymph nodes. The seeds, in particular, are rich in lipids, protein, protease inhibitors, alkaloids, mucilaginous fibre, phosphorus, iron, calcium, niacin, vitamin C, selenium and various other nutrients. Plus, it is believed that the seeds reduce fatty tissues, thereby aiding in natural weight loss.
Effects on breastmilk production
However, some mothers may struggle to produce sufficient amounts (3Trusted Source).
While prescription drugs are commonly used to boost breastmilk production, research suggests that fenugreek may be a safe, natural alternative.
One 14-day study in 77 new mothers found that drinking herbal tea with fenugreek seeds increased breast milk production, which helped babies gain more weight (4).
Another study split 66 mothers into three groups. One received fenugreek tea, the second a placebo, and the third nothing.
The volume of pumped breast milk increased from around 1.15 ounces (34 ml) in the control and placebo groups to 2.47 ounces (73 ml) in the fenugreek group (5Trusted Source).
Though this research is encouraging, you should discuss any concerns about breastmilk production with your midwife or medical practitioner.
Effects on testosterone levels in men
One of the most common reasons men use fenugreek supplements is to boost testosterone.
Some studies have found that it has beneficial effects, including an increased libido.
In an 8-week study, 30 college-aged men performed 4 sessions of weightlifting per week, with half of them receiving 500 mg of fenugreek per day (7Trusted Source).
Although the non-supplement group experienced a slight decline in testosterone, the fenugreek group showed an increase. This group also had a 2% reduction in body fat (7Trusted Source).
One 6-week study provided 30 men with 600 mg of fenugreek extract to assess changes in sexual function and libido. Most participants reported increased strength and improved sexual function (8Trusted Source).
However, more research is needed.
May help control diabetes and blood sugar levels
Fenugreek may aid metabolic conditions, such as diabetes.
In one study, people with type 1 diabetes took 50 grams of fenugreek seed powder at lunch and dinner. After 10 days, participants experienced better blood sugar levels and reductions in total and LDL (bad) cholesterol (12Trusted Source).
In another study, people without diabetes took fenugreek. They experienced a 13.4% reduction in blood sugar levels 4 hours after intake (13Trusted Source).
These benefits may be due to fenugreek’s role in improving insulin function. That said, the effects seen in studies using whole fenugreek powder or seeds may be partly due to the high fiber content (14Trusted Source).
Other health benefits of fenugreek
Fenugreek has been used to treat a variety of conditions. However, many of these uses have not been studied well enough to reach strong conclusions.
Preliminary research suggests that fenugreek may aid:
- Appetite control. So far, 3 studies show a reduction in fat intake and appetite. One 14-day study found that participants spontaneously reduced total fat intake by 17% (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
- Cholesterol levels. Some evidence indicates that fenugreek can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels (18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source).
- Heartburn. One 2-week pilot study in people with frequent heartburn found that fenugreek reduced their symptoms. In fact, its effects matched those of antacid medications (20Trusted Source).
- Inflammation. This herb has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects in rats and mice. More research is needed to confirm this in humans (21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source).
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