Fenugreek is a plant with both medicinal and edible properties, and in folk medicine, fenugreek is used as a lactation/milking agent and is also used to treat various diseases or disorders, including diabetes, cancer, hyperlipidemia, inflammation, wounds, bacterial and fungal infections, weakness and leg edema.
What are the benefits of fenugreek in empirical medicine? Are there any side effects of fenugreek? See text analysis for details
What is fenugreek?
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) ) is an annual legume herb with clover-like seeds native to India and North Africa and is one of the oldest edible and medicinal plants.
In terms of edible use, it is a well-known seasoning, one of the ingredients in Indian curry, and is also used in wontons in culinary dishes such as baking, pickles and tea.
Its medicinal parts are mainly dried mature seeds, containing a large amount of fiber, phospholipids, glycolipids, oleic acid, linolenic acid, linoleic acid, choline, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C, niacin and other rare chemical components, such as saponins, coumarin, fenugreek, phytic acid, scopolamine and fenugreek These are all thought to be the reason why fenugreek has multiple benefits.
What are the proven benefits of fenugreek?
1. Fenugreek raises testosterone levels
Testosterone is a pleiotropic hormone that plays an important role in the human body, affecting male reproductive and metabolic functions.
In men, testosterone levels gradually increase from adolescence to adulthood and then decrease by 40.1% per year over the age of 6, while available levels decline by 2% to 3% per year.
Symptoms of low testosterone levels are nonspecific and include decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, decreased ejaculate volume, decreased body and facial hair, decreased bone density, decreased lean body mass, increased body fat, fatigue, weakness, increased anxiety, heavy sweating, and anemia.
A meta-analysis (4 randomized controlled trials with 206 male participants) noted that participants taking fenugreek extract had higher mean total testosterone levels compared with placebo. Note 1
The mechanism behind this may be related to the presence of saponin diosgenin, a steroid precursor, in fenugreek seed extract.
*Conclusion: Oral fenugreek seed extract has a positive effect on increasing testosterone levels, but due to the small sample size and heterogeneity between studies, more studies are needed to further validate
2. Fenugreek lactation increases breast milk (hair milk)
Breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition for newborns and infants, while providing immune support and many lifelong health benefits.
Infants who are not breastfed or breastfed for a short time are associated with an increased risk of gastrointestinal, urinary, respiratory and middle ear infections, as well as a range of noncommunicable diseases such as asthma, allergies, obesity and diabetes, as well as some childhood cancers.
A meta-analysis (5 randomized controlled trials) showed that the overall analysis showed that fenugreek capsules/fenugreek tea were better than placebo and control groups in increasing milk production, but far inferior to Coleus amboinicus and date palm. Note 2
*Conclusion: The effect of fenugreek on increasing breast milk is very small, and limited by the small sample size and safety concerns, more studies are needed to confirm its clinical benefit
3. Fenugreek is beneficial for blood sugar regulation
Diabetes is an epidemic metabolic disorder that affects 4 million people worldwide, and chronic hyperglycemia is associated with long-term damage, dysfunction and failure of different organs, especially the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels.
In addition, according to the International Diabetes Federation, 1 in 10 adults will have diabetes by 2040.
A meta-analysis (12 randomized controlled trials with 1173 patients with diabetes and prediabetes) showed that fenugreek significantly reduced fasting blood glucose, postprandial 2h blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin) and total cholesterol levels. Note 3
In addition, although the levels of triglyceride or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) showed a downward trend and HDL-c showed an upward trend, the magnitude was not statistically significant.
*Conclusion: Fenugreek has a positive effect on blood glucose regulation, but due to the small sample size and low quality of research methods, more studies are still needed for further verification
4. Fenugreek is beneficial to blood lipid regulation
Dyslipidemia refers to one or more lipoprotein disorders in the blood, such as elevated total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, or triglycerides, or decreased levels of HDL cholesterol, and treatment can reduce the risk of heart disease by about 5% within 30 years.
In many developing countries, the prevalence of dyslipidemia is increasing due to Westernization of diets, obesity, population ageing, reduced physical activity and other adverse lifestyle changes.
A systematic literature review and meta-analysis (12 randomized controlled trials, 560 participants) showed that fenugreek seed extraction significantly reduced plasma total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low density lipoprotein cholesterol. and raise high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Note 4
*Conclusion: Supplementation of fenugreek seed-related products has a positive effect on blood lipid regulation, especially in dyslipidemia, but limited by the heterogeneity of the studies contained and the small sample size, more precisely designed studies are still needed for further verification
5. Fenugreek is beneficial for primary dysmenorrhea
Primary dysmenorrhea, which refers to dysmenorrhea without any pelvic pathology, is a common gynaecological disorder estimated at 45% to 95% of women of reproductive age.
Current evidence suggests that primary dysmenorrhea is associated with the ovulatory cycle, mainly due to myometrial contraction caused by excessive secretion of endometrial prostaglandins, which occurs mainly in the first 48 hours of menstruation.
A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (2-month trial of 101 patients with moderate to severe primary dysmenorrhea) showed that oral fenugreek seed powder capsules reduced pain. Note 5
In addition, systemic symptoms in the fenugreek group included: fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and syncope.
*Conclusion: Fenugreek may have a positive effect on dysmenorrhea, but more studies are needed to support this due to small sample sizes
Are there any side effects of fenugreek?
Fenugreek is safe for most adults in good health, but possible side effects or adverse reactions have been reported: diarrhea, stomach upset, bloating, flatulence, dizziness, headache, and the smell of “maple syrup” in the urine.
Safety precautions (9 contraindications to use)
1. Do not use in pregnant women, if excessive amount may cause infant malformations, as well as early contractions
2. Do not use by children (due to unknown safety)
3. People who have been allergic to Fabaceae plants should not use (common such as: soybeans, peanuts, chickpeas and green beans), may induce allergies, symptoms include: nasal congestion, cough, wheezing, facial swelling, shock, etc
4. Do not use diabetic patients or those taking related hypoglycemic drugs, because fenugreek may have the effect of regulating blood sugar, related drug names are: glimepiride, glyburide (glibenclamide), insulin, pioglitazone, rosiglitazone, chlorpropamide, glipizide, tolbutamide
5. Do not use before labor, it may cause newborns to have body odor similar to maple syrup urine disease
6. There has been a case of pulmonary embolism or pulmonary thrombosis in a man who took a testosterone booster containing fenugreek, but it is unclear whether it is related. Note 6
7. Patients with coagulation dysfunction or taking anticoagulants should not use, because fenugreek may have anticoagulant effects, related drug names are: aspirin, clopidogrel, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, dalteparin (dalteparin sodium), enoxaparin, Heparin, Warfarin
8. Animal studies have pointed out that the use of fenugreek seed extract may be associated with hypothyroidism. Therefore, it is recommended to be avoided in patients with thyroid-related diseases. Note 7
9. Fenugreek seeds can be used to have estrogen-like effects, so people with hormone-sensitive symptoms should avoid it, such as: breast fibroma, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, endometrial hyperplasia, colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, gynecomastia, precocious puberty in girls, and heavy menstrual bleeding. Note 8
Where can I buy the highest quality Fenugreek that is recommended by most people?
Nature's Way, Fenugreek Seed, 610 mg, 180 Vegan Capsules
(Direct shipping from the United States / Worldwide delivery)
Nature's Way is a health food manufacturer founded in the United States with a history of more than 50 years, with a very high sales and repurchase rate in major drugstores
Certified by Tru-ID third-party testing to ensure that the ingredients are pure and adulterated
No artificial preservatives and colors