Fenugreek is a powerful herb which has been clinically proven to lower high glucose levels in diabetic patients. Fenugreek also promotes heart health and hormone levels.
The seeds of fenugreek (Trigonella foecum-gracum) are commonly used to add flavor to the ethnic dishes of Middle Eastern cuisines. Because of its rich content of alkaloids and natural estrogens, as well as its ability to reduce high blood sugar levels, fenugreek is receiving much attention as a medicinal herb. Recent studies have verified fenugreek’s effect on blood sugar, as well as its capacity to restore healthy cholesterol levels, lending credence to the claims of herbal medical traditions, in which fenugreek has been an active player for centuries.
The Top Ten Health Benefits of Fenugreek
Listed here are ten of fenugreek’s primary health benefits. This list is by no means exhaustive. As research continues, more uses for this potent herb are likely to be revealed.
Fenugreek and diabetes – In clinical trials, fenugreek seed reduced fasting blood sugar levels in patients with both type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (insulin resistant) diabetes. In an Indian study, diabetic patients were given fenugreek seed powder for a period of ten days. These patients showed significantly reduced fasting blood sugar levels and improved glucose tolerance.
Fenugreek and healthy cholesterol – Diabetic patients studied in the cllinical trials described above also showed significant improvement in blood cholesterol levels. Serum total cholesterol, LDL and VLDL cholesterol and triglycerides were all reduced.
Fenugreek and sexual health – Fenugreek has long been understood to increase libido. The seeds are rich in diogenin, a substance that mimics the activity of estrogen.
Fenugreek and digestion – When fenugreek seeds are eaten, they release mucilage, creating a soothing effect on the digestive organs. This mucilage forms a protective coating on the lining of the stomach and intestine, reducing gastric inflammation, reflux and heartburn.
Fenugreek relieves skin inflammation – Research has shown that fenugreek is an effective topical treatment for skin problems such as abscesses, boils, burns, eczema and gout.
Fenugreek eases childbirth and promotes lactation – Fenugreek has long been believed to stimulate uterine contractions, speeding and easing childbirth. The herb also boosts milk production in nursing mothers.
Fenugreek relieves fever and eases flu symptoms – Fenugreek has traditionally been used to reduce fever and relieve flu symptoms. The seeds are often combined with honey and lemon to make a soothing tea.
Fenugreek eases menopause symptoms – Because of its natural estrogens, fenugreek is effective in treating the symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, anxiety and insomnia.
Fenugreek may help prevent cancer – Some studies suggest that diogenin, found in fenugreek, may have anti-carcinogenic properties. Fenugreek is also effective as an antioxidant and free radical scavenger.
Fenugreek is rich in fiber – Fenugreek’s rich fiber content make it useful in treating constipation, and as a preventive against cardiovascular disease.