Fenugreek may improve both glucose & cholesterol levels in the blood, additionally nourishes digestive system, liver and promotes respiratory health.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) leaves, and their yellow colored seeds are useful as a spice as well as medicinal herb. Fenugreek is cultivated in Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, France, Spain, Turkey, and Morocco.
Nutritional Benefits of Fenugreek Seeds per 100 g: Macronutrients present in fenugreek are Carbohydrates 58.35 g, Protein 23 g, fat 6.41 g, and dietary fiber 24.6 g. Vitamin available in fenugreek is Thiamine 0.322 mg, Riboflavin 0.366 mg, Niacin 1.640 mg, Pyridoxine 0.600 mg, Folates 57 µg, Vitamin A 60 IU, and Vitamin C 3 mg. Electrolytes present in fenugreek are Sodium 67 mg and Potassium 770 mg. Minerals present in fenugreek are Calcium 176 mg, Magnesium 191 mg, Manganese 1.228 mg, Phosphorus 296 mg, Copper 1.110 mg, Iron 33.53 mg, Selenium 6.3 µg, and Zinc 2.50 mg.
Fenugreek may help lower sugar level
Conventional drug and herbal medicine may cause potential interactions that lead to adverse events. So get doctor’s consent before starting herbal treatment.
Fenugreek slows down the absorption of glucose and other simple carbohydrates. It is due to its mucilaginous fiber content and high viscosity formation in the gut. Additionally, fenugreek shows improvement in HDL-cholesterol levels (31% increase).
Fenugreek scientific evidence in diabetes treatment
- The study shows fenugreek significantly reduces fasting blood sugar and improves the glucose tolerance test. There was a 54 % reduction in 24-h urinary glucose excretion. It significantly reduces serum total cholesterol, LDL & VLDL cholesterol and triglycerides. These results indicate the usefulness of fenugreek seeds in the management of diabetes as well as high cholesterol. Effects of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and serum lipids in type I diabetes. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1990 Apr;44(4):301-6.
- The study shows the adjunct use of fenugreek seeds improves glycemic control and decreases insulin resistance in mild type-2 diabetic patients. There is also a favorable effect on hypertriglyceridemia. Effect of Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) seeds on glycaemic control and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Journal of the Association of Physicians of India 2001 Nov; 49:1057-61.
- Fenugreek may have a potential benefit in the treatment of NIDDM. Glucose-lowering effect of fenugreek in non-insulin dependent diabetics. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1988, 42 (1): 51-54.
- Adjunct use of fenugreek seeds improves glycemic control and decreases insulin resistance in mild type-2 diabetic patients. Effect of Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) seeds on glycaemic control and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus. The Journal of the Association of Physicians of India 2001 Nov;49:1057-61.
- Effect of Fenugreek Seeds on Blood Glucose and Lipid Profiles in Type 2 Diabetic Patients. International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research (2009), 79, pp. 34-39. This study shows that fenugreek seeds can be used as an adjuvant in the control of type 2 diabetes mellitus in the form of soaked in hot water.
Herbal medicines are complex mixtures of bioactive compounds. Season, growing condition, processing method can vary the constitutions of the bioactive compound.
15 Medicinal Uses of Fenugreek
Fenugreek has been in use for centuries for various female conditions, brain & nervous system problems, skin, liver, and metabolic disorders. It is also beneficial for respiratory and gastrointestinal problems.
- Controls Diabetes - Fenugreek helps to alleviate type II diabetes. According to one study, it may also help people with Type I diabetes. Studies done by Indian researchers revealed that fenugreek added to type I diabetic patients’ diets helped to drop urinary sugar level by 54%. Fenugreek slows down the rate at which sugar absorbed into the bloodstream. It induces the production of insulin; so, 15-20 grams of fenugreek is enough for controlling blood sugar on a daily basis.
- Reduces Cholesterol - Research studies show that fenugreek consumption helps to reduce cholesterol level. It helps to reduce the level of low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) significantly.
- Reduces Cardiovascular Risk - It can prevent various conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. By reducing cholesterol content in the bloodstream, you reduce the chances of clots forming or becoming stuck in the vessels.
- Relieves constipation - It adds bulk to the stool due to its high fiber content. It also makes it helpful in treating constipation and diarrhea, while also relieving minor indigestion.
- Relief respiratory illness - chronic cough, sore throat, bad breath, respiratory infections, and mouth ulcers.
- Helps lose weight - Include fenugreek in your weight loss diet by chewing soaked fenugreek seeds in the morning on an empty stomach. The natural soluble fiber in the fenugreek can swell and fill the stomach thereby suppressing your appetite and aiding your weight loss goals.
- Reduce kidney stone risks - Fenugreek tea cleans up the kidneys and intestines thus reduces the risk of kidney stones formation.
- Treat skin problems - fenugreek contains anti-inflammatory compounds that aid in the treatment of various skin problems like burns, boils, and eczema. It helps prevent blackheads, pimples, wrinkles, etc.
- Help resolve hair problems - Using fenugreek as a part of your diet or as a paste to directly apply on your hair makes your hair shiny and black. Daily head massage with the boiled coconut oil with the fenugreek seeds acts as a superb home remedy for the problems like hair thinning and hair fall. Applying fenugreek seeds paste on the hair keeps away from dandruff.
- Women friendly - Fenugreek tea provides relief from the menopausal symptoms, induces childbirth, increases milk supply in lactating women. The estrogen-like property which balances the sex hormones among women promotes breast enlargement.
- Relieve Arthritis - Fenugreek tea made of fenugreek leaves can relieve arthritis pain.
- Removes Toxins - It aids a lot in the digestion by flushing out the harmful toxins from the body.
- Iron Deficiency - Regular use of it in the form of leaves or seeds in the normal diet provides relief iron deficiency and its symptoms. Some even claims, eating tomatoes or potatoes with the fenugreek improves iron absorption.
- Heal joint pain – Soak 2 to 3 grams of fenugreek seeds in a glass of water in the night. Next day morning eating the seeds and drinking the water can help heal joint pain without any side effects.
- Kidney tonic – As per Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) fenugreek seeds tonify kidneys.
Fenugreek may help lower heart diseases & strokes risks
Fenugreek possesses antioxidant property in the presence of glutathione and beta-carotene in their seeds. It prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, thus stops inflammation of arteries as well as plaque formation. Therefore, fenugreek reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, heart diseases, and stroke.
Fenugreek to help reduces high blood sugar levels; your daily dosage may be between10 to 30 g defatted seed powder each day. If you are taking fenugreek as a tincture, take three to four mL dose, three times each day.
Fenugreek is commercially available in different forms as raw fenugreek seeds, defatted fenugreek seed powder, tablets, capsules, and tincture.
How do you take Fenugreek?
Take one teaspoon fenugreek seed and add it to one cup of water, boil and steep it for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drink with or without sweetener (Stevia). You can take fenugreek tea as a hot or cold drink.
Bioactive constituents of Fenugreek
Fenugreek seeds contain alkaloid trigonelline and protein high in lysine and L-tryptophan. Fenugreek has steroidal saponins; diosgenin, yamogenin, tigogenin, and neotigogenin. Mucilaginous fiber has beneficial effects on lowering blood-sugar-levels.
Possible side effects of Fenugreek
While Fenugreek is considering being safe when used moderately, there have been reports of a few minor side effects. Nausea is one common side effect, while other people have reported gastrointestinal discomfort (diarrhea and gas).
It is not recommendable to use fenugreek during pregnancy since it has the potential to induce labor.