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Fenugreek quick review
Botanical description: a member of the legume family. Fenugreek is a strongly aromatic annual, growing to about thirty-two inches, also known as methi, Greek hay seed, and bird's foot.
Active constituents: iron, vitamin A , vitamin B1, vitamin C , phosphates, flavonoids, steroidal saponins (diosgenin, yamogenin, tigogenin, and neotigogenin), trigonelline, mucilage, bitter fixed oil, volatile oil, and the alkaloids choline.
Health benefits : expectorant, demulcent, vulnerary, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, tonic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, hypotensive.

Dosage: daily dosage for general health is 1,000 mg to 2,000 mg. For type 1 diabetes, take 50 grams twice daily. For type 2 diabetes, take 2.5 grams of seed powder (capsules) twice daily for three months.
Side effects : skin irritation and sensitization, high doses of fenugreek seed may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, including diarrhea and gas.
 
Fenugreek by Nature's Way
Fenugreek is an annual Mediterranean and Asiatic herb with aromatic seeds. Fenugreek is used around the world as a culinary spice and food that is soothing to the stomach. Fenugreek by Nature's Way helps regulate blood sugar levels, improves glucose metabolism and antioxidant protection. It supports blood sugar balance, boost friendly bacteria growth and normalize bowel function. Click here for more information.
 

Fenugreek


Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a member of the legume family. Fenugreek is also known as methi, Greek hay seed, and bird's foot. The fenugreek plant grows wild from the eastern Mediterranean area to China. Fenugreek is a strongly aromatic annual, growing to about thirty-two inches. Fenugreek leaves are alternate and consist of three ovate leaflets. White flowers appear in early summer and develop into long slender green pods. Mature brown pods contain 20 small yellow seeds. The seeds are rhombic or flat diamond-shaped, irregularly rounded, about three to five millimeters long and two to three millimeters thick and wide. Fenugreek seeds, which come whole and ground, are used to flavor many foods including curry powders, spice blends and teas. Fenugreek is known for its pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet seeds. Egyptians use fenugreek seeds for medicinal purposes or roast the seeds and use them as coffee.
 

Active constituents of fenugreek


The active constituents of fenugreek seed include iron, vitamin A , vitamin B1, vitamin C , phosphates, flavonoids, steroidal saponins (diosgenin, yamogenin, tigogenin, and neotigogenin), trigonelline, and other alkaloids. The seed also contains fiber and protein high in lysine and l-tryptophan. Other constituents of fenugreek include mucilage, bitter fixed oil, volatile oil, and the alkaloids choline. The steroidal saponins inhibit cholesterol absorption and synthesis. Sapogenins found in fenugreek also lower serum triglycerides, total cholesterol (TC), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Diosgenin and tigogenin (saponins) are chemically similar to estrogen and steroidal hormones. These help balance female hormone levels and perhaps help compensate for the lack of them after menopause. Soluble fiber helps control blood sugar levels, making it useful for diabetics. Galactomannan found in fenugreek is a specific type of soluble fiber that helps to maintain healthy glucose metabolism and promote satiety. Fenugreek seeds contain 50% fiber that can slow the rate of postprandial glucose absorption.
 

Medicinal uses and health benefits of fenugreek


As a medicinal plant, fenugreek has traditionally been considered a carminative, demulcent, expectorant, laxative, and stomachic. Fenugreek has been used topically for abscesses, boils, burns, eczema, gout, and ulceration of the skin as it has an anti-inflammatory effect. Fenugreek has been used orally for loss of appetite and stomach complaints. Fenugreek seed is expectorant, demulcent, vulnerary, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, tonic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, hypotensive. Fenugreek has been used to promote lactation and as an aphrodisiac. Fenugreek seeds have been used as an oral insulin substitute. The gelatinous texture of fenugreek seed may have some benefit for soothing skin that is irritated by eczema or other conditions. The fiber content of fenugreek extract plays a role in its ability to moderate metabolism of glucose in the digestive tract. In people with type 2 diabetes, fenugreek may lower blood sugar levels and may improve problems associated with high blood sugar levels. Fenugreek may also support healthy triglyceride levels. The seeds of fenugreek can also act as a bulk laxative as a result of their fiber and mucilage content. Fenugreek stimulates uterine contractions and can be helpful in the induction of childbirth. This herb helps reducing fever when taken with lemon and honey and also nourishes the body during illness. It is used to relax the uterus and can be taken by pregnant women.

 

Dosage and administration of fenugreek


Due to the somewhat bitter taste of fenugreek seeds, de-bitterized seeds or encapsulated products are preferred. The usual daily dosage for general health is 1,000 mg to 2,000 mg (one gram to 2 grams) three times a day. For type 1 diabetes, take 50 grams twice daily. For type 2 diabetes, take 2.5 grams of seed powder (capsules) twice daily for three months. The typical range of intake for cholesterol-lowering is 5–30 grams with each meal or 15–90 grams all at once with one meal.
 

Side effects, precautions, interactions


Fenugreek has been considered safe and well tolerated. High doses of fenugreek seed may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, including diarrhea and gas. Frequent topical use of fenugreek preparations may cause skin irritation and sensitization. Fenugreek fiber can interfere with the absorption of oral medications because its fiber is mucilaginous and has high viscosity in the gut. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) may have increased activity when used in conjunction with fenugreek. Fenugreek should be taken at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after other drugs are taken. Its use during pregnancy is discouraged.