The Benefit of Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds benefit many individuals and have been used for many years for various conditions from increasing breast milk supply to helping diabetics control their blood sugar levels. But are these claims true? And is fenugreek safe to take?
The active component of Fenugreek is Trigonella foenum graecum. In most studies conducted Trigonella foenum graecum has been extracted from the seeds of the Fenugreek plant where most of the medicinal properties of fenugreek are. There is evidence for the use of Fenugreek seeds for controlling glucose levels, increasing breast milk supply, reducing cholesterol levels, as an immunostimulant, an antioxidant, and there is some evidence for the use of fenugreek to help patients suffering from ulcers.
Historical uses of Fenugreek
Historically Fenugreek has been used to induce childbirth, for digestive problems, symptoms of menopause, various problems associated with testosterone abnormalities such as loss of libido and impotence, painful menstruation, microbial and fungal infections and oedema of the legs.In traditional Indian medicine fenugreek have been used for the above problems as well as cough, constipation, bronchitis, to enlarge breasts and inflammation of the skin to name a few.So it sounds as though Fenugreek is the magic cure we’ve all been searching for!! However let’s view current research and see how these claims can be supported.
Fenugreek is stated to cause uterine contractions thereby inducing labour. However further studies are needed. Fenugreek should only be used under the guidance of a physician.
There is evidence of Trigonella foenum graecum inhibiting Helicobacter Pylori. Helicobacter Pylori is the bacteria in the stomach which causes ulcers. Fenugreek seeds are also stated to reduce flatulence and inflammation in the gut. While this shows promise, further trials are needed before it can be widely clinically accepted.
Fenugreek contains phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens bind to oestrogen receptors and mimic the actions of natural oestrogen. In menopause the body’s oestrogen levels reduce significantly and this is responsible for most of the symptoms associated with menopause. However, clinical trials are less conclusive. Phytoestrogens have the ability to act both as an oestrogen type compound and as an antioestrogen.It has been speculated that Fenugreek may also ease menstrual bleeding. Evidence shows that fenugreek can delay the onset of menstruation in high doses. It is possible that phytoestrogens in Fenugreek could balance out the hormones responsible for menstrual bleeding.Treatment of male Impotence has been tested in clinical trials. It was discovered that it increased spermatogenesis (the production of sperm) and acts as an aphrodisiac.There is evidence of breast enlargement and increase in breast milk supply in women who take fenugreek seeds.
Trigonella foenum graecum has been reported cause diarrhoea in high doses.
Fenugreek has been proven to work as an immunostimulant in many trails.
So it looks as though Fenugreek has many beneficial health properties. If you would like to benefit from the properties of fenugreek or any other plant, it is recommended to accommodate small amounts of it into your diet over a long period of time rahter then to suddenly increase your consumption of it.
When using any product including Fenugreek for therapeutic purposes remember to always seek the advice of a doctor, naturopath or other healthcare provider.