41 Fenugreek Health Benefits
Fenugreek is a multi-purpose herb that has been used across Western Asia and the Mediterranean for thousands of years. It’s used to add flavor to food, soothe skin, and improve health. Over the years it has grown in popularity and fenugreek health benefits are now used across the world. Both its leaves and seeds are important for both cooking and medicinal purposes.
Health Benefits of Fenugreek
Enhances Milk Production in New Mothers
Fenugreek is often used to encourage lactating in new mothers. Breastfeeding women can take a fenugreek pill or drink a fenugreek tea to enhance their flow of milk. The supplement should only be taken after the baby is born though.
One study found that mothers who drank a cup of fenugreek tea every day produced more milk than those who drank either a placebo tea of no tea at all. You should always check with your doctor before you start using fenugreek to enhance your lactation as it can sometimes have significant effects on pre-existing conditions. If you are able to use fenugreek try taking two or three capsules of the herb, three times a day. You could also try drinking two cups of fenugreek tea each day.
Maintains Blood Sugar Levels
Fenugreek seeds are often used as a supplement to control blood glucose levels and so are often given to people suffering from diabetes. This is because the herb can alleviate metabolism issues and help your body absorb glucose from the blood more effectively. Studies have found that just 2 grams of powdered fenugreek could significantly lower the blood glucose levels in men suffering from diabetes. The herb helps to reduce insulin resistance, meaning the body is more able to use glucose and sugars for energy, leaving lesser amounts lingering in your bloodstream.
The most common methods of using fenugreek for this purpose are drinking fenugreek tea or taking an oral fenugreek supplement once a day. As always, you should discuss taking fenugreek with your doctor, in case it is likely to interfere with any medication you may already be taking.
For centuries, fenugreek has been used to increase sexual desire and improve libidos. Modern studies have found that the herb can help to increase sexual desire in both men and women, improving sex drive, urges, and desire. In fact, the evidence suggests that fenugreek could increase libido by 28%. A daily dose of 500mg of the herb should be enough for you to see an improvement.
Soothes Skin Inflammation or Injury
Fenugreek powder can be combined with other soothing herbs to make poultices which treat skin inflammation and injury. Recent studies have suggested that fenugreek has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties making it a great remedy for damaged skin.
To use fenugreek to soothe damaged skin you can grind dried fenugreek or boil some fresh fenugreek leaves in some water and make a paste. For added impact, you could add flaxseed or slippery elm. Spread your paste over the damaged area of skin and cover with medical gauze, linen or cotton. Leave this on for 24 hours before removing it and rinsing your skin with fresh, warm water.
Boosts Testosterone Levels in Men
Men often use fenugreek to boost their testosterone levels. One study found that taking 500mg of fenugreek each day increased the levels of testosterone production when combined with four weight training sessions a week. When taken daily over a six-week period the herb can also help to boost sexual function and libido as a result of higher testosterone production.
There have been a number of studies which have shown that a daily fenugreek supplement or fenugreek tea can help to decrease your appetite and fat intake. This should help you to lose weight if you are struggling to do so through other diets. In fact, one study found that taking a supplement every day for two weeks reduced total fat intake by seventeen percent.
Lower Cholesterol Levels
There is some evidence to suggest that fenugreek can also help to manage the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. This will help improve your overall health and could even improve your life expectancy by lowering your risk of a number of fatal conditions.
Studies have suggested that consuming fenugreek either as a tea or as a supplement could help to decrease the regularity of heartburn and reduce symptoms. In fact, some have found that it’s just as effective as popular antacid medications.
Reduced Risk of Alzheimer’s
Fenugreek is thought to lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s as it can reduce the activity of enzymes which break down certain neurotransmitters in the brain. It also helped to reduce the production of proteins that would otherwise build up and form plaques in the nervous system. As a result, fenugreek can improve overall brain function, cognitive skills, and memory, helping to protect you and reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. In addition, fenugreek seeds can also help to reduce damage from oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which would otherwise increase your risk of Alzheimer’s.
Improved Heart Health
Heart attacks can cause damage to, or even kill, tissues in the heart. It can also cause oxidative stress within the heart, all of which can be severe for your heart’s health and could even be fatal. Consuming fenugreek can help to improve antioxidant activity in the heart and therefore protects the tissues from oxidative damage. Combined with the herbs ability to manage blood sugar and cholesterol levels, fenugreek is a powerful protector of heart health, reducing the risk of a number of potentially damaging conditions.
May Help Prevent Obesity
Animal studies have found that daily consumption of fenugreek can decrease weight gain. It’s therefore thought that it could help to tackle obesity, helping to improve your weight and overall health.
Improved Skin Health
Fenugreek contains a gooey substance called mucilage which helps to soothe and moisturize dry skin. It also helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots and smooths the skin by reducing the number of bumps. Studies have found that fenugreek is able to reduce the effect of the sun on your skin too, which helps to protect it from burning, drying out and aging prematurely. In addition, fenugreek is a potent antioxidant and is packed full of vitamin A. These can help to promote new skin growth as well as protecting existing skin cells from damage.
Stops Cancer Cell Growth
The saponins contained within fenugreek help to prevent cell division in cancer cells and can even cause them to die. Studies have so far shown that fenugreek seeds are effective against colon, breast, prostate and bone cancer as well as leukemia, however, it’s effectiveness against other forms of the disease are yet to be proven.
Damage by free radicals is also thought to be an increased cancer risk as it damages cells’ DNA and causes them to mutate. Because fenugreek has antioxidant properties it can protect your cells from this damage and further reduce your risk of developing cancer.
Has Antioxidant Properties
Fenugreek seed extract can help to reduce the concentration of free radicals, increase antioxidant activity, and reduce damage to enzymes. This helps to protect the cells and tissues in your body from various forms of damage and decreases your risk of countless conditions and diseases. It can help to boost your immune system and ease the pain.
Has Anti-inflammatory Properties
One of the health benefits of fenugreek is that it has anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce both internal and external inflammation. This makes it ideal for treating skin allergies and conditions like arthritis. It works by blocking the production of a range of interleukins and prevents the transformation of cells into helper T cells, thus reducing your inflammatory responses.
Studies have found that one of the most prolific health benefits of fenugreek seed extract is its antimicrobial properties. The herb is able to fight off bacteria, fungi, and viruses whilst also speeding up the healing process of wounds.
Reduces Blood Clots
Fenugreek makes a great, herbal anticoagulant, as it helps to prevent the formation of blood clots which could otherwise block the supply of blood to your vital organs and lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Protects the Digestive Tract
Fenugreek seed oil has been known to reduce the occurrence of ulcers in the digestive tract. It also helps to reduce acid reflux, which further helps to protect your digestive tract and smooth digestion.
Improves Kidney Health
In one study, fenugreek was found to increase red blood cell counts and reduce the level of calcium salts in the kidneys. As a result, it is thought that a daily fenugreek supplement or regularly drinking fenugreek tea could reduce your risk of developing kidney stones. Because it also has antioxidant properties, fenugreek can protect your kidneys from oxidative damage, helping them to function properly and reducing the risk of kidney disease and other related issues.
Alleviate Menstrual Cramps
Scientists have found that taking a fenugreek supplement can ease the pain of menstrual cramps. Although it’s not clear why this works, it does seem to have a positive effect so if you suffer from severe cramps a warm fenugreek tea might be an option to try.
Helps with Eating Disorders
Not only can fenugreek enhance the flavor of your dishes, but it can also help to regulate your appetite. Whilst this can be beneficial if you’re trying to lose weight, it could also help if you have an eating disorder which has caused you to lose excessive amounts of weight. Although it won’t treat disorders like anorexia nervosa, it might help to encourage a healthier appetite which will help you tackle some of the symptoms of your condition.
Improves Exercise Performance
Studies suggest that one of the health benefits of fenugreek is its ability to improve physical performance during exercise. In a study testing, muscular strength endurance and anaerobic capacity, participants who had taken fenugreek were able to perform at a higher level than those who had not. This could help reduce the need for excessive levels of carbohydrates in your diet when partaking in high levels of physical activity and make it easier to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Prevent Parkinson’s Disease
Research has suggested that taking fenugreek seed extract twice a day over a six-month period can help to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. This is largely due to the fact that it can reduce the buildup of plaque in the nervous system and improve the communication between your brain and the rest of your body.
Reduced Risk of Ovarian Cysts (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)
Some studies have suggested that taking a daily extract of fenugreek seed over an eight-week period could help to reduce the size of ovarian cysts and increase the length of time between your periods. However, other studies have suggested that the herb has no effect of ovarian cysts so it’s difficult to tell if it really works or not. It’s probably best to chat with your doctor before taking fenugreek if you’re suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome.
Remedy for Fever
Fenugreek seeds can be mixed with a teaspoon of honey and lemon juice to relieve a fever. This is likely to be as a result of the anti-inflammatory properties of the herb.
Soothe a Sore Throat
The mucilage in fenugreek also helps to soothe your throat. Again, you can mix this with a teaspoon of honey and lemon and swallow.
Increase Breast Size
One of the most surprising health benefits of fenugreek is that it could potentially increase the size of your breasts. There is evidence to suggest that the herb stimulates the mammary gland to produce new breast tissue which causes your breasts to increase in size. It also contains Phytoestrogen which increases the level of prolactin in your body and this can also help to increase your breast size.
Prevents Hair Loss
Fenugreek seeds contain a number of compounds that can improve the health of your hair. As a result, it can be applied to your hair to make it stronger and reduce the risk of it thinning or falling out. Try boiling fenugreek seeds in some water for twenty minutes and then soaking them on coconut oil. You can then massage this mixture into your hair.
Get Radiant Skin
Fenugreek seeds have antioxidant properties which means they help to protect your skin cells from the damage caused by free radicals. This helps to reduce the development of wrinkles, brightens skin, tone and prevents pimple outbreaks.
Dry skin and dead skin cells on the scalp can cause dandruff. Thankfully, one of the health benefits of fenugreek seeds is that they can tackle dandruff and revitalize your scalp. Soak some seeds in water overnight and, in the morning, grind them into a paste. Apply this paste to your scalp, rubbing it into the roots of your hair. Leave it to sit for thirty minutes before rinsing your hair in warm water. After a couple of tries, you should see your dandruff improve.
Induces and Eases Childbirth
Fenugreek seeds are known to help stimulate labor and uterine contractions. It’s also known to reduce the pain of a vaginal birth. Because of its effects on pregnancy, you’re advised to avoid excessive amounts of fenugreek seeds during pregnancy as it could potentially cause premature birth or miscarriage.
It Has Anti-Aging Effects
Fenugreek seeds have a number of benefits for your skin. Helping to reduce the signs of aging (like fine lines and wrinkles) is just one of them. Soak a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds overnight and in the morning blend them with an equal amount of plain yogurt.
Once your mixture has formed a paste you can apply it to your face and let it sit for thirty minutes. After this time, rinse your face with cool water. The antioxidant effects of the seeds will help to protect your skin cells from damage caused by free radicals whilst the lactic acid in the yogurt will exfoliate your skin, leaving it smooth and supple.
If you suffer from acne, fenugreek seeds could be a great solution for you! Soak four tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in water overnight and in the morning add them to fresh water and boil them for fifteen minutes. Once boiled, strain the liquid and let it cool. When it’s cooled enough, dip a cotton wool ball into the liquid and wipe it over the skin that’s affected by your acne.
Any liquid left over can be stored in the fridge to use at a later date. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the seeds will help to calm the swelling of your pimples and fight the bacteria that’s causing them.
Add Shine to Your Hair
You can use fenugreek seeds to make a hair mask and add extra shine to your locks. Soak two tablespoons of seeds in boiled water overnight. The seeds should eventually become slimy to touch, once they do you can grind them down to make a paste. You can then apply this paste to your hair, focusing on the roots and scalp. Run the paste through your hair and leave it on for thirty minutes before rinsing with fresh, warm water. The fenugreek seeds contain a compound called lecithin which emulsifies the hair and the slippery substances produced when you soak the seeds will add that extra level of shine.
Prevent Premature Graying
Fenugreek seeds have been used for generation to prevent premature greying. You can make the mask described above and run it through your hair, remembering to focus on your roots. Because the seeds help your hair retain its natural pigment, they should help to delay the greying process.
Reduce Pain from Arthritis
Arthritis causes severe and chronic inflammation in your joints, causing severe pain. It also wears your joints and muscles much faster than they would normally. Because fenugreek has anti-inflammatory properties, they can help to reduce the pain caused by arthritis. Try taking a daily fenugreek supplement or drinking a couple of cups of fenugreek tea each day.
Protect Your Liver
Your liver is responsible for cleansing your body and flushing out harmful toxins. If your liver should become injured it can have a serious impact on your health as bacteria, waste and toxins build up inside your body. Fenugreek seeds can help protect your liver by reducing the damaging effects caused by alcohol and free radicals.
Offers Respiratory Relief
Studies have suggested that fenugreek tea can help to ease congestion in the chest and other symptoms associated with congestion. It works by dissolving excess mucus in the lungs, throat, and sinuses, making it much easier for you to breath.
Minimizes Symptoms of Menopause
Fenugreek contains two chemicals called diosgenin and estrogenic isoflavones. Estrogenic isoflavones are very chemically similar to the female sex hormone, estrogen. When estrogen levels drop during menopause, it can cause a number of symptoms including mood swings, cramps, depressions, and hunger pangs. Consuming fenugreek could help reduce these symptoms by supplying your body with a chemical that’s built in a similar way to estrogen.
- Relieves Constipation
The mucilage in fenugreek seeds becomes gelatinous when mixed with water. As such it helps with lubrication and can provide relief from any medical issues that are causing irritation, whether that’s internally or externally on the skin. The seeds tend to release more mucilage when they’ve been soaked in water, so it might be best to soak them before consuming them to solve irritations.
Which of these uses of fenugreek will you try? Comment below!
Celluitis picture link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:cc-by-sa-2.5,2.0,1.0