Fenugreek plant is a green legume that grows natively in Africa and Eurasia and is commonly used for its aromatic and nutritional value. It has been used for hundreds of years in traditional medicine all over Asia and Africa as an aid to those in labor, to help ease digestive problems, and to treat severe skin conditions such as eczema, boils, and inflammation.

The Western World can benefit significantly from plants that are not native there if they naturally learn to use them correctly and include them in their diets. Fenugreek is one of those things that has only recently been introduced to those in the West, but it's been used for centuries by others around the world. 

This plant not only provides vital nutrition but is also useful for many specific health benefits. Let's take a look at exactly how it can help you improve your overall health.

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What Is Fenugreek

This plant is a green legume that grows natively in Africa and Eurasia and is commonly used for its aromatic and nutritional value. It has been used for hundreds of years in traditional medicine all over Asia and Africa as an aid to those in labor, to help ease digestive problems, and to treat severe skin conditions such as eczema, boils, and inflammation.

Fenugreek is a traditional condiment used in India for many spice powders including Indian cuisine. They put it in salads and use it dried in other dishes and is often used in Ayurvedic medicine.

Some of the medicinal qualities of this plant include helping people with diabetes control sugar and fat in their blood. It is taken in the form of a capsule as a supplement, and it can also be mixed with liquids and foods, and the leaves can be used to make tea.

Active Compounds Found in Fenugreek

Saponins protect against high cholesterol levels and cancer as well as lowering fat and sugar levels in the blood. It's also noted for reducing the chance of developing kidney stones and lowering the risk of blood clots. It also has a compound called trigonelline which is antiviral and antibacterial.

It too can lower fat, sugar, and protect against tumors and preserves brain function. Some of the antioxidants found in fenugreek include luteolin, apigenin, coumaric acid, and caffeic acid. The oil from fenugreek has a considerable amount of polyunsaturated fats which improves the health of the blood vessels and cells and protects against injury.

Fenugreek Health Benefits

1) Fenugreek may improve brain function

This plant can lower the risk of developing Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's. In studies that were done on laboratory rats, it was able to lower the production of specific proteins that would form plaque which positively affected the nervous system and improved the rat's ability to learn.

It's seed powder also helps reduce inflammation in the body which is closely related to many of today's common diseases, it's able to help reduce oxidative stress, and improves memory.

2) Heart benefits of fenugreek

When someone experiences a heart attack, it leads to oxidative stress and tissue death in the heart muscle. Studies done with rats improved antioxidants found in the heart which helped heart tissue to improve.

In an acclaimed clinical trial, 24 people with type 2 diabetes took fenugreek over an 8-week period. The participants successfully reduce triglycerides, the bad cholesterol which is LDL, and they reduce blood sugar levels.

Another clinical trial had similar results and even worked with those who had type 1 diabetes, and for those participants, it was found they had lower cholesterol and lower triglycerides. Other studies and animals found that it could reduce bad cholesterol up to 50% and also lower triglycerides and even improve HDL which is good cholesterol.

3) Fenugreek helps to prevent obesity

Tests showed that rats lost weight when taking fenugreek and those that ate the plant gained less weight and their overall BMI was lower.

It was also found that the rats consuming fenugreek had less fat than the rats that were on a control treatment.

4) Fenugreek may lower blood sugar

When studying the effect of fenugreek on people with diabetes the participants were given powdered seeds soaked in hot water, and others were given they're serving in yogurt, and they participated in the study over an 8-week time frame.

Those who took the powdered seeds in hot water got better results than those who took it in yogurt. Those who had taken the seeds soaked in hot water had increased insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. Studies using rats found that when they took fenugreek, it quickly improved insulin sensitivity and significantly reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

The rats that were obese reduced overall body fat and blood sugar levels as well as showing signs of improved liver function. It is believed that this plant helps improve sugar levels because of an amino acid that is present that stimulates insulin. This plant also contains enzymes that help break down certain sugars into glucose and ultimately lowers the concentration of sugar in the blood.

5) Fenugreek may improve skin health

This plant has a gooey like substance that moisturizes and soothes dry skin without irritating it by applying it to the skin surface. In a study, those who participated applied a cream containing seed extract to their faces over six weeks, and it was found that the moisture in their skin increased while the number of bumps on their skin decreased and melanin which causes dark spots also decreased.

It was also found that the saponins help protect against the rays of the Sun. When the skin is exposed to saponins, it has less inflammation and produces less melanin which is a protein that affects pigmentation when exposed to the ultraviolet light of the Sun.

Fenugreek contains carotenoids which convert into Vitamin A once in the body. This has shown in studies on rats to speed up healing and lower inflammation and even invigorates new skin growth.

6) Fenugreek may stop the growth of cancer

The saponins found in fenugreek help stop cancer cells from dividing and programs them to die. Some studies have shown that it can lower the risk of colon cancer and lowered the growth of breast cancer in rats. It was also found to be effective for leukemia, bone cancer, and prostate cancer.

In a study done on healthy adults who were exposed to radiation, it improved their T-cells sensitivity which helps protect against the radiation and stimulated apoptosis which causes cancer cell death. 

Another saponin was found to help slow down the formation of tumor cells and to produce apoptosis. It lowered inflammation and also helped stop leukemia cells.

7) Fenugreek has antioxidant properties

Laboratory rats who are showing to have skin reactions allergies were given fenugreek for one week, and it was found that the skin had less information which reduces their sensitivity.

Those rats with arthritis reduced their inflammation which lowered the problems arthritis as well as improving joints.


  • Fenugreek may improve brain function;
  • Fenugreek helps to prevent obesity;
  • Fenugreek may lower blood sugar;
  • Fenugreek has antioxidant properties;
  • Fenugreek has anti-inflammatory properties;
  • Fenugreek improves lactation during breastfeeding.


  • Some experience flatulence and diarrhea as well as dizziness when they are first taking fenugreek, but these will usually only be temporary;
  • The extract may lower potassium levels by as much as 14% in small segments of healthy users so you should monitor your electrolytes closely;
  • Fenugreek can interfere with the Warfarin drug.

9) Fenugreek has anti-microbial activity

When seed extract from fenugreek was used on bacterial species, it was found that slow down the growth of E. coli and M. furfur. It's thought that sprouted fenugreek seeds have high levels of any microbial activity than the non germinated version of the seeds.

A protein called defensin was extracted from the leaves and found to inhibit the reproduction and spread of two different fungal species. Because fenugreek has an antimicrobial effect, it also speeds up the healing of wounds.

10) Fenugreek lowers blood clots

For those who are at high risk for strokes and heart attacks because of the possibility of a blood clot formation, they have often prescribed medications such as Coumadin which is an anticoagulant.

The extract from fenugreek has shown to slow down the blood's ability to clot which helps lower the risk of stroke and heart attack.

11) Fenugreek may benefit the health of digestive tract

It was founded on rats' experience when under significant stress if they took seed oil from fenugreek. It was also found to lower the incidence of acid reflux.

12) Fenugreek could improve kidney health

Male rats were giving ethylene glycol during a study which causes them to develop kidney stones and lowered their red blood count. Other rats were given seeds from the fenugreek plant, and their red blood count increased, and they had fewer calcium salts in their kidneys.

As this is what often forms kidney stones having it reduced lowered their chances of developing them. Standard treatment for those with kidney failure is aluminum salts, but they come at some risk as they can harm the body.

But when rats or given the aluminum together with fenugreek it helped balance blood sugar levels, creatinine, and their urea. It also helped to improve their kidney tissue, and the weight of their kidney would often return back to normal.

13) Fenugreek alleviate menstrual cramps

With the study of over 100 female students, the level of pain experienced by those participants were measured over two menstrual cycles with part of the group taking fenugreek, and the other took a placebo.

All the women in the study had experienced similar levels of pain before joining the study, but the group that received fenugreek reported having considerably less pain toward the end of the treatment than those who had received only a placebo.

14) Fenugreek improves lactation during breastfeeding

Mini herbal doctors believe that fenugreek helps the body increase the production of breast-milk.

In some studies that we're done where participants drank fenugreek tea, those participants increase the amount of milk that they produced and their infants gain more weight compared to those who were taking the placebo. That said, some studies did not come to this same conclusion.

15) Fenugreek benefits for men

Fenugreek is a precursor to the formation of the sex hormone. It can have a positive effect on the libido and balance the body's hormones. Testofen, which is one of the ingredients in the extract of fenugreek, has been shown to improve the sex drive in men.

One study showed that men who took a daily supplement containing testofen found that they had stronger erections, more arousal, and better orgasm.

These findings are not conclusive as there need to be more significant studies before there can be any definitive conclusions made. Taking this or any supplement requires some caution and should be done so responsibly.

Fenugreek Dosage

The dosage one should take depends on the form in which it is taken and the particular purpose of taking it. If someone is trying to treat type 1 diabetes, then it's recommended they take 50 g fenugreek seeds two times a day.

For those with type 2 diabetes, they should take two and a half grams of seed powder in a capsule 2 times a day. Seed powder in the amount of 25 G that's divided into two equal doses. 


Those who have allergies to chickpeas will often also react fenugreek because they have similar proteins and allergens. Those with this condition have reported having spasms and wheezing.

Those with thyroid problems should also be cautious as it can lead to hypothyroidism. It should not be taken by those who are pregnant, but it is safe for breastfeeding.

Fenugreek Side Effects

Some experience flatulence and diarrhea as well as dizziness when they are first taking fenugreek, but these will usually only be temporary.

It naturally has a bit of a repugnant odor, and some have said that there is sweat in urine smells like maple syrup. In some users, it has shown a propensity for decreasing body weight.

The extract may lower potassium levels by as much as 14% in small segments of healthy users so you should monitor your electrolytes closely.

Drug Interactions

Because fenugreek has it been in the blood, it can interfere with Warfarin which is a prescription anticoagulant that is given to help reduce the chance of stroke and blood clotting.

Taking fenugreek, it takes longer for blood to clot which means that even small cuts can bleed more than normal. It also lines the stomach and slows down the absorption of drugs that are taken orally.

For this reason, you should take fenugreek and prescription drugs separately. This plant can lower blood sugar, and in some cases, it could lead to hypoglycemia if you're taking a prescription that also lowers glucose.

For this reason, it's crucial that you always monitor your blood sugar levels when taking fenugreek. Those that take the supplement together with laxatives could find electrolytes might be lower.

Taking Fenugreek with Other Supplements

To increase the results you give an exercise you can go by taking 5 g creatine along with 900 mg fenugreek. Some studies have shown that this combination increases upper body strength and improves body composition

User Reviews

Many ladies who are breastfeeding have said that their production of breast-milk improved when taking fenugreek and others have said that they were able to reduce their blood sugar levels successfully. Other users said that they had less mucus buildup in their lungs and some even said that they had increased hair growth.

On the flip side, some people say that it makes them smell and others felt that it had no noticeable benefit to their overall health. Taking this supplement has many potential benefits.

The best thing is to do it with appropriate levels of caution and when taking prescription medicine that you consult with your doctor to make sure there will be no harmful interactions between them.

For most, it is likely you will experience a positive result when taking this supplement and it is recommended, and it is therefore recommended for most.

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