Fenugreek seeds have been found to contain protein, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, and diosgenin (which is a compound that has properties similar to estrogen). Other active constituents in fenugreek are alkaloids, lysine and L-tryptophan, as well as steroidal saponins (diosgenin, yamogenin, tigogenin, and neotigogenin).
The estrogen-like properties of fenugreek seeds have been found to help increase libido and lessen the effect of hot flashes and mood fluctuations that are common symptoms of menopause and PMS.
In India and China it has also been used to treat arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, improve digestion, maintain a healthy metabolism, increase libido and male potency, cure skin problems (wounds, rashes and boils), treat sore throat, and cure acid reflux.
Fenugreek also has a long history of use for the treatment of reproductive disorders, to induce labor, to treat hormonal disorders, to help with breast enlargement, and to reduce menstrual pain. Recent studies have shown that Fenugreek helps lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels, and may be an effective treatment for both type 1 and 2 diabetes. It is also being studied for its cardiovascular benefits.
Home Remedy for Balancing Cholesterol
Studies have found people who took 2 ounces (56g) of fenugreek seed each day had significantly (around 14 percent) lower cholesterol levels after 24 weeks, and had lowered their risk of heart attack by more than 25 percent. Therefore, a recommended remedy for lowering cholesterol is to take 2 ounces of seeds throughout the day. The seeds can be sprinkled onto prepared food, or they can be consumed with water if they are in capsule form.
Treating Diabetes and Lowering Blood Sugar Levels
Studies have shown that participants with type 2 diabetes had significantly lower blood sugar levels after eating fenugreek seeds.
Research has shown that Fenugreek is an effective topical treatment for skin problems such as abscesses, boils, burns, eczema, and gout. Therefore, a simple skin inflammation remedy is the following:
- Take a spoonful of fenugreek seeds and grind them into a powder.
- Mix the ground powder with warm water.
- Take a simple piece of clean cloth and soak it into the mixture.
- Apply the soaked cloth directly onto the affected skin as a poultice.
Natural Cure for Heartburn and Acid Reflux
Fenugreek seeds contain a lot of mucilage, which helps sooth gastrointestinal inflammation by coating the lining of the stomach and intestine.
For an effective remedy against heartburn or Acid Reflux, simply sprinkle 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds onto your food. Another option is to take one teaspoon of seeds and swallow them with water or juice before any meal.
Aid Milk Production in Lactating Women
Anecdotally, Fenugreek is believed to increase milk production in lactating women. So, a recommended remedy to increase milk flow is to take one capsule of fenugreek seed (at least 500mg) three times a day.
Possible Side Effects
While Fenugreek is generally considered to be 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/or gas). Also, when using this herb topically on the skin, it is important to watch out for skin irritations and rashes.
Fenugreek use during pregnancy is not recommended since it has the potential to induce labor. If you are pregnant and wish to take it, you should do so only after consultation with your doctor.