Fenugreek has been around almost since before recorded time. It has long been seen as a valuable alternative medicine in some cultures. A common spice used in many Indian dishes, the herb is also believed to have many health benefits as well.
Fenugreek, or Trigonella Foenum-graecum, is a plant and generally is known to grow 2-3 feet in height. Fenugreek has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years to aid in the treatment of skin conditions and other diseases.
Recently, it has moved over into being an everyday staple in most spice cabinets and commonly used as a thickening agent in such everyday products as shampoo and soap. The seeds from fenugreek, as well as ground-up fenugreek, appear in many dishes due to its slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
Fenugreek is commonly used by men as a supplement to help in boosting their testosterone levels. Several recent studies have indicated that it has the beneficial effect of increasing one’s libido as well.
In a study over eight weeks, 30 men of college-age performed at least four weightlifting sessions per week. Half of those participants received 500 mg per day of fenugreek. The results showed that those participants given the fenugreek experienced an increase in their testosterone, with an added 2% reduction in their overall body fat.
Fenugreek also is known to assist in metabolic based conditions—notably diabetes. Unlike some other supplements, fenugreek has shown to aid both type one and type two diabetes, as well as assisting these individuals with their overall carb tolerance.
Research data obtained from a recent study, where the participants were given 50 grams of seed powder of fenugreek at both lunch and dinner, after ten days, they experienced a reduction in their blood sugar levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Scientists believe that fenugreek offers benefits for a variety of other health conditions; however, more studies need to be conducted to obtain more definitive data. Currently, preliminary data points to the fact that fenugreek may aid in:
- Appetite control: in three recent studies, the participants showed both a reduction in appetite and fat intake. One study that ran fourteen days yielded data that showed the participants reduced their fat intake by a respectable 17%.
- Cholesterol levels: there is some evidence that leads researchers to believe that fenugreek can aid in lowering both cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Heartburn: In a pilot study conducted over two weeks, participants who were prone to frequent heartburn reported a significant reduction in their symptoms when taking fenugreek. The study found that fenugreek matched the effects experienced by antacid medications.
- Inflammation: although fenugreek has shown promise as an anti-inflammatory in the lad in rats and mice, more research needs to be conducted before confirmation of the possible effect on humans
As with any supplement, the dose for one individual may not be the perfect dose for another. Additionally, depending on the benefit you want to obtain, the dosage may vary as well. Fenugreek is a somewhat unique herb that has been around for centuries and in alternative medicine.