Fenugreek Benefits For Health, Hair & More!
Whether in a flavorful curry, diffused into a soothing tea, or as a treatment for dry skin, fenugreek is a popular herb. Fenugreek, also known as methi, is a plant that has been valued for centuries, dating back to 4,000 BC. It has numerous health benefits including treating diabetes, reducing eczema, and increasing milk production in breastfeeding women. It also serves as a household spice, mainly for Indian cuisine.
The seeds of fenugreek are multi-faceted. You can enjoy them in capsules, powders, teas, and liquid extracts. From its countless benefits, you are bound to find a flavorful way to utilize fenugreek. Time to spice things up.
What Is Fenugreek? Where Does Fenugreek Come From?
What is fenugreek? As one of the earliest medicinal plants, it has been used to treat ailments for centuries. Where does fenugreek come from? It is native to southeastern Europe, North African regions, and Western Asia. Today, it’s spread its way around the world. As a plant part of the Fabaceae family, fenugreek grows about 1-2 feet in height. It has small, round, yellow leaves and contains pods packed with seeds.
From a nutrition perspective, fenugreek oil is loaded with polyunsaturated fats. These have heart-healthy qualities. Fenugreek is also full of dietary fiber, as fiber accounts for about 45-50% of the weight of the seed. High-fiber foods enhance general good health, enable proper digestion, and control blood sugar levels. With each tablespoon of fenugreek holding about 3 grams of fiber, 3.6 grams of protein, and 1.1 grams of fat, it’s a worthwhile food to add to your list.
For decades, a plethora of research has been performed on the compounds in fenugreek. They seem to affect numerous health conditions. Treating type 2 diabetes, supporting digestion, and healing eczema are just some of the ways to use fenugreek.
When using fenugreek in food preparations, take advantage of using each part of the plant. You can eat fenugreek’s leaves as a vegetable, use its seeds in cooking, and grind its herb-form into a spice. With just a whiff of fenugreek you can detect the powerful aroma of celery and maple syrup, creating a lightly sweet, nutty flavor. The fenugreek leaves are used in curries, salads and soups. When using the seeds in stir-fries or curries, allow them to cook for a while. The quality enhances over time. Its sidekick spices include coriander and paprika, which create a savory blend. Craving curry for dinner?
Fenugreek Benefits Breakdown
Fenugreek Benefits For Hair
Head to your spice cabinet for your next hair treatment. Fenugreek seeds are loaded with protein and nicotinic acid, which work to inhibit hair loss and dandruff. Specifically, nicotinic acid opens blood vessels, encourages blood circulation, and speeds hair growth.
Fenugreek also contains lecithin, which hydrates the hair and sustains the roots and hair follicles.
To prevent hair loss and to rejuvenate your hair’s quality, blend 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds until a powder form. Add in one tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil. After mixing these ingredients together thoroughly, apply the solution to the roots of your hair. Let it remain in your hair for 10 minutes and then rinse it off with shampoo.
Fenugreek Benefits For Testosterone
For centuries, people have been using fenugreek to improve libido in men and women. Both Mediterranean and Western Asian cultures have included this versatile herb into their cuisine for years to boost sexual desire. While there is not much conclusive research, there are many studies that show positive effects of fenugreek on testosterone. Studies reveal that Furosap, an extract created from fenugreek seeds, is an effective method to enhance testosterone levels, a healthy sperm profile, mental awareness and a healthy heart.
Fenugreek Benefits For Dandruff
Become ‘free of flakes’ with fenugreek. With its antibacterial and moisturizing qualities, fenugreek can also be used to help treat dandruff, a condition where flakes of skin emerge on the scalp. For a home remedy to remove the itchy flakes, start by soaking fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Next, drain out the water and blend the seeds to create a paste. Place the mixture on the scalp and let it settle in for around an hour. Finally, rinse it off with a soft shampoo.
Fenugreek Benefits For Diabetes
A common medicinal use of fenugreek is for regulating blood sugar in those with type 1 or type 2 Diabetes. The soluble fiber contained in fenugreek holds onto the glucose and cholesterol found in the digestive tract, which stops the body from absorbing it. By consuming as little as 15 mg per day, it is seen to have a positive effect on fasting blood sugar levels, prevent a spike in blood sugar post-meal, and maintain glycemic control overall. According to research, a supplement of fenugreek daily lowered the rate of subjects getting diabetes. Researchers observed that the control group had 4.2 times more of a chance of getting diabetes as opposed to those who received fenugreek. These effects were seen to be linked with its property of lowering insulin resistance (when insulin does not work effectively). A spicy solution to a sweet problem.
Fenugreek For Breastfeeding Explained
Bonding with your baby while supplying nutrients makes breastfeeding a special moment. But sometimes mothers find it difficult to produce enough milk. Que in fenugreek, which plays a part in enhancing milk production. Fenugreek is known to be a galactagogue, an herb or medicine used to enhance milk production in lactating mothers. Galactagogues work by raising prolactin levels, which is a hormone important in lactation. It also appears to boost up infant birth weight regain at the beginning of a baby’s life.
Another usage of fenugreek is promoting the induction of childbirth. Since it activates uterine contractions, women should not take extra fenugreek during pregnancy. However, due to limited clinical research, although many believe fenugreek has beneficial effects on breastfeeding, research studies conclude that additional evidence is needed before consuming too much of this supplement.
Fenugreek Pills And Tea Explained
Whether popping a pill or sipping on tea, fenugreek makes its debut in many venues. People have been using fenugreek for centuries to treat a plethora of ailments, including diabetes, heartburn, and constipation. Today you can easily pop a fenugreek pill to obtain these benefits. Keep in mind that the FDA hasn’t approved the medicinal use of fenugreek. So it shouldn’t replace medication given by your doctor. If you do choose to use fenugreek as a supplement, be sure to buy it from a reliable source in order to lower the chances of contamination with harmful metals and other drugs.
As you cuddle on the couch with a hot cup of fenugreek tea, think of your healthy heart, better digestion, and lowered inflammation. Fenugreek tea can decrease the heart’s arteries from hardening and lower cholesterol levels. Studies show that fenugreek taken every day by those with coronary artery disease can lower blood cholesterol levels. With fenugreek’s high fiber content, it can reduce constipation and help with overall digestion. The fenugreek seeds combined with tea are an effective therapeutic way to treat ulcerative colitis. Finally, fenugreek is packed with linolenic and linoleic acids (essential fatty acids), which provide anti-inflammatory properties. Sip to good health.
Is Fenugreek Safe? Fenugreek Side Effects Explained
Is fenugreek safe? Although people have been using fenugreek for centuries for medicinal purposes, it’s important to bear in mind the safety of using this herb. Unlike other herbs which may be harmless, fenugreek can have side effects that may negatively impact the body.
Pregnant women should avoid fenugreek. That’s because it consists of oxytocin, which acts as a uterine stimulant and can induce labor prematurely. Even if a person is ready for the baby bump to pop, she should consult with her doctor prior to taking this herb. In addition, studies reveal that when mice were exposed to fenugreek prenatally, it leads to growth retardation and impacted their neurobehavioral functioning after birth.
Too much consumption of fenugreek can also lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea.
Packed in fenugreek is coumarin, a chemical compound that serves as a blood thinner. Further research must be done to determine if a typical amount of fenugreek has a strong role on the blood. Until that time they advise those on blood-thinning medications to avoid excessive fenugreek, as it can lead to bleeding.
Although fenugreek lowers blood sugar levels, if one is already taking diabetes medication to lower blood sugar, they should make sure their levels don’t go too low.
Finally, fenugreek is part of the chickpea, green peas, soybeans, and peanut clan. If you have an allergy to any of those foods, beware of fenugreek as well. An allergy to one is not an allergy to all. But if you haven’t had fenugreek before, be careful of potentially being allergic as well. If a rash, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing develops, be sure to stop taking fenugreek immediately.
Fenugreek is a plant of many trades, as it has therapeutic uses and flavor-enhancing qualities. Dating back to ancient times, the benefits of fenugreek are countless. Beyond its sweet, nutty flavor in Indian cuisine, condiments and seasonings, it has numerous health benefits. Whether affecting blood glucose levels, increasing testosterone, rejuvenating hair or promoting breast milk, fenugreek can find its way into our daily lives somehow. Further research is necessary before consuming large amounts of this herbal remedy. As with all herbal supplements- take it with a grain of spice.