Health Benefits and Concerns Surrounding Fenugreek

Health Benefits and Concerns Surrounding Fenugreek

Fenugreek is most popular in Mediterranean countries where it grows naturally.  Its use is quite common in countries such as Greece, Italy, and Egypt.  This herb is utilized as a spice for cooking and a natural medicine.  It is rich in tryptophan, alkaloids, and other useful substances that perform a variety of helpful tasks, ranging from lowering blood sugar to fending off cancer.

Gender Specific Benefits

Men and women have different reactions to fenugreek.  For women, this herb can aid in the natural production of breast milk.  Unlike many herbs used in supplements, taking this herb or drinking fenugreek tea is highly recommended by most doctors.  It provides a great amount of iron and diosgenin (which increases the body’s levels of estrogen).  Consuming this herb can also provide relief from labour pain during pregnancy, make contractions stronger and more effective, and reduce stress.  It also has the effect of slight breast enlargement and relief from menopausal symptoms.

 The primary benefit of fenugreek for men is that it raises testosterone levels and promotes muscle growth.  It is one of the few natural steroids that can safely increase the rate at which muscles develop.  Additionally, energy and testosterone are directly linked together.  Finally, fenugreek is known to aid in treating erectile disfunction.

12 General Benefits

Lowering Cholesterol

While most herbs simply lower bad cholesterol, fenugreek both lowers LDL and heightens HDL cholesterol.  High-density Lipoprotein cholesterol is what maintains the walls of the body’s blood vessels, breaks down bad cholesterol, and reduces the risk for diseases of the heart.  Various other substances from this herb aid in soaking up LDL cholesterol as well.  Finally, fenugreek increases the rate of bile acid production, which uses cholesterol, ridding the body of it even further.

Digestive Aid

This herb introduces mucilage to the body which protects the bowels and prevents indigestion.  It is a natural laxative as well, eliminating constipation problems and making bowel movements more frequent.

Heal Inflammation

Any type of inflammation, whether inside or outside the body, can be healed with fenugreek.  Rashes, boils, and itchiness can all be relieved with the topical application of a fenugreek paste or cream.  Gastrointestinal inflammation, joint pain, and even tuberculosis are among the inner conditions which can be treated by this herb.

Healthier Skin

Various minor and major skin issues can be fixed through the anti-inflammatory powers of fenugreek.  Acne and minor burns for example can both be cured more quickly by applying a paste made up of water and a powder from fenugreek seeds.  This herb can also be made into a skin treatment that greatly reduces roughness, and act as a light, natural sunblock against radiation (though not necessarily sunburn).

Preventative Care for Cancer

Due to the same properties that promote digestive health, fenugreek can be utilized as a preventative measure against colon cancer.  It may help prevent already established cancer from worsening, but it has not been known to subdue already existing cancer.

Facilitate Healthy Weight Loss

Because of the high abundance of fiber found in the seeds of this herb, they can be eaten to stave off hunger without resulting in any weight gain.  By soaking them in water first and quickly eating them after, the seeds will expand in your stomach and trick the body into thinking it just ate a fulfilling meal.

Fighting off Diabetes

Fenugreek provides an interesting benefit for diabetics or people who are worried about diabetes.  It is a completely natural and harmless way to simultaneously remove some of the glucose in the bloodstream and increase the amount of glucose that one’s body can handle.

Healthier Hair

Consuming this herb will promote hair growth internally, but it can also be used as a scalp treatment or mixed in with shampoo.  Simply crush the seeds and/or leaves into a powder and make a paste using water or a natural shampoo.  Rubbing it into the scalp and throughout the hair will thicken hair growth and remedy light baldness.  It can also moisturize the scalp, reducing or eliminating dandruff.

Heal Respiratory Inflammation

Bronchitis, general coughs, sore throats, and any other respiratory problem associated with inflamed tissue can be treated with fenugreek.  Once again, the substance mucilage is used to coat the irritated area for immediate relief and heal the inflammation naturally over time.

Break Fevers

Many find success in fighting fevers by steeping fenugreek in hot water to create a tea.  It is, in fact, found in many store-bought fever reducing teas.  It can also be used to boost the immune system, providing defense against many other illnesses as well.

Miscellaneous Benefits

Fenugreek can also be used to reduce pain associated with hernias.  Dizzy spells or constant light dizziness can be corrected with this herb.  Finally, it acts as a sleep aid and may help relieve clinical insomnia; fenugreek tea is a popular bedtime drink for this reason.

Possible Negative Reactions

There are a few potential negative side effects of fenugreek that are fairly rare.  These effects are primarily based on allergic reactions – for example, one who is allergic to this herb may experience the opposite effect when used topically.  Instead of reducing irritation and inflammation, it will increase it.  Also, when taken in excess, toxicity can occur (as with any herb or medication) – various effects could occur in this state, including drastically reduced blood sugar levels.

Due to the abundance of mucilage, orally ingested medicine (mostly pills) may be rendered completely useless if taken at the same time as fenugreek.  This can clearly cause issues for those taking prescribed medication.

Fenugreek is absolutely not to be used by women who are pregnant unless instructed to do so by a doctor.  It may cause early labour, resulting in premature birth.

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Sagar is co-founder and CTO at Multia, a leading creative agency in Pune. He started his venture when he was 16, he has won numerous international and national web development competitions and has worked on 100+ web, mobile and online marketing projects. He’s a globe-trotter and has traveled to San Francisco, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dubai, Jakarta and Bali Islands.'
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