July 25, 2021: Did you know fenugreek for thousands of years has been used in alternative and Chinese medicine to treat skin conditions and many other diseases? Today, fenugreek seeds are used in several Indian cuisine, courtesy their nutritional value and slightly sweet and nutty taste.
What are fenugreek seeds?
The semiarid crop of the family of Fabaceae, called Fenugreek holds somewhat miraculous health benefits which common Indians may be oblivious to. Fenugreek seeds and leaves have been used as a culinary ingredient in several Indian dishes since time immemorial.
While conclusive evidence regarding the medical value of fenugreek is in the dark, basing on trials, people have been using fenugreek in varying forms for hundreds or potentially thousands of years as a preventive as well as cure for a very wide range of conditions like digestive problems, including constipation, loss of appetite, and gastritis, breast milk production and flow, diabetes low testosterone or libido, painful menstruation, menopause, arthritis, high blood pressure, obesity, breathing problems, boils, low exercise performance, ulcers, open wounds, muscle pain, migraines and headaches and to alleviate childbirth pains. Well, the list seems inexhaustible.
Fenugreek to reduce risk of diabetes
Today many studies in animals suggest that at least four compounds in fenugreek have antidiabetic properties.
These properties include, reducing intestinal glucose absorption, delay gastric emptying, improve insulin sensitivity and action and reducing concentrations of lipid-binding protein.
Witnessed in a 2017 study, where a mouse was fed with a high-fat diet with 2 percent whole fenugreek seed supplementation for 16 weeks, the glucose tolerance level was better than those who did not receive the supplementation. But, the fenugreek did not improve glucose tolerance in the mice that ate a low-fat diet.
Fenugreek: Improves milk production and flow
Aiding new mothers, fenugreek is also believed to help stimulate breast milk production and ease the flow.
Practitioners of traditional Asian medicine have long recommended fenugreek for this purpose. It is backed by a study conducted in 2014, when 25 women who had recently given birth drank three cups of fenugreek tea daily for 2 weeks and saw an increase in milk volume in the first weeks.
Fenugreek seeds: A boon for weight loss
n reducing weight, fenugreek seeds are seen to assist in controlling the tempting urges for food. It is believed to suppress the appetite and increase feelings of fullness, which checks overeating and can subsequently lead to weight loss.
Nine overweight female in a 2015 study, all Korean participants drank a fennel, fenugreek, or placebo tea before lunch. Those who drank fenugreek tea reported feeling less hungry and fuller.
To be noted that the tea did not cause the participants to consume less. This feeling of fullness comes from the fibre content of fenugreek fibre extract powder.
Raise testosterone and boost sperm count
Fenugreek is also coveted to increase low testosterone and sperm levels. A study was conducted in 2017 in which 50 male volunteers took an extract of fenugreek seeds for 12 weeks.
About 85 percent of the participants had an increased sperm count. In addition to that, the results also indicate that the extract consistently improved mental alertness, mood, and libido.
Fenugreek seeds reduce inflammation
Fenugreek seeds are composed of huge levels of antioxidants that give it great potential as an anti-inflammatory agent. The inferences from a 2012 study in mice suggested that the high antioxidant flavonoid content in fenugreek seeds can reduce inflammation.
Reduce risk of heart and BP
Longevity of life found in the miraculous seed! Fenugreek is also proven to regulate cholesterol levels and improve blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of developing heart conditions and improve heart health.
We again have to give credit to the high fibre content of about 48 per cent dietary fibre in fenugreek. Dietary fibre is very hard to digest, and it forms a viscous gel in the intestines that makes it harder to digest sugars and fats.
Assisting in labour pain relief, fenugreek has long been given to pregnant women and new mothers, in traditional systems of medicine to subside the crushing pain of childbirth.
Researchers think that compounds called alkaloids in the herb help block sensory receptors that allow the brain to perceive pain.
Proving this, a 2014 study was conducted, taking 51 women with painful periods who took capsules of fenugreek seed powder three times a day for the first 3 days of their periods for 2 consecutive months. They experienced shorter durations of pain and fewer symptoms between the months.
So, the next time you reap the fruits of Fenugreek as a cosmetic wonder for hair, try indulging in a Fenugreek diet! The response it causes in your body can be positively startling!