Fenugreek or Trigonella foenum-graecum is a leguminous herb that is cultivated mostly in India and some parts of North Africa. It belongs to the bean family and its scientific family is Fabaceae. It also has different names according to the language spoken or where it is grown.
Fenugreek is highly nutritious to the body, no matter how it is consumed as it has loads of vitamins and minerals. Some of the nutrients found in it are protein, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, and vitamin B6.
It also has some powerful phytonutrients like choline, trigonelline, yamogenin, gitogenin, diosgenin, neotigogens, and tigogenin.
Its seeds are often used as spices, as well as flavoring agents and in making soup and pan cakes while its leaves are always made into nutritious vegetables or dried and used as herbs. You can also make energizing healthy tea with its powder form.
Besides, its seeds have a bitter taste and are often used for their medicinal purposes.
The Health Benefits of Fenugreek to the Body
Fenugreek is a very nutritious diet supplement that can be consumed in many forms. You just have to know how it works and when to take it as well as the different kinds of ailments it can cure or limit.
Here are some of its health benefits
1. Fenugreek Reduces Cholesterol Level
Studies show that Fenugreek consumption helps with the reduction of cholesterol level. It also helps to reduce the level of low-density Lipoprotein (LDL), so as to prevent various conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Moreover, its rich fiber content also helps with scraping off of cholesterol content in the blood vessels as well as arteries in the body. This reduces the chances of clot formation and stickiness in the blood vessels.
2. Fenugreek Reduces Cardiovascular Risk
Fenugreek contains 25% of galactomannan, a natural soluble fiber that helps with the reduction of cardiovascular disease.
The presence of potassium also counters sodium actions so as to help with the control of heart rate and blood pressure.
3. Fenugreek Helps With the Control of Diabetes
Research shows that Fenugreek can help alleviate diabetes I and II. It also shows that when Fenugreek is added to the diet of type I diabetic patients, it drops urinary sugar level by 54%. This is because of the presence of natural soluble fiber galactomannan, which slows down the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Moreover, it has a certain amino acid (4-hydroxy isoleucine) that induces the production of insulin. You can take between 15-20 grams of Fenugreek on a daily basis so as to help with the control of blood sugar level in your body.
Basically, by slowly releasing insulin to the body as opposed to doing so in large quantities, you improve your overall body function as well as reduce blood sugar peaks and plunges.
4. Fenugreek Is the Best Remedy for Sore Throat and Fever
In the case of a sore throat or fever, you can always use Fenugreek with honey or lemon. It can really do wonders to your overall body function as well as relieve you from any pain associated with the fever or coughs.
Moreover, the soothing effect of its mucilage helps to relieve a sore throat as well as coughs and any pain associated with them.
5. Fenugreek Is Good For Lactating Women
Fenugreek is highly recommended for nursing mothers due to the presence of diosgenin as well as magnesium and vitamins that help with the improvement of milk quantity and quality.
6. Fenugreek Reduces Menstrual Discomfort
Fenugreek is always considered as a potent substance that relieves the pain and symptoms associated with menstruation. It can open up obstructed menses so as to make the process smooth and comfortable.
7. Fenugreek Minimizes Symptoms of Menopause
Fenugreek contains diosgenin and estrogenic isoflavones, which are similar to the female sex hormone estrogen. Usually, the loss of this hormone often causes menopausal symptoms. But you can reduce some of these symptoms by consuming a moderate amount of Fenugreek. Some of the symptoms that can be reduced include mood swings, cramps, depression as well as abnormal hunger pangs.
Besides, Fenugreek also helps with monitoring other body hormones as well as keeping the rest of the bodily process in line.
8. Fenugreek Aids in Digestion
Fenugreek has the right amount of dietary fiber and antioxidants that help with flushing out toxins from the body. You can also use Fenugreek tea to relieve stomach pain and indigestion.
The high fiber content also adds bulk to stool, making it the right medicine for diarrhea and even constipation. Besides, you can drink Fenugreek decoction in the morning so as to deal with constipation.
9. Fenugreek Helps With Weight Loss
If you want to shed off some kilos, you can chew some of its soaked seeds in the morning, on an empty stomach. This will make its natural soluble fiber to swell and fill the stomach and thus suppress your whole appetite and in turn make you lose weight faster without having to hit the gym or starve yourself.
10. Fenugreek Helps Soothe Skin Inflammation and Reduces Scars
Fenugreek can definitely aid in the treatment of skin conditions like eczema, burns, and boils. This is because it has anti-inflammatory compounds that enable it to treat the skin and make it flawless as before. Besides, its seeds are also good at helping your body get rid of old and new scars.
You just apply a clean cloth soaked with some of its seed paste and you are one step away from curing any form of skin inflammation.
On the same note, it helps with different skin problems, be it wrinkles, blackheads, or pimples. You can opt to wash your face with water boiled along with its seeds or apply some of the paste from its leaves on your face for twenty minutes. Either way, it can do wonders to your skin cells as well as facial appearance.
But in case it irritates, rinse it off immediately as you might actually be allergic to it.
11. Fenugreek Helps Resolve Hair Problems
Fenugreek can make your hair shiny, black, and healthy. It does not matter if you apply it as a paste in your hair or consume it as part of your diet.
You can always massage your head every day with boiled Fenugreek seeds that have been soaked overnight with coconut oil. This will eventually reduce the thinning and fall of hair.
Caution with Regard to Overconsumption of Fenugreek
As much as Fenugreek has loads of nutritious elements and can be used as medicine, too much consumption can often lead to diarrhea, bloating, stomach upset, and gas, especially when taken orally. It can also cause some bad odor in your urine. Besides, it has been reported to cause some strange but rather sweet body odor when supplemented.
It can also reduce your appetite level, which is a good thing unless you are trying to gain weight or have an eating disorder. But if you want to lose some weight then go for it in moderation.
It can also cause some irritation when applied directly to the skin.
It can cause excessive bleeding in people with bleeding disorders as well as those who take anticoagulants or blood thinners. But just in case, you can always take it with a doctor¢s approval.
As much as it lowers blood sugar level, you should always be cautious with it if you are taking diabetic medications or other supplements that lower blood sugar levels. You can also check with a medical practitioner to be sure that you are taking the right and safe dosage.
Likewise, to make its complications easier if you are on any pills or medication, you should only take Fenugreek 2 hours after or before consuming your other medications.
It can also cause some coughs, wheezing, and nasal congestion as well as facial swelling and severe allergic reactions to hypersensitive individuals.
Basically, Fenugreek has been proven to be safe if taken in the right dosage as well as when taken in large doses for medicinal purpose for up to 6 months under expert supervision.
Conclusively, Fenugreek is a healthy diet supplement if taken in the right proportion. It can also be used for culinary and medicinal purposes for overall body health. Besides, it is very effective against anorexia and a great gastric stimulant.
Basically, you just have to know when to consume it, as a diet or medicine, and how to consume or use it. But if you are not sure, depending on your past or present health factors, you can always consult a medical expert so as to know your baseline when it comes to Fenugreek consumption.