What is Fenugreek?
The benefits of fenugreek are widely known in the Mediterranean. It is an herb which is often used in cooking. Fenugreek is also used by herbalists as an alternative medicine to treat many health problems and ailments.
It is available as fenugreek capsules, fenugreek extract, or seeds. Fenugreek can also be bought in tea form, but the more adventurous can make it at home using the fresh herb.
Benefits of Fenugreek
The fenugreek herb is full of vitamins and minerals and, as such, has many wide-ranging health benefits. It has been used to treat many ailments including:
•Arthritis. Fenugreek can be used to ease aching muscles and reduce inflammation.
•Acid reflux. Mucilage contained in fenugreek coats the lining of the stomach, thus easing the symptoms of heartburn and indigestion.
•Skin problems. Conditions such as boils and eczema can be eased by taking fenugreek capsules.
•Weight loss. Fenugreek can be used as an appetite suppressant, as it contains a natural fiber which swells to give a fuller feeling, thus aiding those with a weight-loss goal.
•Constipation. This same mucilage also helps to ease constipation, as the fiber helps stools to pass more easily.
•Lactation. One of the well-known fenugreek benefits includes its ability to increase milk production in lactating females. For this purpose, it is recommended that one 500-mg fenugreek capsule be taken three times daily.
•Sore throat. Soothes irritation of the throat and mouth and eases phlegm, so helping to cure sore throats and even bronchial issues.
•Fever reduction. Aids in lowering fever.
Fenugreek for Diabetes
Studies have been carried out concerning the benefits of fenugreek for diabetes. It has been found that when given fenugreek extract, cholesterol and blood sugar levels have lowered.
It is believed this is due to the fact the fenugreek acts by reducing the rate of absorption into the blood. Fenugreek also contains an amino acid which may stimulate the pancreas into secreting more insulin. As such, it is believed to be effective on both type 1 and type 2 diabetes sufferers.
Fenugreek Side Effects
There are a few known side effects of fenugreek herb. It may cause nausea in some people, and due to the fact it is high in natural fiber some may find it causes gastrointestinal discomfort such as gas or diarrhea.
It is worth remembering that when upping fiber intake, fluid intake must also be increased proportionately. This may ease any stomach cramping symptoms.
Other fenugreek side effects include the potential negative interaction with other medications. Leaving a two-hour gap on either side of taking medication should alleviate any problems.
Pregnant women should consult a medical professional before taking this supplement, as it may stimulate contractions.
Those on medication for diabetes should also consult the advice of a professional before commencing with this herb, as it may increase the effect of medication already being taken and risk causing additional problems.
People who suffer from plant allergies such as hay fever should also use with caution, although no side effects have been reported after using this herb for cooking.