Take Advantage of Fenugreek Benefits
Fenugreek is a plant in the trigonella (grains) genus that is similar in appearance to wild clover. It is commonly called Greek hay, methi (in India), and bockshornklee (“ram’s horn clover” in German). The multitude of fenugreek benefits have been known for a long time; it has been used by humans for thousands of years as a feed for animals, a flavoring and food ingredient, a medicinal herb, and an ingredient in health and beauty aids.
Fenugreek is used in a wide variety of forms. It is available in its natural state as a leaf or seeds. It can be used for cooking as well, when the seed is crushed and added to other ingredients, especially in curries and other Indian cuisine. It has a slightly bitter taste that is improved by toasting, when it comes to smell and taste a bit like maple syrup; in fact, it is used commercially as a maple flavoring. Fenugreek is commercially produced and found in most health food stores in powders, tinctures, teas, and capsules.
Fenugreek Health Benefits
Fenugreek has been known to alleviate a wide variety of health concerns ranging from dandruff, low libido, fever reducer, and headaches— all the way to bronchial problems. It has been used to improve the digestive tract, help wounds to heal, treat arthritis, assist in the maintenance of a healthy metabolism, heal abscesses, and induce labor in pregnant women. The herb also has a long history of being used for treating reproductive disorders in both men and women.
Benefits for Diabetes and Cholesterol
Many studies have shown that fenugreek benefits humans by lowering blood glucose levels, and it has proven an effective treatment for both types of diabetes. One study revealed that participants with Type 1 Diabetes who took 50 grams of the herb, twice a day, had urine glucose levels fall by 54%. Fenugreek is also being studied for its cardiovascular benefits. Researchers have found that people taking two ounces of the herb each day had considerably lower cholesterol levels (approximately 14%) after a 20-week period on this regimen.
Many herbalists recommend fenugreek for healing rashes, wounds, and boils for its anti-inflammatory properties. In order to use fenugreek benefits for the skin, crush the dried seeds and make the resulting powder into a thick paste by adding a little purified water. Spread the paste onto the affected area. Commission E, a German government group that evaluates the efficacy and safety of herbs, has approved it to treat appetite loss and gastritis, as well. The plant’s seeds contain mucilage, a gummy substance that coats the lining of the gut, soothing gastrointestinal inflammation.
Regardless of the documented fenugreek benefits to human health, be sure to consult your doctor or health care practioner before taking fenugreek if you have a history of diabetes or have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder. You may also speak with your primary care provider if you are on any medications to prevent these disorders, or if you are taking any other medicine or herbal supplements, because fenugreek can affect blood sugar levels and blood clotting factors.