Fenugreek: The Herb, Its Supplements, And Their Many Benefits

Fenugreek is an herb that is very popular at the moment because of its multiple uses and benefits and little to no disadvantages.

And these clinically proven benefits attract experts to recommend using this herb in health supplements. This herb is so compelling that it’s been used for thousands of years for its medicinal attributes from Egypt to India and Southern Europe.

My goal with this article on Fenugreek is to give you the lowdown on the use of Fenugreek in modern times, as well as how it can benefit you, whether you’re young, old, man, or woman.

What Is The Herb Fenugreek?

Before we jump into the many benefits of Fenugreek, let’s get a basic understanding of this herb first.

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a plant that is used in traditional cooking (in the Indian sub-continent) and as a medicinal herb. The seeds of the plant are also well-researched to provide an assortment of health benefits for men and women.

These benefits can range from promoting testosterone levels in men to stimulating milk production in breastfeeding women and everything in between.

We can experience the many benefits because Fenugreek contains several vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients that are beneficial for our health.

Some of these key components in Fenugreek include Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Manganese, Vitamins A, B6, and C, Niacin, Thiamin, Folate, Riboflavin, Saponins Pectin, Diosgenin, Choline, Hemicellulose, and 4-Hydroxyisoleucine.

Fenugreek - Nutritional Value Per 1 Tbsp

This list of components and elements of Fenugreek is very impressive especially when considered that these components are clinically proven to help Fenugreek provide its set of health benefits.

Also Read: CrazyBulk Testol 140 Review

What Are The Benefits Of Fenugreek For Breastfeeding?

Since ancient times, Fenugreek has been used by breastfeeding women to stimulate milk production. It’s the phytoestrogen, Diosgenin, in the herb that’s similar to estrogen which increases milk flow.

Diosgenin is said to boost the mother’s milk supply within 24-72 hours of taking the herb. Women can alter their dosage of the herb to optimize their milk production.

Nowadays, however, breast enhancement pills with Fenugreek are becoming more popular over the raw herb. This is because the dosage is better controlled and supplements also come with other beneficial ingredients that promote breast enlargement and milk production.

In 2011, researchers studied the effects of taking a Fenugreek supplement on nursing women and their breast milk production. The study results indicated an average boost in milk production from 34 ml (1.15 Oz) to 73 ml (2.47 Oz) after taking the supplement.

Another 2014 study evaluated the effects of Fenugreek tea and palm dates on the production of milk and the baby’s weight. The herbal tea was found to promote milk production and improve weight gain in the babies.

Fenugreek - Breastfeeding
Other than its pill form, Fenugreek can also be found as a tea, oil, powder, gummy, and chews.

What Are The Benefits Of Fenugreek For Men?

A common reason Fenugreek is part of many top-tier bodybuilding supplements is due to its clinically proven ability to boost testosterone levels in men.

A 2010 study evaluated the bodybuilding benefits of young men taking fenugreek for an 8-week weight lifting program. From the 30 men, half were given the supplement containing Fenugreek while the others were given a placebo as part of the double-blind trial. The conclusion that was derived at the end of the eight weeks was that fenugreek could increase testosterone levels while promoting a reduction in body fat by 2%.

This boost in testosterone is also reported to promote your sex drive and improve male fertility by improving sperm production.

A 2011 study evaluated the effects of a supplement with Fenugreek on 30 men throughout 6 weeks. The study concluded that the men who took Fenugreek experienced a boost in sex drive, orgasm intensity, energy levels, mood, and sexual performance.

A 2017 study discussed the effects of Fenugreek supplements on testosterone, sperm profile, and other performance attributes in 50 men. In the trial, 50 men used the supplement and experienced a boost in sperm profile, free testosterone levels, cardiovascular health, mental alertness, and sexual performance.

Fenugreek - Testosterone Boosting

Do Fenugreek Increase Cholesterol Levels?

Along with the benefits of improving testosterone levels in men and milk production in women, Fenugreek is also said to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

According to a 2010 study, pectin (also in Fenugreek) and other polysaccharides helped reduce bile salt absorption into the colon, lowering insulin stimulation and reducing LDL cholesterol levels.

Does Fenugreek Lower Blood Sugar Levels?

Fenugreek contains the amino acid 4-hydroxy isoleucine. This amino acid has been found to lower blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. This is done by slowing down the intestines’ absorption of glucose.

A 2001 study assessed the effects of Fenugreek on 25 recently diagnosed patients with Type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that Fenugreek seeds helped significantly lower insulin and blood glucose levels.

Another 2005 study found Fenugreek to help lower blood glucose levels for those with Type 1 and 2 diabetes.

A 1990 study evaluated the benefits of Fenugreek on blood sugar and serum lipids in type I diabetes. The conclusion suggested that Fenugreek helps to reduce serum total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and glucose levels (from 24-hr urinary glucose excretion test).

Fenugreek - Blood Sugar Levels Drop

What Are The Other Important Fenugreek Benefits?

  • Induces childbirth: The phytoestrogens is well-known to induce delivery in women. It’s also why Fenugreek is not recommended for pregnant women.
  • Relieves digestive problems (like stomach ulcers): It can soothe an upset stomach while speeding up the healing of stomach ulcers.
  • Reduce joint inflammation: Fenugreek contains anti-inflammatory properties that are most effective when applied topically.
  • Combats certain types of cancers: Diosgenin in Fenugreek can induce cell death (apoptosis) in certain cancers.
  • Appetite suppression: Studies have found Fenugreek to suppress appetite and fat intake.
  • Lowers LDL Cholesterol levels: Several studies have found evidence of Fenugreek lowering LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Reduce heartburn: One study found that regularly taking Fenugreek provided the same benefits to antacid medication for reducing heartburn.
  • Aphrodisiac: Along with the boost in testosterone, this ingredient can also act as an aphrodisiac to promote sex drive.
  • Slow mental aging: The choline in Fenugreek is proven to counter a decline in cognitive function due to aging.
  • Improves skin conditions: Some researchers have found this ingredient to be effective against ulcerative colitis and other skin conditions.
  • Reduces menstrual cramps: Fenugreek is known to reduce the pain experienced with Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps).

Fenugreek - Menstrual Cramps Pain Is Lowered

Is Fenugreek Safe And Are There Any Side Effects?

While Fenugreek is a natural herb and found in many supplements in safe amounts, it’s not for everyone.

The most prominent safety factor with Fenugreek is its ability to induce childbirth. The phytoestrogens in the herb can force a pregnant mother to induce birth, which may be dangerous for both the mother and baby.

Men and women with a tendency of having low blood sugar levels should take Fenugreek with caution because this herb can further lower their blood sugar levels.

The appetite suppressing benefit of Fenugreek is fine for most people. But if you’re trying to gain weight or have an eating disorder, you should first talk to the doctor before using Fenugreek.

When a concentrated dose of Fenugreek is consumed, your sweat and urine can smell like maple syrup. And while this isn’t harmful in any way, it’s definitely strange.

However, for most healthy individuals, Fenugreek should be safe and side-effect free. But if you are unsure of any supplement with Fenugreek, show your doctor the supplement bottle for advice.

Are Supplementations With Fenugreek Worth Using?

As mentioned earlier, the popular way to take Fenugreek in the US (and most western countries) is as a dietary supplement. You can find Fenugreek supplements as well as specialized supplements with Fenugreek as one of their active ingredients.

If you are looking for breast enhancement and milk production boosting supplement, Breast Max Plus contains 400 mg of Fenugreek. BTW, I’ve written a separate article on breast enhancement pills for women who want a bigger bust without resorting to surgery.

In case of those with diabetes, Fenugreek supplements are suggested to be taken with or before your meal (ideally your highest-carb meal of the day).

Testosterone boosters and bodybuilding supplements are also well-known to use Fenugreek as part of their makeup. Some of my favorite testosterone boosters that contain Fenugreek include CrazyBulk Testol 140, Testogen, TestoMax, and TestoFuel.

Fenugreek - Supplements

Final Word On Why You Should Use Fenugreek:

There are plenty of advantages of using Fenugreek and few reasons to shy away from this herb. As for how to take the herb, I would suggest as a tea or as part of a supplement.
I’ve tried Fenugreek tea before, and while it tasted fine, I didn’t think I would be able to stand drinking it every day.

It’s why I recommend you get Fenugreek supplements instead. And while there are pure Fenugreek pills out there, the specially blended supplements may provide superior results.

Regardless, do your research on any supplement or product you are considering purchasing before you buy it. If you do this, your experience with Fenugreek supplements should be a positive one.

About Jessica J, M.D

Written & reviewed by Dr. Jessica J. Follow me on Pinterest & LinkedIn.