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Food is Medicine: Fenugreek Health Benefits

Food is Medicine: Fenugreek Health Benefits

Fenugreek is an herb native to western Asia and the Mediterranean. While many Americans may have never heard of fenugreek, it is commonly used as a spice in Indian and Middle Eastern foods. Fenugreek provides beta-carotene, quercetin, luteolin, vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, selenium, iron and zinc.

Wondering where to find fenugreek leaves or fenugreek seeds on the menu? The use of fenugreek varies. It is found in curries, dry rubs, and it provides a lightly sweet, nutty flavor similar to maple syrup. Keep reading to learn 4 fenugreek benefits and to find out how to make fenugreek tea. Fenugreek supplementation is also another way to get the potential health benefits of fenugreek seed extract and fenugreek powder.

Fenugreek Basics 

Where to Find Fenugreek

Wondering where to find fenugreek? It is cultivated worldwide and thrives in growing Zones 9 to 11. Here in Wisconsin, fenugreek is grown as an annual herb and after reading of the health benefits it offers, you may be planting some in your garden this year! You can also find fenugreek in high quality natural supplements, like Gaia Herbs’ Turmeric Fenugreek Complex.

4 Fenugreek Benefits

Easing Digestive Complaints 

Fenugreek can ease an upset stomach and has been found to help alleviate gastritis. Fenugreek can also reduce symptoms of heartburn. Try some before your meals to settle heartburn. For symptoms of gas or bloating, try sipping a little fenugreek tea. (See below.)

Fenugreek further aids digestive issues by reducing the formation of gallstones. Gallstones are a symptom of an underactive liver and/or gallbladder. Gallstones can present as floating stool, burping, nausea, vomiting or pain near the right rib or shoulder blade area. Some people have no symptoms at all. When the gallbladder becomes filled with stones, this can cause a blockage resulting in pain and poor digestion. After flushing your gallbladder to remove stones, daily intake of fenugreek seeds can help future gallstones from forming.

Hormone Support  

This mighty little herb has great value if men are looking to improve any sexual dysfunction. It can help with erectile dysfunction and male infertility. Various studies show daily supplementation of fenugreek seed significantly increases testosterone levels. Both men and women have found improvement in sexual interest with daily supplementation of 300 mg twice a day. When paired with cayenne pepper, circulation is restored to the penis or vaginal area, which can greatly improve sexual arousal and/or erectile dysfunction.

Insulin Resistance  

Fenugreek continues to be a master herb for the endocrine system as it aids in blood sugar management.  Fenugreek helps make cells more sensitive to insulin, thus allowing more blood sugar into the cells and allowing blood sugar to reach its normal range. I like to combine fenugreek with berberine to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Enjoy just 200 mg of fenugreek seeds with 300 mg of berberine at each meal. Studies have shown this combination significantly decreases fasting blood sugar and fasting insulin.  Try Thorne Research Berberine.

But fenugreek’s benefits to your endocrine system don’t just stop at blood sugar. This mighty little herb also helps facilitate proper cholesterol levels. Daily intake of fenugreek helps to significantly increase your good cholesterol (HDL), lowers triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.  With these tasty benefits from nature, why would doctors still recommend statins? 

Lactation Support

Breastfeeding is what is best and most natural for babies but any mom can have trouble with managing breast milk supply. Daily fenugreek intake has been used for thousands of years to help moms increase their milk supply. Mother’s Milk Tinctures or capsules are easy to find in most supplements stores and most grocery stores provide fenugreek crackers or cookies. For lactation support powered by fenugreek, try Gaia Herbs Fenugreek Seed.

Treat your herbs like food. Choose only good quality organic herbs. Avoid toxic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. As an encapsulated supplement or off the spice rack, look to make sure no excipients are in the product. 

Another easy way to introduce yourself to fenugreek is through tea. Keep reading to learn how to make fenugreek tea.

How to Make Fenugreek Tea

Making fenugreek tea is quite simple and can be done in a few steps. Fenugreek tea is often consumed for its potential health benefits, including improving digestion, reducing inflammation, and regulating blood sugar levels. Here’s a basic recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds
  • 1 cup of water
  • Optional: honey, lemon, or other flavorings to taste

Directions:

  1. Start by measuring out one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds. You can adjust the amount depending on your preference for the strength of the tea.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring one cup of water to a boil.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add the fenugreek seeds to the saucepan.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and let the fenugreek seeds simmer in the water for about 5-10 minutes. Simmering allows the seeds to release their flavor and nutrients into the water.
  5. After simmering, remove the saucepan from the heat and let the tea cool down for a few minutes.
  6. Strain the tea to remove the fenugreek seeds. You can use a fine mesh strainer or a tea infuser for this step.
  7. Pour the strained fenugreek tea into a cup.
  8. If desired, add honey, lemon, or any other flavorings to taste. These additions can enhance the flavor of the tea and provide additional health benefits.
  9. Stir the tea well to combine the ingredients, and enjoy your homemade fenugreek tea!

Remember to drink fenugreek tea in moderation, as excessive consumption may cause side effects for some individuals. Additionally, if you have any underlying health conditions or are pregnant or nursing, it’s always a good idea to consult with a health care provider for medical advice before adding fenugreek tea or any other dietary herbal supplements to your routine.