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Fenugreek Seed

Forms:
Infusion, extract, tincture, and poultice made from the crushed or powered seed
of Trigonella foenum-graecum L.
Traditional Usage:
- Anti-inflammatory
- Antiseptic
- Antispasmodic
- Appetite loss
- Breastfeeding Aid
- Catarrh (Respiratory
- Colds and !lu, Bronchitis, "ore #hroat
- $iarrhea
- $igesti%e $isorders
- $yspepsia
- !emale &ealth 'aintenance
- Indigestion
- 'enstrual &ealth 'aintenance
- (oultice
- Respiratory &ealth 'aintenance
- ")in $isorders
- ")in inflammation
- "ugar Control
- *lcers
Overview:
!enugree), Trigonella foenum-graecum L. +!am. !a,aceae-, also )nown as Bird.s
!oot, is indigenous to the 'editerranean region, the *)raine, India, and China.
#he medicinal properties of fenugree) are found in the ripe, dry seeds, which
ha%e ,een used for thousands of years in Ara,ian, /ree), Indian, and Chinese
medicine. Crushed or powdered, these seeds can ,e used externally and applied
as poultices for ,oils, hi%es, ulcers, and ec0ema. Internally, fenugree) seeds
ha%e ,een used in fol) medicine to reduce ,lood sugar, increase lactation and
treat pellagra, appetite loss, indigestion, dyspepsia, ,ronchitis, fe%er, hernia,
impotence, %omiting, catarrh of the respiratory tract, and stomach ulcers.
!enugree) seed is also )nown to ma)e women more ,uxom and treat hormonal
im,alances. According to the /erman Commission 1, fenugree) seeds ha%e
secretolytic (anti-mucous and mild antiseptic properties. #he British &er,al
(harmacopoeia states that the seeds ha%e demulcent (soothing and
hypoglycemic actions. 2ean Carper, in her excellent ,oo), Food Your Miracle
Medicine, notes that fenugree) has long ,een used in Indian and 'iddle 1astern
coo)ing and has a long history of use for treating diarrhea and gastrointestinal
spasms. "cientific studies ha%e shown that for adults (not children, ta)ing one-
half teaspoon of fenugree) seeds with water three times daily often produces a
3uic) and 4mar)ed4 relief, usually after the second dose according to researchers
at the 5dense *ni%ersity in $enmar). Carper also reports that scientists at
India.s 6ational Institute of 6utrition recently ground up fenugree) seeds and
ga%e the powder to #ype I sugar control patients. 6ot only did their fasting ,lood
sugar fall and their glucose tolerance impro%e, ,ut their ,lood cholesterol also
went down. Israeli scientists ha%e confirmed this with normal and sugar-control
patients. 'any animal studies ha%e documented the same. 5ther studies
esta,lished anti-inflammatory effects of the seeds and strong acti%ity against
a,normal growths.
Active Ingredients:
!enugree) seed contains 78-9:; car,ohydrates, mainly mucilaginous fi,er
(galactomannans< =:->:; proteins high in lysine and tryptophan< 8-?:; fixed
oils (lipids< pryridine-type al)aloids mostly trigonelline (:.=-:.>9;, choline
(:.8;, gentianine, and carpaine< fla%onoids (apigenin, luteolin, orientin,
3uercetin, %itexin, and iso%itexin< free amino acids (7-hydroxyisoleucine
+:.:@;-, arginine, histidine, and lysine< calcium and iron< saponins (:.9-
?.A;< glycosides yielding steroidal sapogenins on hydrolysis (diosgenin,
yamogenin, tigogenin, neotigogenin< cholesterol and sitosterol, %itamins A, B?,
C, and nicotinic acid< and :.:?8; %olatile oils (n-al)anes and ses3uiterpenes.
+Blumenthal et al. =:::< "hang ', Cai ", &an 2, Li 2, Bhao C, Bheng 2, 6am,a #,
Dadota ", #e0u)a C, !an E. ?@@F. "tudies on fla%onoids from !enugree)
(#rigonella foenum-graecum L.- Bhongguo Bhong Cao Ba Bhi. ?@@F 5ct<
=>(?:G 9?7-9, 9>@-.
Suggested Amount:
#he /erman Commission 1 recommends an internal daily dose of 9 grams. !or
infusions, place :.8 grams (? teaspoon H 7.8 g of fenugree) seed in cold water
and let stand for three hours and strain. $rin) one cup with honey se%eral times
per day.
!luidextract ?G? (gImlG 9 ml.
#incture ?G8 (gImlG >: ml.
6ati%e extract >-7G? (wIwG ?.8-= g. (Blumenthal, /old,erg, Brinc)mann, =:::
!or external useG #he /erman Commison 1 recommends an external dose of 8:
grams of powdered fenugree) seed added to ?I7 litre of hot water and applied
as a warm poultice or used as a ,ath additi%e. (Eichtl and Bisset
Drug Interactions:
6one )nown.
Contraindications:
6ot recommended during pregnancy.
Side Effects:
According to Eichtl and Bisset (?@@7, excessi%e use may result in s)in
reactions. Coumarins and estrogen can ,e toxic if ta)en in large amounts.
!enugree) seeds are also ,elie%ed to contain trypsin inhi,itors and chymotrypsin
inhi,itors. ($u)e 2A. ?@F8
Fenugreek
!enugree) is commonly found growing in 'editerranean regions of southern
1urope, where ,oth the seeds and lea%es are used primarily as a culinary spice.
#he seeds of the fenugree) her, are an effecti%e nutritional supplement and
ha%e also ,een used ,y her,alists for many centuries for the health ,enefits it
pro%ides.
Healt !enefits of Fenugreek
#he acti%e constituents in fenugree) are al)aloids, lysine and L-tryptophan. It
also contains steroidal saponins (diosgenin, yamogenin, tigogenin, and
neotigogenin and mucilaginous fi,er which are ,elie%ed to ,e responsi,le for
many of the ,eneficial effects fenugree) exhi,its.
#he chemical compounds found in fenugree) ha%e the a,ility to aid the digesti%e
process. Conse3uently, when ta)en with meals it is ,elie%ed that fenugree) is
a,le to slow down the rate at which sugars are a,sor,ed into the ,ody, where,y
regulating ,lood sugar le%els. Additionally, studies indicate that 7-
hydroxyisoleucine (an amino acid found in fenugree) may induce or promote the production of
insulin when ,lood sugar le%els are ele%ated.
In studies of animals and humans with ,oth dia,etes and high cholesterol le%els, fenugree)
appeared not only to regulate ,lood sugar le%els ,ut also lower le%els of harmful cholesterol.
&owe%er, in studies of those who did not ha%e dia,etes, a similar effect was not reported.
As mentioned pre%iously fenugree) contains a su,stantial amount of mucilaginous fi,er. #he
mucilage found in fenugree) does not dissol%e ,ut instead swells when mixed with fluids. "ince
the ,ody cannot digest the mucilage from fenugree) it is ,elie%ed to ,e an effecti%e laxati%e.
As an external application fenugree) may sooth irritated s)in and relie%e surface aches and
pains.
Dosage and Administration
A common dosage for dia,etes or cholesterol-lowering is 8 to >: grams with each meal or ?8
to @: grams per day. As a tincture, > to 7 ml of fenugree) can ,e ta)en up to three times per
day.
!enugree) tea is prepared ,y soa)ing 8:: mg of the seed in a,out 8 ounces of cold water for
at least > hours. #he seeds are then strained out of the li3uid ,efore drin)ing the tea, which
can ,e heated or ingested cold.
!or topical use, an application is made ,y mixing 8:,::: mg (8: grams of fenugree) seed
powder with up to a,out one 3uart of hot water and letting the mixture stand until it ma)es a
thic) gel. A soft cloth is then co%ered with the gel and applied to an aching or inJured area of
s)in surface.
Su""orting #iterature
Bordia A, Kerma "D, "ri%asta%a DC. 1ffect of ginger and fenugree) (#rigonella foenumgraecum L on ,lood
lipids, ,lood sugar, and platelet aggregation in patients with coronary artery disease. (rostagland
Leu)otrienes 1ssential !atty Acids ?@@A<89G>A@->F7.
Ri,es /, "au%aire C, $a Costa C, et al. Antidia,etic effects of su,fractions from fenugree) seeds in dia,etic
dogs. (roc "oc 1xp Biol 'ed ?@F9<?F=G?8@-?98.
"harma R$, Rao 6", Raghuram #C. 1ffect of fenugree) seeds on ,lood glucose and serum lipids in type I
dia,etes. 1ur. Clinic 6utrition ?@@:<77G>:?->:8.
Seeds of this slightly maple-tasting legume (Trigonella foenum-graecum) have a
long heritage of use as a medicinal plant and culinary spice, especially in India. Gel
fiber from fenugreek resembles guar gum in chemical structure.

Traditional uses
gyptian, ayurvedic Indian, Greek, and !oman healers used it as an aphrodisiac
and to remedy colds and sore throats, indigestion, and other complaints. "ydia
#inkham included fenugreek in her famous $%th century &'egetable (ompound&
nostrum for menstrual aches.

Modern perspective
!ecent studies support traditional uses for digestion, menopausal complaints, heart
disease, )eight control and diabetes.
On This Page
Traditional
Uses
Modern
Perspective
Do scientists
know how it
works?
Diabetes
Heart Health
Weight control
Safety

Diabetes
#re-clinical and clinical studies have documented the efficacy
of the fiber-rich fraction of fenugreek seeds in the
management of diabetes. In Type I and II diabetics,
administration of de-fatted, fiber-rich seed significantly
reduces fasting blood glucose levels and improves
performance in the glucose tolerance test. !esearchers have
used *-$++ g daily (one-fifth to three ounces),of de-fatted
fenugreek seed po)der to control blood sugar s)ings in
diabetes in the short term.

Weight control
"ike guar gum, fenugreek can bind dietary fats to reduce their
absorption. -enugreek fiber also contributes to a feeling of
fullness that may curb e.cessive appetite (see &Safety,&
belo)).

Product Recommendations
Fengreek is sed
worldwide for it!s
"cilaginos
properties# Historically
it was sed to treat
both respiratory and
sto"ach ail"ents# $t is
also a poplar spice#
% capsles provides&
'#%% g"s of
Fengreek Seed
On Sale Now
Breast Enlargement
The seeds and sprouts have a centuries-old folk reputation as breast enlargers. In fact, $++ years
ago the herb )as a key ingredient in the original formula for "ydia #inkham/s 'egetable
(ompound, a popular remedy for &female troubles&--everything from menstrual pain to
postmenopausal vaginal dryness. -enugreek seeds contain a fair amount of diosgenin, a chemical
compound that/s often used to create semisynthetic forms of the female se. hormone estrogen.
0hile estrogen has many effects on the body, t)o relate principally to breast enlargement. The
hormone causes gro)th of breast cells and contributes to )ater retention. In fact, many )omen
)ho take the #ill, )hich contains estrogen, for birth control often e.perience as a side effect the
feeling of breast fullness caused by )ater retention. #lant estrogen (phytoestrogen) from sources
like fenugreek does not lead to uncomfortable breast fullness. Great for breast feeding. Inceases
milk.

Heart Health
-enugreek is rich in steroidal (furostanol) saponins,notably trigoneosides and diosgenin,)hich
appear responsible for its healthful effects on blood fat and cholesterol levels. Serum total
cholesterol, "1" and '"1" (bad) cholesterol, as )ell as triglyceride levels, can be significantly
reduced, )hile 21" (good) cholesterol levels remained unchanged.
Do scientists know how it works
(hemical analysis of the seeds has identified steroidal, estrogen-like saponins trigoneosides, that
have therapeutic potential in the treatment of diabetes, menopausal symptoms and
hypercholesteremia. The seeds are also rich in soluble fiber. -enugreek seeds contain mucilage,
)hich is soothing to mucous membranes of the respiratory and digestive tracts.

Sa!et"
-enugreek may stimulate uterine contractions so it shouldn/t be used during pregnancy. #ersons at
risk of vitamin or mineral deficiency should not take high doses of dietary fiber for e.tended periods
e.cept under medical supervision, as fiber can bind )ith these nutrients and reduce absorption.