What are the Benefits of Fenugreek?

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  • Written By: Mary Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 January 2020
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Fenugreek, also known as bird’s foot, Greek hayseed, trigonella, and bockshornsame, has the scientific name of Trigonella foenum-graecum. The benefits of this plant can be divided into three main categories. The first is in the area of flavor: fenugreek is used as an herb, a green, and a spice in the cuisines of India, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Turkey, Yemen, Iran, and Bulgaria, among others. The second is in the area of health: a number of health benefits are claimed for fenugreek as an herbal supplement. Third there are benefits to fenugreek as a beauty aid. In addition, there are economic benefits to the countries that produce and export it.

Fenugreek is called methi in parts of India. Its leaves are served fresh as greens or dried to be used as herbs, and its seeds are used as a spice. The flavor of fenugreek has been described as astringent, bitter, and aromatic, but in processing it can also smell syrupy sweet, and famously confused New York City residents in 2005 when the odor wafted over the city from a fenugreek processing plant in New Jersey. Gujarati cuisine, which uses fenugreek amply, has been called by the well-known Indian cookbook author Madhur Jaffrey the “haute cuisine of vegetarianism.”


Health benefits of fenugreek are claimed for specific treatment of diseases and conditions in Arurvedic medicine, the traditional medicine of India. Its uses in this system include stimulating lactation, as a laxative, and to soothe inflamed skin. It is also used to treat gastrointestinal upsets, diabetes, high cholesterol, inflammation, and wounds. Research supports that fenugreek preparations can reduce glucose and cholesterol absorption and may have preventive properties against certain cancers.

Because it can affect the activity of MAOIs, hormones, anticoagulants, and change glucose absorption, people should check with a health care professional before taking it. Since it can cause uterine contractions, pregnant women should not use this plant. In addition, some people are allergic to fenugreek and they should not use it either.

In the area of beauty, there are said to be benefits of fenugreek for the hair and skin. Fenugreek seeds are combined with yogurt and used as a hair conditioner. In addition, the leaves are made into a paste with coconut milk in an attempt to prevent hair loss, while combining a paste of the leaves with vinegar is used for treating dandruff. A fenugreek leaf paste combined with boiled milk, on the other hand, is used to prevent wrinkles and age lines.


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Post 3

I'm taking fenugreek for cholesterol. I'm trying to increase my good cholesterol and lower the bad one. A friend of mine recommended fenugreek extract. I hope it works.

I didn't know that fenugreek is good for diabetes as well. My husband has type one diabetes. I'm going to mention this to him. He's not much into herbal remedies but maybe he'll give this a try.

Is anyone here using fenugreek for cholesterol or diabetes?

Post 2

@ysmina-- I have never heard of this before but I wouldn't be surprised because fenugreek has many uses. Please let us know if you try it for hair loss and if it works.

I drink fenugreek water when I have constipation. It really is great for gastrointestinal problems. I just put some fenugreek seeds in a glass of water overnight and drink it first thing in the morning. I don't drink it regularly because I think that too much of one thing is never good. I take it only when I have constipation.

My sister does the same thing during the time of the month. She says it helps with bloating.

Post 1

I've heard that eating fenugreek or drinking fenugreek tea can help prevent hair loss and greying hair. Has anyone taken fenugreek for this purpose? Does it work? Wouldn't a fenugreek supplement be better than tea for this?

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