Saturday, 3 December 2011

What Are the Health Benefits of Fenugreek?

They say that you are what you eat and more and more these days it is being recognised that we can boost our health and improve illnesses and health conditions by changing our diets.  There are some herbs and spices, however, that we can start putting in our food that will have more health benefits than others.  Fenugreek is one of these magic culinary spices, and has been shown to have very many health benefits. Luckily, you can still get these great benefits even if you don’t like curries and spicy foods as these days fenugreek can be purchased as a supplement in most health food shops.  There have been no side effects recorded from taking fenugreek supplements, but be careful if you are pregnant as taking it can bring on labour.

Fenugreek is a very versatile plant as the whole of it is used, with the leaves being eaten as a vegetable and the seeds being used as a spice.  It is cultivated around the world in Mediterranean regions and belongs to the plant family Fabaceae.  The biggest grower of Fenugreek these days is India, but it also grown widely in Bangladesh, Argentina, Spain, Morocco, France, Egypt, China, Pakistan and Nepal.

Fenugreek has been known and used in cooking since antiquity and the name is derived from the Latin for ‘Greek hay’ and it is also sometimes called wild clover.  Charred remains of the plant have been excavated from a dig dated to 4,000 BC at a site called Tell Halal in Iraq and dried out fenugreek seeds were found stored in the tomb of the boy king Tutankhamen to flavour his favourite dishes in the afterlife.  Fenugreek seeds are widely used as a spice in Indian cuisine and are known as methi. The seeds can be used raw or they can be toasted. Widely utilised in making curry sauces and pickles, they are a deep golden yellow in colour and cube shaped.

So why is including fenugreek in your diet so beneficial?

Arthritis  -  fenugreek is thought to be very useful in reducing the pain and symptoms of arthritis because of the correlation between its wide use in Indian cooking and how relatively free of arthritis much of the Indian population is.  To alleviate arthritis pain drink a cup of tea once a day brewed from fenugreek leaves, or swallow a couple of grams of seeds with warm water when you first get up in the morning and before you have a drink or clean your teeth.  Known as Hu Lu Ba in Traditional Chinese medicine, fenugreek seeds are believed to soothe and heal pains in the joints and also have no side effects.

Boosting The Immune System – fenugreek is a rich source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, which really help your body as they help to clear out all the free-radicals that can damage your cells.

Common Colds – for those of you who suffer from regular colds, you might want start eating curry regularly as fenugreek contains an effective antiviral that helps to prevent colds starting and if one does take hold can help alleviate debilitating and annoying systems such as coughing, sneezing, running noses, and sore throats.  It is also a useful herb to help with getting rid of all the mucous that can build up when you have a really nasty cold.

PMS and Menopause – one of the compounds contained in fenugreek is diosgenin, which has very similar properties to oestrogen. Therefore, it is thought that adding the herb to your cooking can help with some of the more distressing symptoms of PMS and the menopause such as hot flushes, and can even help to raise your libido!

Increasing Milk Supply – fenugreek seeds are regarded as galactagogue, and are consumed by nursing mothers who are having trouble producing in order to stimulate their milk supply. 
Diabetes – medical trials have been conducted that have shown that taking fenugreek seeds can ameliorate many of the symptoms of both type-1 and type-2 diabetes, by helping to reduce serum glucose and also by increasing glucose tolerance.

Constipation – if you suffer from constipation you may find that including fenugreek in your diet could help as it has a lot of dietary fibre.  One way to use it to help with your constipation is to swallow a few seeds at bedtime with a glass of warm water.  Your problem should then sort itself out the next morning.
So as you can see, you can use fenugreek in your cooking or take supplements to help improve many different health conditions and give yourself a much needed boost.

Disclaimer:  Please be aware that any information given in this article should in no way be used to replace advice given to you by your medical practitioner.  Anybody suffering from a medical condition or is at all concerned should always consult their doctor before changing their diet or starting to take any form of dietary supplement.  Also be aware that while consuming fenugreek or taking fenugreek supplements is generally regarded as being good for you, there are no guarantees that your health will improve.


  1. It looks really amazing!! I have to try it!! Thanks for sharing :-)
    sesame seeds
    fennel seeds

  2. Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope that you find that introducing fenugreek into your diet beneficial Gexton