Herbs are often some of the most effective, reliable and safe ingredients to be used in a supplement. The fact that they fall under the category of natural ingredients make them widely used because natural ingredients usually come with fewer side effects. Plus, most herbs have good amount of research to support their efficiency and usage.
One of the most potent and widely used herb ingredients is the fenugreek extract. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a plant that is known for its white flowers and its small seeds. These seeds have a nutty essence to it and is used as a spice. Its leaves, powder and seeds are widely used in Indian curries. In addition, it is also used been used in Chinese medicine for centuries now. All in all, the fenugreek plant is a pretty useful one going by how versatile it is in terms of usage. But apart from its usage as a spice and a flavouring agent, it is also well-known for its high nutritional value. The fenugreek seeds contain various nutrients and minerals such as proteins, fats, iron, magnesium and carbohydrates.
Owing to its tremendous nutritional value and wide usage, fenugreek extract has come to be known for its various health benefits. From testosterone boosting, skin protection and protection against diseases, fenugreek extract has been the subject of much research in recent times. This article covers all the important aspects related to the health benefits that can be derived out of this extract and the research supporting it. We will also see the possible side effects and the recommended dosage of fenugreek extract in supplements and in food. With that being said, let us dive into a in-depth analysis of the fenugreek extract.
Health Benefits of Fenugreek Extract
Boosts testosterone levels
This is one of the main applications of fenugreek extract. Fenugreek extract is widely used in supplements that are meant to naturally boost the testosterone levels in a man’s body. In addition, it is also linked to enhanced sex drive.
An experimental study conducted on 30 young men over a period of 2 months involved 15 of those men taking supplements containing fenugreek extract. These men were asked to undertake different stages of weightlifting over the course of the study. At the end of the study, it was observed that the ones taking the supplement had a significant increase in their testosterone levels and also a reduction in body fat.
Taking matters from the gym to the bed, another experimental study included 30 men taking 600mg of fenugreek extract for a period of one and a half month. They were asked to report their sex drive and sexual performance in bed. It was found that all men experienced an increased libido and better sexual characteristics.
While there are more studies required to truly cement the position of the fenugreek extract as a “sex food”, there is definitely enough evidence to justify the usage of the extract in testosterone boosting and libido enhancing supplements.
Increase in the production of colostrum
We are all aware of the fact that breast milk is the primary source of food for infants. The consumption of breast milk by babies goes a long way in providing the infant with the required amount of nutrition at that age. However, there are many women across the world who are unable to produce colostrum. There are a lot of medicines that are meant to boost the production of breast milk, but research shows that fenugreek extract presents itself as a safer option as a whole.
An experimental study of 2 weeks demonstrated that lactating mothers who took herbal tea infused with fenugreek extract experienced an increase in their breast milk production. This also contributed towards good health of the babies.
Another study aimed to find the increase of breast milk production in mothers who took fenugreek extract when compared to those who did not. Unsurprisingly, it was discovered that the mothers who took the extract experienced a higher boost to their colostrum production.
It is pretty obvious that the consumption of fenugreek extract in any manner does indeed increase a mother’s production of breast milk. However, a medical consultation regarding this is recommended.
Controls blood sugar levels
A study included subjects with type 1 diabetes and each of them were administered 50g of fenugreek extract in their afternoon and night meals. It was found that their blood sugar levels got into control to a considerable extent. There was even a noted decrease in bad cholesterol levels.
Even studies on people without diabetes demonstrated that the intake of fenugreek extract decreased their blood sugar levels significantly in just a few hours from consumption.
The blood sugar lowering functionality of fenugreek extract may be attributed to its high content of fiber. A tablespoon of fenugreek seeds tends to have as much as 3 grams of fiber. As such, the fiber helps to monitor the functioning of insulin and thereby helps to control blood sugar levels.
While all the above stated health benefits are more or less proven due to a good amount of research behind them, the following are mostly animal or laboratory studies. More research is required to confirm fenugreek extract’s role in these benefits. However, the potential surely exists.
Animal studies have shown that fenugreek extract has anti-inflammatory characteristics and can possibly fight sustained inflammation.
There is no predetermined dosage for fenugreek extract as such.
The usual concentration in testosterone boosting supplements is around 500mg.
In the case of food, a dosage of up to 5 grams is sufficient.
It is recommended to take supplements before or during a meal. This is due to the fact that the consumption of the extract affects blood sugar levels and as such, you should ideally take it with an meal with the highest carbohydrate content.
Fenugreek extract is a very safe herbal ingredient to consume and is normally not associated with any side effects as such.
However, if you are on medication you should exercise caution. For instance, if you are taking medication for diabetes or weight loss, you are advised to consult your doctor regarding the consumption of fenugreek extract.
On a pleasant note, unlike most ingredients, fenugreek extract is a welcome addition to a breastfeeding woman’s diet. Due to its breast milk production boosting characteristics, lactating mothers can include fenugreek extract into their regular diet. However, to avoid any sort of health risks, we still suggest you to get a medical consultation with a doctor regarding the consumption of fenugreek extract.
As with any supplement, you should stick to the recommended dosage.
Fenugreek has always been part of some really delicious dishes. In fact, there are curries derives out of vegetables or meat cooked on fenugreek. So, it is nice to see the numerous health benefits of consuming fenugreek. It sure comes with a very noteworthy range of health benefits. It is worth mentioning once again that it is one of the few ingredients that a breastfeeding mother can safely consume.
Like any ingredient, stick to the recommended dosage and get the wholesome benefits that this herb can offer. We strongly suggest you to have fenugreek as a part of your next big meal. Enjoy!