How often is it that people talk about fenugreek? In fact, it’s not something I hear about often. However, fenugreek is one of the oldest cultivated medicinal plants that originated in southern Europe and Asia. It’s also popular throughout the regions of the Mediterranean, Argentina, North Africa, France, India, and the US. (1)
Interestingly, fenugreek has been mentioned in detail of the Egyptian papyrus writings circa around the 1500 BC. The Egyptians also use it for embalming ceremonies and it has been discovered that prolonged ingestion of this plant can change the odor of perspiration and urine to smell like maple syrup. (1)
There are so many health benefits to fenugreek and a few studies indicate that it can help with type-2 diabetes and promotes as an anti-cancer agent, as well as other health benefits!
Study shows fenugreek seed extracts may help people with type-2 diabetes.
A study in the journal Association of Physicians of India, conducted an experiment on 25 newly diagnosed patients with type-2 diabetes. It was a double blind placebo controlled study to determine the effects of fenugreek seeds on glycemic control and insulin resistance in mild to moderate type-2 diabetics. (2)
Two groups were randomly selected and 12 people received fenugreek seeds extract, while the remaining 13 received a placebo. After two months, blood glucose levels as well as insulin were significantly lower in those who received the fenugreek extract. (2)
Authors concluded, “Adjunct use of fenugreek seeds improves glycemic control and decreases insulin resistance in mild type-2 patients. There is also a favorable effect on hypertriglyceridemia. (2)
Study shows fenugreek also acts as an anti-cancer agent.
In another study found in the journal Cancer Biology & Therapy, scientists provided treatments with 10 to 15 ug/mL of fenugreek seed extract for 72 hours and noticed an inhibited growth of breast, pancreatic, and prostate cancer cell lines, at lease in part due to the induction of cell death. (3)
The scientists demonstrated that fenugreek seed extract are cytotoxic in vitro to certain cancers, but not normal cells. They also noted that fenugreek is one of many dietary components that provide therapeutic potential. (3)
The nutritional value of fenugreek is amazing!
Fenugreek has many beneficial nutrients! At 100g per % of the daily value it includes iron (at a whopping 186%), manganese (61%), copper (56%), and magnesium (48%). They also contain good sources of vitamin B6 (30%), protein (46%) , and dietary fiber (98%). (4)
Fenugreek has been found to promote many health benefits such as good breast feeding for mothers, reducing menstrual discomfort, minimizing symptoms of menopause, reduce cholesterol, reduce cardiovascular risks, controls diabetes, relieves sore throats, helps kidney troubles, relieves constipation, and prevents some cancers! (4)
There is one warning. The only side effect seen in people taking high doses of fenugreek is mild gastrointestinal distress. Due to that reasoning, it is not recommended during pregnancy as it may lead to miscarriage due to its strong effect on the female reproductive system. (4)
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