Fenugreek is an herb that boasts light green leaves, small flowers and some pretty amazing health benefits. The seed pods on the fenugreek plant contain 10-20 small, yellow-brown seeds that can be used in both cooking and medicine. The herb has been used in traditional medicine in India, North Africa, Egypt and the Middle East for centuries. Fenugreek benefits include the ability to reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol levels, remedy digestion problems and more.
1. Improves Digestion and Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Fenugreek benefits the body by acting as a natural remedy for various digestive problems. It can help relieve an upset stomach, constipation and inflammation in the stomach. Fenugreek can also help treat ulcerative colitis, thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory abilities. Fenugreek benefits also include the ability to lower cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that the herb can naturally lower cholesterol and triglycerides, without affecting HDL or “good” cholesterol levels. (1)
2. Reduces Inflammation Inside the Body
Fenugreek benefits include the ability to lower inflammation levels inside the body. It works as a natural remedy for conditions such as bronchitis, boils, mouth ulcers, chronic coughs, kidney problems and even cancer. Fenugreek also works to naturally lower blood sugar levels, making it a helpful herb in the management of diabetes. The herb’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties can also help relieve joint pain related to arthritis.
3. Increases Libido in Men
Studies have shown that fenugreek has a significant influence on sexual arousal, energy and stamina. It works as a natural remedy for hernias, erectile dysfunction and other problems linked to testosterone levels, such as baldness. Fenugreek is believed to have a positive influence on testosterone levels, however it’s best to consult a health care professional before using it to improve sexual performance. (2)
4. Promotes Milk Flow for Breastfeeding Mothers
Fenugreek benefits extend to breastfeeding mothers. The herb benefits breastfeeding mothers by naturally increasing milk flow. Studies have shown that fenugreek acts as a galactagogue. It stimulates the milk ducts to increase milk production in as little as 24 hours. (3)
5. Lowers Inflammation Outside the Body
Thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, fenugreek benefits include the ability to lower inflammation levels outside of the body. The herb also works externally as a poultice. Wrapping fenugreek in cloth, warming it, then applying it directly to the skin can reduce external inflammation. Fenugreek can help treat gout, ulcers, sciatica, eczema, wounds and pain and swelling in the muscles and lymph nodes.
6. Adds Spice and Flavor to Food
Fenugreek benefits include the ability to aid spice and flavor to food. The herb is often used in many Indian dishes, including curry. Fenugreek can also be used to flavor other foods and beverages.
7. Helps with Eating Disorders
According to a study published in Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, fenugreek seed extract was able to significantly increase food intake as well as the motivation to eat. It enhances flavor as well as appetite. The study suggests that fenugreek benefits may include the ability to work as part of a treatment plan for those with eating disorders. (4)
8. Improves Exercise Performance
Studies have shown that fenugreek benefits include the ability to improve exercise performance. According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, a combination of creatine and fenugreek extract increased lean mass and strength in participants. The study suggests that fenugreek may be beneficial for athletes. (5)