Fenugreek - What is it & How to use

What is it?

  • Fenugreek is in the spice blend garam masala. It’s used to flavor imitation maple syrup and as a condiment. Its extracts are also in soaps and cosmetics.
  • Historically, fenugreek was used for a variety of health conditions, including digestive problems and to induce childbirth.
  • Today, fenugreek is used as a dietary supplement for diabetes, to stimulate milk production during breastfeeding, and for other health conditions. It’s also used topically as a dressing for wounds or eczema.
  • The seeds are made into capsules, powders, teas, liquid extracts, and a dressing for the skin.
  • A few small studies found that fenugreek may help lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes (generally type 2), but the evidence is weak.
  • Some studies suggest—but haven’t proven—that fenugreek may increase milk production in women who are breastfeeding.
  • There isn’t enough scientific evidence to support the use of fenugreek for any health condition.

Safety Concerns

  • Do not take fenugreek while pregnant because it may affect uterine contractions.
  • Fenugreek may act like estrogen in the body and be unsafe for women with hormone-sensitive cancers.
  • Side effects of fenugreek may include diarrhea; a maple-like smell to urine, breast milk, and perspiration; and a worsening of asthma.
  • There’s little information on the risks of taking fenugreek while breastfeeding.
  • Fenugreek should not be used in place of conventional medical care or to delay seeking care if you have health problems. This is particularly true if you have diabetes.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.