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Fenugreek flourishes in parts of Europe that surround the Mediterranean. While both the seeds and leaves most often to flavor food, the seeds are also very beneficial to health, and have been used by healers and herbal specialists for hundreds of years.
Health Benefits of Fenugreek
The seeds of fenugreek contain certain elements that can inhibit digestion. This property of fenugreek makes it beneficial because, when ingested with food, the fenugreek can decelerate the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream, which then keeps the levels of blood sugar even. Also, research shows that a particular amino acid, 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which is found in fenugreek can stimulation the manufacture of insulin to regulate blood sugar when blood sugar levels spike.
Researchers have examined the effects of fenugreek on both humans and animals who have diabetes and high cholesterol. They found that the administration of fenugreek helped even out blood sugar levels and also reduced cholesterol. However, the research did not indicate that fenugreek lowers cholesterol in people who don’t have diabetes.
Fenugreek also has high levels of mucilage, which stimulates the manufacture of mucous. When water is added to the mucilage, the mucilage doesn’t dissolve as expected, but it in fact swells. Since the digestive tract can’t process mucilage, this makes fenugreek a powerful laxative.
Recent studies indicate that fenugreek may also be effective in lowering the amount of calcium oxalate in the body, which is the primary cause of kidney stones.
Fenugreek can also be applied topically as well as internally. When used topically, it can reduce swelling ant irritation and ease pain.
Dosage and Administration
Fenugreek is sold as a whole seed, in a crushed powder, in pill form, or as a liquid. Recommended dosage amounts of fenugreek are 1000-2000mg three times daily. Fenugreek can taste unpleasant and so it is recommended it is taken with food.
Fenugreek can also be taken orally as a tea. To prepare fenugreek tea, steep 500mg of fenugreek seed in 5 oz of cold water for 3-4 hours. Strain out the seeds, and then drink the tea hot or cold.
For external application, make a preparation that consists of 50g of fenugreek seed powder and about one quart of very hot water. Set the mixture aside until it thickens. You can then apply the mixture directly to the affected skin with a cloth.
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