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Fenugreek: health benefits and side effects

Fenugreek, also known as methi is an annual plant that has been used for centuries in cooking specially across India and have gained popularity due to it’s medicinal properties.

How to consume Fenugreek

  • Fenugreek leaves – Can be used in fresh as well as dried form. Potato fenugreek is the most common form of vegetable cooked in India.
    Otherwise, dried fenugreek leaves, commonly knows as Kasoori Methi have long found it’s culinary uses.
  • Fenugreek Seed – Can be dry-roasted and crushed into powder and then used in face masks, hair masks or drink mixed in water according to the requirement. You can also make tea using fenugreek seeds.
  • Supplements – While we prefer including fenugreek naturally in our diet, but you might need to supplement your diet with fenugreek according to your health requirement and doctor’s advice.

Health benefits

Lactation aid

Traditionally used, one of the most important health benefits is it’s use as a galactagogue, a substance that promotes the production of breast milk in women. Although, it hasn’t been proved scientifically but some studies do show an increase in milk supply within 24-72hrs of taking the herb.
Breastfeeding Supplements are easily available online.

Breasts are modified sweat glands and fenugreek has been found to stimulate sweat production as it contains hormone precursor to increase milk formation. Some scientists reported that fenugreek can increase a nursing mother’s milk supply within 24–72 h after first taking the herb (Snehlata and Payal, 2012).

  • Inspite of the lactation benefits, fenugreek is not recommended during pregnancy as it can cause uterine contractions, which can possibly lead to miscarriage.
  • It is specially recommended for diabetic mothers or mothers with thyroid issues to check with the doctor before taking any supplements.
  • Some mothers report that their baby is fussier and have green stools but the symptoms go away once the mother discontinue taking the herb.

Menstrual Cramps

Study reveals, taking fenugreek powder during menstruation can reduce the severity of pain and discomfort over a certain period of time. [R]


Loss of estrogen in female body causes menopausal symptoms. Due to the presence of similar estrogen like chemicals in fenugreek, it helps in alleviating symptoms like depression, mood-swings etc.

Lowers Cholesterol levels

Lower Cholesterol levels are preferred as it helps in preventing coronary artery diseases. Fenugreek has been found helpful in lowering the cholesterol levels. A study by the researchers in the Michigan Medicine say that, “fenugreek seeds contain compounds known as steroidal saponins that inhibit both cholesterol absorption in the intestines and cholesterol production by the liver.”

Type-2 Diabetes

The seeds have been found helpful in alleviating type-2 Diabetes. Being high in soluble fiber, fenugreek helps in lowering blood sugar by slowing down carbohydrate digestion and absorption.

In a controlled trial, incorporating 15 grams of powdered fenugreek seed into a meal eaten by people with type 2 diabetes reduced the rise in post-meal blood glucose, while a separate study found that taking 2.5 grams of fenugreek twice a day for three months lowered blood sugar levels in people with mild, but not severe, type 2 diabetes. [R]

Anti-ageing properties

Due to it’s anti-ageing properties, fenugreek is used in various face masks.
BN’s pick: Ayurvedic Organic Anti-Aging Face Mask DIY Powder

It is extremely effective in strengthening the hair from the roots and treating follicular problems. The seeds have hormones that help promote hair growth. We, highly recommend you to try our own DIY Oil for Hair Fall.


Fenugreek is generally considered safe and is widely known for it’s great health benefits, however, people who are allergic to chickpeas, peanuts and other legumes might be allergic to fenugreek seeds too.
A maple-syrup like smell in urine, sweat, stools or maybe breast milk is usually common while you are consuming the herb which tends to go away once you discontinue the usage.
As stated above, fenugreek should not be consumed during pregnancy.

Disclaimer: This information 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 about your medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.

Eat healthy, stay healthy!


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22 thoughts on “Fenugreek: health benefits and side effects

  1. I drank SO much fenugreek tea when I was breastfeeding as I had a lot of trouble with milk production. It really helped a lot. I had to discontinue after 3 weeks though because it was starting to give me really bad stomach cramps.. that being said I did consume A LOT!

  2. I use fenugreek for hair growth. It’s really good. I add it to my castor. Thanks for sharing because i now know there’s more uses.

  3. I didn’t know of all the health benefits, I did see a friend cook with it the other day and I have been very curious. I am gonna def look more into it and it’s interesting how it can help with diabetes.

  4. I love this post i’ve always known fenugreek to be associated with breast-feeding. It is good to know all the other health benefits of this herb as well. I will be looking for ways to integrate that into my diet as it is so useful! Thanks so much

  5. I definitely heard of fenugreek when I was in a new moms group to aid in improving milk production. I didn’t know all the other added benefits! Thank you for sharing all this great knowledge!

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