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Fenugreek


Introduction

The first recorded use of fenugreek is described on an ancient Egyptian papyrus dated to 1500 B.C. Fenugreek seed is commonly used in cooking.

Common Names—fenugreek, fenugreek seed

Latin NamesTrigonella foenum-graecum

What It Is Used For

  • Historically, fenugreek was used for a variety of health conditions, including menopausal symptoms and digestive problems. It was also used for inducing childbirth.
  • Today, it is used for diabetes and loss of appetite, and to stimulate milk production in breastfeeding women. It is also applied to the skin to treat inflammation.

How It Is Used

The dried seeds are ground and taken by mouth or used to form a paste that is applied to the skin.

What the Science Says

  • A few small studies have found that fenugreek may help lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
  • There is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of fenugreek for any other health condition.

Side Effects and Cautions

  • Possible side effects of fenugreek when taken by mouth include gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Fenugreek can cause irritation when applied to the skin.
  • Given its historical use for inducing childbirth, women should use caution when taking fenugreek during pregnancy.
  • Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

Sources

  • Fenugreek. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Accessed on December 28, 2006.
  • Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L. Leguminosae). Natural Standard Database Web site. Accessed on December 28, 2006.
  • Fenugreek seed. In: Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckman J, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2000:130–133.




last update: October 2011


Source : National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine



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