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Fenugreek Seeds: The new health fad in town

February 28, 2020 | Farah Jassawalla

For centuries past, fenugreek seeds have been a common ingredient in making Indian cuisine and Chinese medicine. However, it is only recently that fenugreek seeds slowly began their emergence in mainstream culture. 

Why did Fenugreek seeds become popular? 

Fenugreek seeds might as well be called a ‘miracle drug’ because of how versatile they are. They come with an array of benefits that range across an impressive spectrum. From simple nutritional benefits all the way to being used in making soaps and other cosmetics, the seeds are small and yellow in color and hold a rough resemblance to that of lentils. This makes it easier to manage and incorporate them when putting together a recipe to bring out the benefits.

5 popular benefits of Fenugreek seeds

  • Breast milk: They have a number of benefits for nursing mothers' breast milk production. It enhances the volume of milk production and allows for it to flow more easily. However, it is advised not to ingest fenugreek seeds during pregnancy and only after the baby is born.
  • Inflammation: Fenugreek seeds serve as an anti-inflammatory drug. Its effects possibly help deal with inflammation occurring in joints and on the skin, and also for easing arthritis. However, although this has been successfully tested on rats and mice, there is not enough evidence to show the same for humans. But it may still be taken as a sort of herbal remedy.
  • Diabetes: They have a significant impact on blood pressure and managing glucose levels, especially in regard to diabetes. It may not be the ultimate cure for diabetes, but it surely does have a positive effect on preventing and/or handling diabetes.
  • Sexual functions: Instead of taking synthetic medicine and pills, Fenugreek seeds might be a more natural remedy for tackling a low libido, erectile dysfunction, and one's overall sexual function. It further helps with increasing sperm count in males while also boosting their testosterone levels. It is presumed that there are existing benefits for women's sexual health as well when in ingesting fenugreek seeds. With that said, more research still has to be conducted in the field before any final verdicts are given.
  • Weight-loss: Fenugreek seeds are an excellent go-to choice when trying to fend off persistent cravings. There are many different recipes that incorporate fenugreek seeds. An example of one is that mixing the seeds with water and then straining them out helps in creating a healthy drink. The seeds’ effects in the drink can possibly help make one feel quite full, which will prevent any unnecessary cravings. In addition to this, fenugreek seeds can help with managing water retention, thus reducing any bloating one might experience. 

Other benefits of Fenugreek seeds

  • They help lessen and manage the pain during menstrual cramps as well as menopause.
  • They look after general stomach health by settling down the numerous digestive issues one may encounter, e.g., an upset stomach, gastritis, etc.
  • They help in treating ulcers, boils, and even chapped lips.
  • They also have significant benefits for those suffering from eczema and other skin inflammations.
  • They are a good addition of flavor to one’s meals.

Side-effects: ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’

  • Fenugreek seeds are best consumed by a fairly healthy individual.
  • Due to its effect on one’s blood glucose levels, it is extremely important to be careful in ingesting it. It is best to not do so without a doctor’s consultation.
  • Some people have reported emitting a particular body odor while regularly consuming fenugreek seeds.
  • Ironically enough, although fenugreek seeds might be a good herbal remedy for treating an upset stomach, one of their effects can also manifest in the form of an upset stomach.
  • Fenugreek seeds might be good to consume once pregnancy is over, but ingesting the seeds during pregnancy can potentially cause birth defects.
There still exist many more side-effects that have to be explored by scientists. However, it is extremely important to always consult a medical practitioner before deciding to incorporate new herbs or ingredients in your daily life as they might have severe or irreversible consequences.

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