The fenugreek scientific name is trigonella foenum-graecum, which when translated as “Greek hay”. The history of the herbal product native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean rim dates back several millennia and has been employed for various civilizations for both nutritional and medical purposes.
However, as time has progressed, this Fabaceae plant family member has been cultivated throughout the world and widely used by people in North America, northern Europe, and Asia. The popular herb with a maple syrup odor is closely related to other common vegetation, such as chickpeas, soybeans, and licorice.
Many nations and cultures have adopted fenugreek as a cooking staple. It is hard to find a dish not containing the product in Indian, Egyptian, and Iranian cuisine. Moreover, it is often sold under the name Methi in various Asian and African cultures.
Table of Contents
What are the benefits of fenugreek for your body?
As a simple, stand-alone edible item, fenugreek contains appreciable concentrations of critical nutrients like calcium and protein. However, the plant’s seeds are rife with other vital building block substances, such as several members of the Vitamin B complex, fiber, and a host of minerals.
Fenugreek has also been employed in traditional medicine for thousands of years. Historians suggest that the product has been applied to remediate conditions, such as diabetes, other chronic ailments, and hormonal imbalances like low testosterone in numerous cultures.
Alternative medicine specialists opine that the herb possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to the capacity to lower blood levels of cholesterol and precipitate weight loss.
Moreover, the entire fenugreek plant is thought to prove beneficial. Herbalists and health practitioners maintain that its seeds, leaves, and extracts are both versatile and beneficial. These components have been transformed into edible or usable products, such as teas, powders, capsules, poultice, and other preparations.
Dr. Keith Alderson reviews the number of studies on the safety and effectiveness of fenugreek alone or in combination with other herbs.
Does fenugreek really increase testosterone?
Testosterone is widely known as the primary male sex and reproductive hormone. That said, the chemical exercises numerous influences over the body. The substance plays a crucial role in the development of sex drive, in building muscle mass and bone strength, red blood cell production, and in the creation, health, and motility of sperm. However, when men grow older, their testosterone concentrations gradually diminish.
Many studies have found that low testosterone, which is sometimes referred to as Low T, impacted as many as 20 percent of all men in their sixties, roughly 30 percent of male subjects in their seventies, and about half of those examined in their eighties.
In light of such sobering statistics, it is not surprising that impacted men continually search for ways to naturally boost their testosterone levels.
Scientists say that fenugreek could have a favorable effect on the bodily production of testosterone. The herb holds discernible quantities of a substance known as furostanolic saponins, which are said to carry the ability to block testosterone-absorbing enzymes.
In Korea, a team of researchers examined the impact of fenugreek products for 8 weeks. Half were administered fenugreek and extracts of Chinese bush clover. The remaining half ingested a placebo. Those taking the herbal supplements witnessed elevations in systemic testosterone concentrations and enjoyed a reduction in symptoms associated with Low T.
Another study examined the effects of alleged aromatase and 5-α reductase inhibitor and hormone profile giving either fenugreek or a placebo. Researchers concluded that the subjects administered the herb experienced measurable increases in blood levels of testosterone.
That said, however, other investigations have shown no link between testosterone elevation and fenugreek. A review of seven noted studies examining the impact fenugreek has on humans revealed that only four mentioned any appreciable link between the plant and hormone.
Can fenugreek be harmful?
For the most part, the herb is well-tolerated in adult subjects. Typically, only mild digestive upset is reported and impacted individuals quickly overcome short-lived bouts of diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and general stomach upset.
That said, less common but more serious side effects have occurred, such as worsening asthma and liver toxicity. In one instance, a severe, life-threatening skin reaction called epidermal necrolysis occurred.
Additionally, interactions with specific medications have been reported. Those taking blood thinners or diabetes drugs are implored to first discuss fenugreek ingestion with their doctor.
Persons with peanut allergies are cautioned to be careful when using fenugreek. Finally, expecting women are urged to not use the substance until consulting with their physician.
Fenugreek is a powerful substance that could yield significant health benefits, especially in relation to balancing testosterone levels in men. That said, researchers stress that more research must be performed before any firm conclusions can be drawn or the herb can be formally recognized as a therapeutic protocol by the medical community.