Fenugreek is a clover-like herb that tastes and smells like maple syrup. Fenugreek is used in spice blends as part of the cuisines of Southern Europe, North Africa, and West Asia, and is also used in soap and cosmetics for its fragrance.
Fenugreek tea is a traditional remedy for diabetes and is also used to increase milk supply in breastfeeding women. Today, it is touted as a dietary supplement that can help relieve diabetes and menstrual cramps and provide lactation support.
However, while modern science has lent some support to these and other traditional medicine claims about fenugreek tea, much more research is needed.
One teaspoon of raw fenugreek seed contains:
- Calories: 12
- Protein: 0.851 grams
- Fat: 0.237 grams
- Carbohydrates: 2.16 grams
- Fiber: 0.91 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
Fenugreek is a good source of:
Potential Health Benefits of Fenugreek Tea
Fenugreek is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. However, because fenugreek is so potent, it can also create complications for people with certain medical conditions.
Research has found a number of potential fenugreek tea health benefits:
Breast Milk Production
Fenugreek has long been touted for its ability to improve breast milk production in lactating women. Four separate studies indicate that fenugreek consumption significantly increases milk production compared to a placebo.
For postmenopausal women, fenugreek extract may help to reduce some of the discomfort associated with shifting hormone levels. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study found significant effects reducing hot flashes by supplementing with fenugreek for 90 days.
Its ability to help balance insulin levels has been another factor establishing fenugreek as a traditional remedy for diabetes. Studies show that fenugreek seeds have a pronounced effect in improving lipid metabolism for people with type II diabetes. Other studies show efficacy in reducing fasting blood glucose levels in the treatment of diabetes.
Even for people without diabetes, fenugreek can have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity. A clinical pilot study showed promising effects of fenugreek in improving glucose tolerance.
Potential Risks of Fenugreek Tea
Because fenugreek tea has such potent ingredients, you should consult with your doctor before taking it or any other supplement. Consider the following before preparing or drinking fenugreek tea:
If you’re allergic to peanuts, you may also be allergic to fenugreek, since the two plants are cross-reactive.
The effects of fenugreek tea on someone who is pregnant are inconclusive. If you’re pregnant, it’s best to look for an alternative.
Blood Sugar and Hypoglycemia
Because fenugreek may lower blood sugar, it’s best to check with your doctor before using fenugreek tea if you have diabetes or hypoglycemia.