Fenugreek Tea: Is It Good for You?

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. 

Nutrition Information

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: 

Fenugreek is also an excellent source of potassium. Studies have shown that potassium may help keep blood pressure in a healthy range and reduce the risk of stroke.

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.

Hormonal Balance

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.

Diabetes Management

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. 

Insulin Sensitivity

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.

Continued

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:

Peanut Allergies

If you’re allergic to peanuts, you may also be allergic to fenugreek, since the two plants are cross-reactive. 

Pregnancy Concerns

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

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on September 24, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

HEALTHbeat: “The Importance of Potassium.”

Herbal Medicine: “Herbal Medicine Use during Pregnancy: Benefits and Untoward Effects.”

International Journal of Molecular Sciences: “Insulin-Sensitizer Effects of Fenugreek Seeds in Parallel with Changes in Plasma MCH Levels in Healthy Volunteers.”

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: “Case Reports of Peanut-Fenugreek and Cashew-Sumac Cross-Reactivity.”

Journal of Diabetes Research: “Antidiabetic Effect of Fenugreek Seed Powder Solution ( Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) on Hyperlipidemia in Diabetic Patients.”

Journal of Ethnopharmacology: “Effect of Fenugreek on Hyperglycaemia and Hyperlipidemia in Diabetes and Prediabetes: A Meta-Analysis.”

NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Fenugreek.”

Phytotherapy Research: “A Novel Extract of Fenugreek Husk (FenuSMART™) Alleviates Postmenopausal Symptoms and Helps to Establish the Hormonal Balance: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study.”

Phytotherapy Research: “Effectiveness of Fenugreek as a Galactagogue: A Network Meta-Analysis.”

USDA FoodData Central: “Spices, Fenugreek Seed.”

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