Ingredient Spotlight: Fenugreek
What is Fenugreek?
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a popular plant with a multitude of culinary and medicinal uses that's graced the tables and cupboards of human beings for centuries. Both its leaves and seeds can be used as a seasoning, as food and to heal. First believed to be cultivated in the Near East, fenugreek is now grown all over the world, but is found most abundantly in North Africa, Nepal, parts of Asia and especially India. Traditional Indian and Asian cultures hail fenugreek as both a nourishing food and a popular spice, and their cuisines commonly feature fenugreek leaves and seeds. Fenugreek's distinct maple syrup-like flavor is attributed to a chemical called sotolon. In moderns times, fenugreek is used as a digestive aid, and to boost testosterone.
Best-known for its tummy-soothing properties, fenugreek is a great digestive aid, helping to alleviate nausea and cool digestive inflammation, while promoting a healthy appetite. It might come as a surprise that fenugreek is also often used for a wide range of other health-related purposes from supporting cardiovascular and respiratory health to boosting milk production in nursing moms. It can even be used topically as a poultice to help with muscle and joint pain, promote the healing of skin wounds, or provide relief for skin conditions like eczema.
In recent years, fenugreek's ability to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels already within normal ranges has brought it to the attention of the medical community, with various studies confirming this promising property. Another area in which fenugreek shines is men's health, where its aphrodisiac and ability to boost testosterone make it a go-to herb for promoting a strong, healthy libido. This is important because low libido has become somewhat of an epidemic in this modern day and age. One American study published in Phytotherapy Research showed a boost in libido, energy and libido-related stamina in men who took fenugreek for six weeks. Another eight-week study done at Texas A & M University demonstrated fenugreek's ability to boost testosterone levels in men. Refreshingly, when taken in moderation as in these studies, fenugreek was reported to have no negative side effects!
Considerations When Using Fenugreek to Boost Testosterone and Libido
Fenugreek is generally safe when used in moderation, however it is not recommended for use in pregnant women as it might cause contractions, or in children. Although fenugreek has been used for centuries to promote milk flow in nursing mothers, breastfeeding women should consult their physician before using fenugreek for this or any other purpose. If you have diabetes or any other medical condition, please consult your physician before using fenugreek.