There are really so many things to say about the uses of fenugreek and its many forms commonly utilized. It is essentially a one-stop shop for use as seed spice, a sprout variety as well as an aromatic leafy green known as methi, widely used in Indian cuisine.
Fenugreek seeds are also used extensively in various parts of the Mediterranean and Middle East for their flavor enhancing attributes as a seasoning added to numerous cultural dishes.
While the warming, bitter-sweet flavor is considered therapeutic as a digestive aid, there are other secret uses of this long-valued herb.
Not only is fenugreek seed a good one to keep in your kitchen, but also your botanical supplement cabinet. Fenugreek has several nutraceutical properties that can offer support as an herbal ally to women in various life stages.
In some folk traditions, fenugreek tea is viewed as useful for DYSMENORRHEA or menstrual cramping due to its warming yet demulcent qualities that are soothing to such Vata-type conditions. Ginger is also another great spice for this, sometimes used simultaneously with fenugreek.
While it should be avoided during pregnancy, lactating women all over the globe use it as a GALACTAGOGUE (*) and nutritional supplement to foster the healthy flow of breast milk.
Some science suggests that it can increase milk volume when used with ginger and turmeric.
The fenugreek Trigonella foenum-graecum species, being an herb from the pea family, is naturally high in phytoestrogens and sapogenins like diosgenin and yamogenin. (Source)
DIOGENIN, also found in other menopausal herbs like wild yam, can influence the synthesis of progesterone. This aspect makes it especially popular among women going through menopause whereby a decrease in both estrogen and progesterone can cause uncomfortable side effects.
Fenugreek is being researched as a potential natural botanical for reducing vasomotor symptoms (ie: hot flashes and night sweats). It is often included on the list of herbs and spices used for menopause.
Ayurveda, it is a claimed rejuvenating herb for the female reproductive
system in general and in some non-scientific traditions is known to
influence greater "passion" in the bedroom.
Fenugreek for these mentioned purposes is usually taken as a liquid extract, powdered capsule supplement or as a tea infusion. To make fenugreek tea, add one teaspoon of seeds per cup of hot water and drink once or twice daily.
Extract supplements derived from fenugreek have received wide spread attention in recent decades for their claimed ability to support healthy testosterone levels in males. Consequently, they are well-known in the holistic community of professional athletes and bodybuilders.
Standardized extracts that concentrate the saponin glycosides, like
furostanol or "FUROSTANOL GLYCOSIDES", have been the one's identified to be the most influential on anabolic and androgenic activities.
The patented fenugreek seed-based extract called Testofen has been shown to benefit libido as well as normal T-levels in several studies. In other clinical trials standardized extracts were likewise reported to have "a significant effect on total serum testosterone."
Keep in mind, it is important that you always do your own research and seek professional guidance when it comes to supplementation.
Fenugreek is one of those seeds that can be sprouted to produce "fenugreek sprouts" which have white tails about 1/2 to 1 inch long and two tiny green leaves.
As a DIAPHORETIC, eating fenugreek sprouts can help to open up the pores and support the elimination of heat and toxins for both men and women alike.
It usually only takes about a tablespoon or two of sprouts a day, for about 5-7 days in a row, to foster a gentle detox.
Fenugreek sprouts have a strong maple syrup-like scent which will often excrete through the under arms and urine in just a few hours time. This is a good sign and means their cleansing attributes are moving through your body.
They can be consumed directly as a savory nutritious sprout variety to be used on salads or meals.