Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a medicinal herb with numerous health benefits. It is a common spice in Indian cuisine and has been used in alternative medicine for centuries to treat certain ailments.
In recent times, the tea made from its seeds has been gaining popularity. Fenugreek tea may play a role in heart health, aid digestion, fight inflammation, and promote weight loss.
In this article, we have discussed what research states about fenugreek. We have also included a simple process of making fenugreek tea right at your home. Scroll down to know more.
Table Of Contents
What Are The Benefits Of Taking Fenugreek Tea?
1. May Improve Heart Health
Fenugreek tea may lower the levels of cholesterol, which is one of the largest contributors to heart disease. A study shows that taking fenugreek every day can lower blood cholesterol in patients with coronary artery disease (1).
As per some rat studies, this can be attributed to the ability of fenugreek to increase the levels of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione, which is known to boost heart health (2).
2. May Aid Digestion
The tea has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat digestive issues (5). Some believe that taking the tea after meals can aid digestion.
3. May Help Fight Inflammation
Fenugreek contains linolenic and linoleic acids, both of which offer anti-inflammatory benefits (6). Traditional Chinese medicine also considers fenugreek a powerful inflammation fighter.
Moreover, the tea can have similar effects on arthritis symptoms as well. In an Indian study, fenugreek was found to have beneficial effects on arthritic rats (7).
Other research also suggests that fenugreek mimics estrogen. It can help reduce the risk of auto-immune conditions (arthritis is one of them) (8).
4. May Promote Weight Loss
Some rat studies have shown that fenugreek seed extract can inhibit fat accumulation and help reverse high-fat levels (9). Another study showed that the intake of fenugreek could decrease fat consumption, even in healthy adults (10). This way, the seeds could help aid weight loss.
5. May Aid Diabetes Treatment
The soluble fiber in fenugreek can lower blood sugar levels. It achieves this by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates (11).
An Iranian study states that taking fenugreek can have beneficial effects on type 2 diabetes (12). The study suggests that taking fenugreek seeds soaked in hot water (as tea) may help in this regard.
6. May Boost Brain Function
A compound in fenugreek (called trigonelline) was found to have brain-boosting effects (13). Further research suggests that the tea may slow down the progression of age-related memory loss. It may also reduce the risk of brain ailments like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (14).
Fenugreek tea can also reduce aluminum toxicity, thereby preventing brain disease (14).
7. May Enhance Male Sexual Health
Supplementation with fenugreek seeds showed increased testosterone levels in male subjects. These not only improved their resistance training but also seemed to enhance their libido (15).
Other preliminary studies show that the intake of fenugreek can improve sexual arousal, energy, and stamina in men. It also helps men maintain their normal healthy testosterone levels (16).
8. May Be Beneficial During Breastfeeding
According to a study, fenugreek seeds are among the most potent herbal galactagogues (substances that promote lactation in humans and other animals) (17). The tea could be a healthy addition to the diet for promoting breast milk production.
9. May Offer Respiratory Relief
Fenugreek tea was believed to have been used by the Egyptians thousands of years ago for relieving respiratory ailments. Studies show that the aqueous extracts of fenugreek seeds can help treat asthma (18).
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the tea may also heal a sore throat. However, more research is warranted in this regard.
10. May Fight Premature Aging
11. May Treat Dandruff
In studies, fenugreek leaf extract was used to treat seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff (21). You may also use the tea for this purpose. Once you are done shampooing, rinse your hair with the tea. You can also rinse your hair with the tea after using the conditioner.
These are the ways fenugreek tea can improve your health and life. In the following section, we have discussed how to make the tea at home.
How To Make Fenugreek Tea
Making fenugreek tea is simple. You need a few fenugreek seeds. Follow the procedure given below:
- Crush the seeds with a mortar and pestle.
- Boil water in a kettle. Pour it into a teapot or a container.
- Add the crushed fenugreek seeds. You can also add other herbs and loose tea leaves.
- Cover and steep the seeds for about 3 minutes.
- Strain through a tea strainer into a cup or another container.
- You can also sweeten with honey or stevia.
- Drink the tea hot or cold.
Before you go about preparing the tea, there is something you need to know – the tea may not be for everyone. Excess consumption of tea may cause adverse effects in some individuals. We will explore those in the following section.
What Are The Side Effects Of Fenugreek Tea?
- Issues During Pregnancy
According to rat studies, consuming fenugreek seeds during pregnancy may cause growth retardation in the child. The seeds may also alter the neurobehavioral performance of the child (22). The impact of the seeds/tea on human pregnancies is yet to be studied. Hence, stay safe and avoid use if you are pregnant.
- May Lower Blood Sugar Way Too Much
As fenugreek can lower blood sugar, taking the tea along with blood sugar or diabetes medications may cause problems. Limited research is available in this aspect. However, please check with your doctor before consuming the tea.
Though fenugreek allergies are rare, a couple of individuals reported experiencing allergies after consuming fenugreek. The allergic symptoms included wheezing, fainting, head numbness, and facial swelling (23). Hence, if you have a food allergy, exercise caution before taking fenugreek tea.
Fenugreek seeds are commonplace in the kitchen. Making them a part of your regular diet would only do good to your health. You may replace your regular beverages with the fenugreek tea.
However, excess consumption of fenugreek tea may lead to adverse effects in some people.
Avoid usage of this herbal tea in case of any allergic reactions. If you are under any medication, please contact your doctor before consuming it. Pregnant women may want to avoid the tea altogether.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Q: How much fenugreek tea should I drink?
A: Three cups of the tea per day should do. The ideal dosage of the tea has not been established yet.
Q: How long does it take for fenugreek to work?
A: There is some research with respect to breastfeeding. Fenugreek was found to increase milk production in breastfeeding women within 24-72 hours of intake (24).
- Effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) and fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum L.) on blood lipids, blood sugar and platelet aggregation in patients with coronary artery disease, Prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and Essential Fatty Acids, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Dietary fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) seeds and garlic (Allium sativum) alleviates oxidative stress in experimental myocardial infarction, Food Science and Human Wellness, ScienceDirect.
- Diets for Constipation, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Herbal Medicine in the Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis, The Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Fenugreek, Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Anti-inflammatory activity of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn) seed petroleum ether extract, Indian Journal of Pharmacology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects of mucilage of Trigonella foenum graecum (Fenugreek) on adjuvant induced arthritic rats, International Immunopharmacology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Therapeutic Uses of Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.), American Journal of Social Issues and Humanities, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Fenugreek Seed Extract Inhibit Fat Accumulation and Ameliorates Dyslipidemia in High Fat Diet-Induced Obese Rats, BioMed Research International, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- A fenugreek seed extract selectively reduces spontaneous fat consumption in healthy volunteers, European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- A simple dietary addition of fenugreek seed leads to the reduction in blood glucose levels: A parallel group, randomized single-blind trial, Ayu, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and lipid profiles in type 2 diabetic patients, International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Trigonelline: a plant alkaloid with therapeutic potential for diabetes and central nervous system disease, Current Medicinal Chemistry, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Fenugreek Seed Powder Nullified Aluminium Chloride Induced Memory Loss, Biochemical Changes, Aβ Burden and Apoptosis via Regulating Akt/GSK3β Signaling Pathway, PLoS ONE, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Beneficial effects of fenugreek glycoside supplementation in male subjects during resistance training: A randomized controlled pilot study, Journal of Sport and Health Science, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Physiological Aspects of Male Libido Enhanced by Standardized Trigonella Foenum-Graecum Extract and Mineral Formulation, Phytotherapy Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Systematic Review of Breastfeeding and Herbs, Breastfeeding Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Investigating the effectiveness of the Trigonella foenum-graecum L. (fenugreek) seeds in mild asthma: a randomized controlled trial, Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Antioxidant Properties of Germinated Fenugreek Seeds, Phytotherapy Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Role of Antioxidants in the Skin: Anti-Aging Effects, Journal of Dermatological Science, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Fenugreek Leaf Extract and Its Gel Formulation Show Activity Against Malassezia furfur, Assay and Drug Development Technologies, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- The Developmental Neurobehavioral Effects of Fenugreek Seeds on Prenatally Exposed Mice, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Allergy to Fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum Graecum), Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Which Benefits and Harms of Using Fenugreek as a Galactogogue Need to Be Discussed during Clinical Consultations? A Delphi Study among Breastfeeding Women, Gynecologists, Pediatricians, Family Physicians, Lactation Consultants, and Pharmacists, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.