Fenugreek

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Fenugreek
  Evaluated for:
Effectiveness Rating Effectiveness Rating
Breast Milk Production
+1 (Slight Evidence)
Cholesterol
0 (Unclear Effectiveness)

PRO

  • Fenugreek is an herb and spice that is well known throughout India, northern Africa, and the Middle East. It is used extensively in food preparation, and is a traditional remedy for a variety of applications including treatment of diabetes, high cholesterol, constipation and inadequate breast milk production. Fenugreek seeds contain a compound thought to have analgesic (pain relief) and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Fenugreek is thought to raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels and to decrease blood sugar spikes after meals. Several studies have shown improvements in blood sugar control.
  • The fenugreek seed contains pectin, an important soluble fiber. Pectin binds cholesterol in the intestines, prevents reabsorption of the cholesterol into the blood, and thus lowers blood cholesterol levels.
  • A 2011 study at the Australian Centre for Integrative Clinical and Molecular Medicine showed improvements in libido in 25- to 52-year-old men taking a fenugreek extract.

CON

  • Fenugreek may increase the risk of hypokalemia (low potassium) when taken at the same time as certain antiarrhythmic (heart) medications.
  • Fenugreek may interfere with metabolism of certain blood thinners such as clopidogrel, aspirin, and/or coumadin, and increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Patients who are allergic to soybeans, peanuts, green peas, or chickpeas may have cross-sensitivity to fenugreek.
  • Pregnant women should not use fenugreek in dosages greater than those commonly used for cooking. Its safety in young children and nursing women, as well as those with severe liver or kidney disease, is unknown.
  • Fenugreek may contain an estrogen-like component. Although the data on this are very limited, its use in patients on estrogen blocker medications for treating or preventing breast or ovarian cancer is not recommended.

* *ADVISORY* *
Fenugreek should not be taken with certain antiarrhythmic (heart) medications, or with blood thinners such as clopidogrel, aspirin, and/or coumadin. Pregnant women should not use fenugreek in doses greater than those commonly used for cooking.

DOSAGE:Dosing 10-15 g daily in a single dose, or divided into three doses with meals; 1 g daily of fenugreek extract. To treat cholesterol, 0.6-2.5 g twice daily with meals

CONCLUSION:If you elect to try Fenugreek, remember to include it in your list of medications when you visit your doctor and other health care providers.


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