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By Vera Remes

From ancient times, fenugreek played a major role in herbal healing. Modern scientific research has verified that this spice that is so prevalent in Ayurvedic medicine and Indian cuisine can help reduce cholesterol levels and control diabetes among other things.

Fenugreek and digestion

Although we all have to eat to survive, for some, eating to live can be a painful, even embarrassing experience.  Enter fenugreek. Because of its warming nature and bitter taste, a tea brewed with this ingredient is an excellent appetite builder and digestive aid. Studies have shown that it alleviates occasional gas or discomfort, while strengthening the digestive tract.

Fenugreek for women’s health

In American folk medicine, fenugreek was considered a potent menstruation promoter and a recent study has confirmed this. In that study, the fenugreek group experienced significantly larger pain reduction, the duration of pain decreased and decreased systemic symptoms of dysmenorrhea (fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, lack of energy, syncope). No side effects were reported.

For centuries, rumor has it that harem women were fed fenugreek seed to make them more buxom. This turns out to be more than mere hearsay.  A study found the seeds, in addition to female steroid precursors, also contain compounds that increase healthy breast tissue. Since the seeds contain diosgenin and other plant phyto-estrogens, Fenugreek provides a mastogenic effect that results in enhanced breast size.

Promoting sexual health and libido in both women and men

A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences found that an enriched extract of fenugreek seeds was found safe and effective in improving testosterone levels, healthy sperm profile, mental alertness, cardiovascular health and overall performance in men. A double-blind randomized clinical study found that Testofen, a fenugreek seed extract, reduced age-related symptoms of androgen decrease while increasing testosterone levels and improving sexual function in healthy aging males.  A study of healthy menstruating women looked at the influence of a fenugreek seed extract (Libifem) on testosterone, estradiol and sexual function The study indicated that this extract may be a useful treatment for increasing sexual arousal and desire in women.

Fenugreek for mothers

India’s traditional Ayurvedic physicians routinely prescribed fenugreek to nursing mothers to increase their milk. The findings of a recent online survey asked 188 breastfeeding mothers about their experiences with, and sources of information on, herbal remedies (including fenugreek). Seventy-six of the women questioned reported that they felt as though they were not producing enough milk to meet the needs of their child and 54% indicated that they had not supplemented with formula but found herbal remedies, such as fenugreek, useful.

Fenugreek for overall health

Although continuing studies are warranted, ancient peoples knew what modern medicine has only just started to explore and verify. Fenugreek can be a viable and safe alternative for certain conditions and illnesses.  Further medicinal applications for this natural herb will likely be uncovered in time.

This is why we chose to include fenugreek as one of our spice ingredients in Jahmu Chai. Get a healthy dose of fenugreek, turmeric, ginger and other health-promoting herbs in every serving of Jahmu Liquid Sunshine.