Benefits of Fenugreek
Fenugreek is claimed to be useful for many conditions. When taken by mouth, the supplement is claimed to be helpful for appetite loss, diabetes, and high cholesterol. When applied to the skin, fenugreek may be beneficial for treating eczema, inflammation, and muscle pain. However, it is important to know that there is not enough scientific evidence to show that fenugreek is indeed effective for these uses.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is an herb that has been used medicinally since ancient times. In modern use, probably the most common claim for fenugreek is that it can stimulate breast milk production in women. In addition, when taken by mouth, fenugreek is often claimed to be useful for the following conditions:
- High cholesterol or high triglycerides
- Appetite loss
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Impotence (also known as erectile dysfunction, or ED)
When applied to the skin instead, fenugreek is sometimes used to treat the following conditions:
- Muscle pain
- Wounds or skin ulcers
There is not enough scientific evidence to recommend fenugreek for any of these uses (see Does Fenugreek Work? for more information). There is early (and sometimes contradictory) research that suggests that fenugreek may have some benefit for lowering blood sugar in people with diabetes or for lowering cholesterol and triglycerides. When used to lower blood sugar, it is taken with a meal to decrease the blood sugar rise that occurs after the meal.