With most herbal supplements, including fenugreek, dosage recommendations have not been established, since very few studies have been done. Studies for high cholesterol used 0.6 to 2.5 grams of fenugreek twice daily with meals. For diabetes, researchers used a fenugreek dose of 10 to 15 grams daily. However, these doses have not been proven safe or effective.
Fenugreek Dosage: An Introduction
The recommended dose of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) has not been clearly established. Unlike medications, for which the standard doses have been well established in carefully designed studies, there is less information available for determining the best dose for most herbal supplements, including fenugreek.
What Is a Reasonable Fenugreek Dose?
With prescription and non-prescription medications, researchers establish the most effective and safe doses in special studies, known as dose-range studies. These studies are done early in the development of medications, long before they are ever approved. However, because herbal supplements do not need to be approved, dose-range studies are rarely performed. Without such studies, only vague "trial and error" information is available.
Some information about fenugreek dosing can be obtained from clinical studies and from practical experience with the supplement. For diabetes, some studies have used 10 to 15 grams per day, either once daily with a meal or split into smaller doses with meals, to help limit the rise in blood sugar that happens after meals. For high cholesterol, studies have used a lower fenugreek dose -- 0.6 to 2.5 grams twice a day with meals. It is not known if these doses are safe or effective, since very little research has been done.
Just as it is not known if fenugreek is safe or effective for stimulating the production of breast milk, it is not known what the best fenugreek dose for this purpose might be.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed January 16, 2008.
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Herbs at a glance: Fenugreek (March 2007). NCCAM Web site. Available at: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/fenugreek/. Accessed January 16, 2008.
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