Fenugreek belongs to the family of legumes. The yellow to amber coloured fenugreek seeds are extensively used in India for food and medicinal purposes.

The leaves of the plants are also used as spice. These seeds are mixed in various food preparations. It is useful in many ways to us and they include:

• Fenugreek is used as a milk producing food for breastfeeding mothers and it increases the milk quantity.
• It reduces cholesterol, triglycerides and low density lipoproteins (LDL).
• It reduces the blood pressure.
• It also has the effect of reducing the sugar in diabetic persons.
• It may also prevent colon and breast cancer.
• Very often it is used as digestive aid.
• It is useful to treat sinus.
• It reduces inflammation and also fights against infection.
• It is served as a sweet tea in Egypt.
• From my personal experience I could say that it reduces also the body heat.

Lot of research has been done to find out the substances present in fenugreek. The uses are not only based on the experience but also tested and mostly found from scientific research.

Do you say that fenugreek is a very good food because of the above told reasons? The answer is a big NO. Sometimes we use the word food but the correct word is spice because such a food spice with several other active substances should not be used very leniently. We must use this as spice in very limited quantities. This I know as an idly and dosai eating human being.

We must consider several things if we use fenugreek generously. All these things are well documented in the scientific literatures. As I say always self-medication is most of the times wrong because we do not know normally what all the metabolic processes are affected in our body. Ask your family doctor and he will certainly say how to do it correctly.

What may be the problems and what cautions we should take?

Mothers or individuals taking fenugreek must be careful; the possibility that the blood sugar levels go very low is there which is dangerous. The amount of fenugreek must be controlled and in the beginning stages the blood sugar levels must be estimated. At the same time the blood pressure and cholesterol levels should also be monitored. This helps us to avoid low blood pressure and low blood sugar values, both are life threatening.

There are negative reports about asthma and the inhalation of fenugreek powder.

Fenugreek is considered as promoter of menstrual flow and it may cause breakthrough bleeding. So if you have such problems then more caution is needed with fenugreek.

About migraines and fenugreek there are controversial reports and we have to wait for the future research.

With heart diseases and problems we should not think that this will do everything, this is wrong and we need doctor’s help. It is a good support to reduce the medications.