Trigonella foenum-graecum, commonly known as fenugreek, is a popular herb in Arabic regions and India. It has traditionally been used to enhance libido and masculinity.
Fenugreek has also been used to alleviate blood sugar metabolism problems like diabetes.
Fenugreek tea has also been recommended to new mothers to enhance milk production. Though evidence for this claim is limited, it seems to be accurate. One human study has shown that fenugreek supplementation can also enhance testosterone, but since additional evidence shows conflicting results, further evidence is needed to confirm this effect.
Fenugreek’s most well-known compound is 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which works to normalize glucose metabolism. The other compounds, called trigonelline, galactomannan, and trigoneosides, also work together to provide benefits for blood sugar.
Supplementing fenugreek may cause body secretions, including urine, to smell like maple syrup. This is due to a metabolite called sotolon.
- Trigonella foecum-graecum
- fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek doses vary based on the goals of supplementation.
New mothers that want to increase breast milk production should aim for 500-1000mg of fenugreek. Men who want to increase testosterone or libido could consider taking between 500-600mg of a standardized fenugreek formulation, such as the commonly used product called ‘Testofen’. Testofen has 50% fenusides by weight.
Fenugreek seeds are very versatile. They can be eaten as seeds, brewed into a tea, made into flour and baked into bread, or pressed into oil. Eating seeds or using fenugreek flour is the most effective form of fenugreek for blood sugar control. An oral dose of 2-5g of fenugreek seeds can help blood glucose levels for diabetics.
In fenugreek trials, it is typically taken on a daily basis.