Fenugreek is a native to India and southern Europe. For centuries it has grown wild in India, the Mediterranean and North Africa where it is mostly cultivated. A limited crop grows in France.
It was used by the ancient Egyptians to combat fever and grown in classical times as cattle fodder. Commercially, it is used in the preparation of mango chutneys and as a base for imitation maple syrup.
In India it is used medicinally, and as a yellow dyestuff. It is also an oriental cattle fodder and is planted as a soil renovator.
In the West, fenugreek's therapeutic use is now largely confined to the treatment of animals, though historically. It has been used in human medicine. The name derives from the Latin 'Greek hay' illustrating its classical use as fodder.
Fenugreek is the small stony seeds from the pod of a bean like plant. The seeds are hard, yellowish brown and angular. Some are oblong, some rhombic, other virtually cubic, with a side of about 3mm (1/8"). A deep furrow all but splits them in two.
Much research has been conducted in India and other countries studying the medicinal effects of fenugreek, focusing on its potential in diabetes. In healthy and diabetic animals and humans, fenugreek lowers cholesterol, blood triglyceride levels, and blood glucose levels.
Scientists are not certain how this effect happens, but propose that the fiber in fenugreek binds to glucose and cholesterol in the digestive tract and prevents it from being absorbed by the body, or increases insulin secretion.
Laboratory studies in rats show that fenugreek normalizes their blood levels of antioxidants and metabolic enzymes, but it is unclear whether this effect occurs in humans.
Several animal studies and a few clinical trials show that fenugreek can lower blood glucose levels when taken with meals.
However, not nearly enough research has been performed with fenugreek to support its use as a replacement for diabetes medications.
Nearly all mothers who consume fenugreek report an increase in their milk supply within 24 to 72 hours after taking the herb.
Most find that they can stop taking the herb once their level of milk production goes up as long as they make sure that both breasts are being completely emptied every two to three hours. Fenugreek will not improve low production when the breasts are not being well drained.
You can buy fenugreek capsules containing ground seeds at most health food stores in capsule or tablet forms. Although some brands recommend that you take one capsule three times a day, this dosage is too low to adequately improve milk production.
In our clinic, we recommend two or three capsules three times a day. You may also drink fenugreek tea, but it has an unpleasant bitter taste and is not considered as potent as taking the herb directly.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Fenugreek is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
More information on fenugreek seed is available at VitaNet ®, LLC Health Food Store.
Article source: http://www.artipot.com/articles/357430/lower-cholesterol-and-improve-blood-sugar-naturally-with-fenugreek.htm