Best Fenugreek Supplements

what is fenugreek extractFenugreek or Trigonella foenumgraecum has been used throughout history to resolve blood sugar issues, to treat digestive complaints, and to boost the libido.

The Ancient Egyptians, Yemenite Jews and Greeks used fenugreek in traditional healing, and now modern herbalists and even mainstream medical practitioners are utilizing its medicinal properties.

The five most therapeutically active components within fenugreek have been identified as:

  1. Flavonoids
  2. Alkaloids
  3. Saponins (e.g. diosgenin)
  4. Amino acids (e.g. isoleucine)
  5. Fibres [1]

Translation: Fenugreek is full of potent antioxidants and compounds that may help to treat diabetes, stimulate breastfeeding, relieve inflammation, and more.


Benefits of Fenugreek for Men and Women

Fenugreek for Diabetes

Fenugreek is full of active constituents that have potent effects on blood sugar and insulin regulation – this is great news for people with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. A 2015 meta-analysis of clinical trials concluded that two major compounds in fenugreek, diosgenin and isoleucine, can help to control blood sugar levels and regulate insulin release in people with diabetes [1]. Here’s how:

  • Isoleucine appears to stimulate insulin secretion and can encourage cells to take up glucose throughout the body [4].
  • Diosgenin can slow down the activity of enzymes that digest carbohydrates. Taking more time to break down carbs will slow down the absorption of glucose into the blood stream, and this prevents spikes in blood-sugar and insulin levels [2][3].

The problem is that these significant effects were studied at quite high doses of fenugreek – we’re talking 50 – 100g of seeds per day. Don’t worry, there’s an alternative. Liquid extracts are a great way to get concentrated doses of the active components, and diabetics may only require 2mL – 6mL per day of a 3:1 fenugreek extract to experience an improvement in symptoms [3].

Fenugreek for Breastfeeding

In herbal medicine, fenugreek is known as a galactagogue – a funny name for a compound that improves the supply and quality of breastmilk. Fenugreek is the most popular herbal galactagogue in the world and is often recommended by midwives and other health physicians to mothers who are struggling to produce enough milk [6][7].

  • In 2011, a small study of 66 women showed that taking fenugreek every day significantly increased breast milk production in early postnatal days [5].

Galactagogues only work when milk is being removed from the breast frequently and effectively – this means that taking fenugreek won’t solve every problem with breastfeeding, but a dose of 300mg – 600mg per day can help to increase lactation and replenish milk supply.

NOTE: Adequate nutrition is required for breast milk production. Breastmilk production won’t increase from fenugreek alone – there must be adequate nutrients available including total calories, protein, iron, and calcium.

Other Uses for Fenugreek

  • Digestion Fenugreek can increase appetite and support digestion by stimulating the secretion of fat-digesting enzymes. It can help to prevent heartburn and reflux and may stimulate the bowel to relieve constipation.
  • Inflammation Fenugreek contains potent antioxidants that have been shown to reduce inflammation throughout the body. There is some evidence suggesting fenugreek supplements may help reduce rheumatic pain [8], relieve pain from ulcers, and support cardiovascular health [9]. For inflammation support, turmeric curcumin supplements are also effective.
  • Testosterone booster There isn’t a lot of research to support the claim that fenugreek can increase testosterone levels in men, but it has been used in traditional herbal medicine as a libido booster for hundreds of years [8].

How to Take Fenugreek Supplements

Fenugreek seeds are traditionally brewed up as a bitter, hard-to-swallow tea. Luckily, the medicinal effects appear to be the same (or better) when taking fenugreek supplements in capsule or tablet form. Fenugreek should be taken with food to help its absorption and to prevent digestive complaints.

How Much Should I Take?

Diabetes: A moderate dose of 1g per day will help regulate blood sugar, but for therapeutic management of diabetes you’re looking at a whopping 50 – 100g (grams not mg) of fenugreek seed is across the course of the day. Split doses into 30g and take with a meal, three times a day.

To make it easier, take 2mL – 6mL of a 3:1 herbal extract in water with meals.

Breastfeeding: A minimum of 300mg per day with breakfast.

Other uses: Depending on the severity of the condition, 150mg – 300mg per day is a good place to start.

CAUTIONS FOR TAKING FENUGREEK SUPPLEMENTS:

  • IMPORTANT: Do not take fenugreek supplements during pregnancy.
  • Do not take fenugreek with other medications before speaking to your physician. Fenugreek supplements may severely interact with other medications or supplements, particularly if you are taking them to treat diabetes, reduce blood pressure, control cholesterol levels.
  • Do not take with iron supplements. Fenugreek blocks the absorption of iron.

5 Best Fenugreek Brands & Products

Fenugreek#5 Nature’s Way Fenugreek Seed Capsules (100 capsules)

This supplement delivers a big hit of fenugreek, with each capsule contains 610mg of the seed. This is a popular supplement to quickly boost breast milk production, and its high dose means you may only need to take 1 capsule per day to see results.

Nature’s Way uses GMO-free ingredients and recently switched from gelatin capsules to 100% vegetarian capsules. However, this supplement contains a small amount of wheat as an excipient, so it’s not appropriate for people with coeliac disease or anyone on a gluten-free diet.


 

Pure Mom Fenugreek Support#4 Pure Mom Breastfeeding Support Supplement (60 capsules)

In this synergistic breastfeeding blend, fenugreek teams up with other famous galactagogue herbs: milk thistle and fennel. Each capsule delivers 150mg of fenugreek, so taking two will deliver an adequate dose to promote breast milk production.

Pure Mom specializes in mom and baby products. They use organic, non-GMO, ingredients and no fillers in their products, and they are manufactured in the USA. This breastfeeding support supplement has great reviews and they offer a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not happy with the results. Bonus!


 

Liquid Fenugreek#3 Secrets of the Tribe Fenugreek Alcoholic Tincture 1:3 (2 x 4FL OZ)

Alcoholic tinctures and extracts deliver a strong hit of the active components of fenugreek in a small amount of liquid. Secrets of the Tribe offer a strong concentration of 1:3 menstrum – you would only need 5 droppers of this liquid per day to treat blood sugar issues. While the cost is a larger upfront investment compared to capsule supplements, this tincture will last much longer.

Liquid extracts are a great alternative if you have trouble swallowing capsules, but there are two down-sides to tinctures:

  1. They use an alcohol base, so they aren’t appropriate for everyone.
  2. They contain none of the fibre from the whole fenugreek seed. Fibre plays a role in resolving blood sugar and digestive issues. This is the best fenugreek supplement to take if you’re looking for the convenience of a liquid extract or a quick way to deliver high doses of the active ingredients.

Solaray Fenugreek

#2 Solaray Organic Fenugreek Seed Supplement (100 capsules)

Solaray’s organic capsules contain no excipients – that means that all you’re getting is pure organic fenugreek seeds. With 620mg of fenugreek in each capsule, this supplement is an affordable therapeutic dose, particularly for such an organic and natural blend.

Solaray is a brand under the Nutraceutical company that has been making supplements since 1973. They have a “vertically integrated” manufacturing process, meaning that they oversee the entire process from sourcing ingredients through to sales. Despite the low price-tag, this is a high quality, high potency, natural fenugreek supplement.

View Solaray Fenugreek Here


 

Best Fenugreek Supplement#1 Solgar FP Fenugreek (100 capsules)

This supplement delivers the best of both worlds – Solgar combine the raw fenugreek with a traditional fenugreek extract in each capsule. This gives the benefits of the concentrated components and the raw ingredient – you’ll get high dose diosgenin alongside beneficial fibre and antioxidants.

Each Solgar FP fenugreek capsule contains 150mg of a 4:1 extract and 370mg of powdered herb – two to three capsules a day is a great therapeutic dose with a broad range of benefits.

View Solgar Fenugreek Here


REFERENCES:

[6] Christine, M. & Betzold, N. P. (2004) Resource for clinician, galactagogue. J Midwifery Womens Health., 49, 151–154.

About James Lyons

James Lyons (BHSc Nutritional Medicine) is a clinical nutritionist, medical writer, and educator. He specialises in plant-based nutrition and is passionate about improving public access to reliable and accurate health information.

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