LATIN NAME: Trigonella foenum-graecum

FAMILY: Fabaceae

GENUS: Trigonella

ORIGIN: is native to the Middle and Near East

DISTRIBUTION AREA: it grows in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, in the mountainous areas of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Central Asia, is also found in Egypt and Ethiopia, is widely used in the Indian subcontinent

HABITAT: prefers sunny places with clay soil

BOTANICAL INFORMATION: Plant is up to 60 cm height with alternate triple-complex leaves of 2 cm long. The leaves are of ovoid shape. The stem is branchy, roundish with a taproot. Flowers are sessile, very small, yellowish white, and at the base light-violet. The plant blooms from May to June. Flowers produce long (up to 10 cm) narrow (4-5 mm thick) bare or slightly hairy beans with hard rectangular seeds.


Fenugreek includes:

  • proteins
  • amino acids
  • flavonoids
  • saponins
  • steroidal saponins
  • coumarin
  • lipids
  • vitamins
  • minerals
  • galactomannan fiber
  • alkaloids, such as trigonelline


Fenugreek has long been used as a spice and an herbal remedy across the Middle East. Fenugreek seeds contain nicotinic acid and coumarin, which reduce blood sugar; thereby it is useful when having diabetes mellitus. Fenugreek plant stimulates digestion, improves appetite, metabolism, it is used in case of weight loss, it has an enveloping property.

Phytotherapists and herbalists note the positive influence of fenugreek on the work of the heart: it lowers blood pressure, improves hemopoietic function. Fenugreek lowers cholesterol in the blood, helps to fight against asthenia (fatigue without any causes), and has anti-androgenic hormonal activity.

A decoction of fenugreek seeds softens cough when having diseases of the respiratory tract, also has an antiparasitic effect. Fenugreek cleanses the body, removing toxins. The substances contained in the fenugreek have a positive effect on women's health.

Fenugreek improves brain function: reduces oxidative stress and memory impairments. It prevents obesity, reduces blood sugar, stops cancer cell growth, has antioxidant properties, reduces blood clots, improves kidney health, increases libido and improves skin health.


  • diarrhea
  • stomach upset
  • bloating
  • gas
  • odor in urine
  • nasal congestion
  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • facial swelling
  • severe allergic reactions in hypersensitive people
  • might lower blood sugar


  • increased amount of estrogen and prolactin
  • pregnant women can use it only during the last month of pregnancy, as it leads to a tone of the uterus and there is a real threat of miscarriage
  • insulin-dependent form of diabetes
  • problems with thyroid
  • asthma
  • children
  • allergy to plants in the Fabaceae family (soybeans, peanuts, and green peas)


Moderate Interaction with Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs):

Fenugreek has an effect of reducing blood sugar level of the body. Antidiabetes drugs such as glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others have decreasing pressure properties as well. Thereby contemporaneous using of fenugreek and listed medications can decrease your blood sugar to the life-threatening rate. Observe the level of blood sugar vigilantly. Consult a doctor, perhaps the dosage of your diabetes medications need to be altered.

Moderate Interaction with Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs):

Fenugreek can decelerate blood clotting. Simultaneous taking of fenugreek and antiplatelet medications such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others can strengthen the risks of bruising and bleeding. Before using, consult a doctor.

Moderate Interaction with Warfarin (Coumadin):

Warfarin (Coumadin) helps to keep blood flowing smoothly. Fenugreek can strengthen the efficacy of warfarin (Coumadin). Simultaneous taking of fenugreek and warfarin (Coumadin) can intensify the risks of bruising and bleeding. Check your blood regularly. The dosage of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.


Fenugreek tincture has the following properties:

  • normalizes the sugar level
  • has a preventive effect on the cardiovascular system
  • increases hair growth
  • helps getting rid of cough
  • helps during the treatment of colds
  • prevents weight loss
  • normalizes the stomach disorders
  • helps fighting against skin diseases
  • normalizes the blood pressure

"Fenugreek, Tuesday's spice, when the air is green like mosses after rain."

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

*This article is for informational purposes only. We suggest consulting with a physician before using these or any other herbal supplements.