Fenugreek Trigonella foenum – graecum is a plant product that is used for variety of medicinal and other purposes, and also used in the treatment of Diabetes. The part used medicinally is its seeds.
How fenugreek works?
Fenugreek seeds are rich in soluble fibre, which may help to lower the blood glucose level through delayed gastric emptying and slowed carbohydrate absorption. The amino acid contained in the seeds may also directly stimulate insulin secretion and reduce insulin resistance. Fenugreek may also increase the number of insulin receptors in red blood cells and improve glucose utilization in peripheral tissues.
How to use?
Take a teaspoonful of fenugreek seeds and soak in water the overnight. Eat these soaked in the morning. These seeds can taste bitter but over time you can adjust to them. Drink all the water and chew up the soaked seeds. You may need more water to push them down.
Bitter taste of fenugreek seeds can be minimized by toasting them, adding honey or buying de-bitterized seeds. Powdered seeds can also be a good option.
The usual dose of fenugreek seeds is 5 to 30 grams with each meal or 15 to 90 grams all at once with one meal.
What are the effects of fenugreek seeds on diabetes?
In type II diabetes, adding fenugreek seeds to a meal decreases the increase in blood glucose after the meal. Fenugreek seeds shows improved blood glucose control and insulin function. It reduce the fasting blood glucose in both Type I and II diabetes.
Dyslipideamia and Heart disease are common in diabetics. Fenugreek seeds promote heart health and help in lowering blood cholesterol levels.
What are the side effects of fenugreek seeds?
Fenugreek seeds are completely safe when used in moderation. Nausea, abdominal discomfort like diarrhoea and/or gas are few minor side effects which usually subside after a few days of use. When used topically on skin watch for skin irritation and rashes. These seeds are not recommended in pregnancy, as it causes uterine contraction.
Note: Consult your health care professional before you start any nutritional supplement. Blood glucose levels should be checked more often to determine the effectiveness of supplement or if the medication change is required.