Fenugreek Tea

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In traditional Indian medicine, drinking Fenugreek tea or eating Fenugreek seeds, has been used to treat health problems like diabetes, digestion, cholesterol, atherosclerosis and triglyceride problems.
Fenugreek for Diabetes
Fenugreek, originally grown in countries like Egypt, India and the Middle East, is well known for its high fiber content (50%).  This is one of the primary reasons its famous in the herbal medicine world as a treatment for various ailments.
The herb’s fiber helps your stomach to absorb the sugars from your food more slowly so that the level of sugar in your blood does not spike after a meal.But that’s not the only part of the herb that helps your gut to put the absorption process of carbohydrates into low gear.A certain compound (called Fenugreekine) shares that responsibility with fiber, and when the two of them work together, they make an effective team.

The active compounds in Fenugreek have a stimulating effect on your pancreas, so that it secretes more insulin in order to help deal with the high glucose levels in your blood.  On the other side of the same scenario, it also help your body cells to respond better to the insulin’s instructions by storing excess glucose so that you won’t have the thread of toxic high levels of glucose in your blood.

How To Use Fenugreek

– Fenugreek tea 1: Traditionally the seeds were collected, dried, crushed and then boiled in hot water where it stayed for 3 hours before drinking.

– Fenugreek tea 2: Soak 1 teaspoon of seeds over night.  Use it the next day to make tea with.  (Try to eat the seeds before, during or after drinking the tea.)

– Seeds can be used as a spice in food.

– Raw seeds (2-3g) can also be swallowed with warm water before a meal.

– Seed extract is available along with capsules (Capsules sometimes cause stomach upsets).

– Dosage: Consider your age and condition, talk to your doctor or herbalist and read the label on the bottle  (Usually it is 10-15 g a day that you can spread out over different dosages or take once.)

The Science Behind Fenugreek Tea

Fenugreek contain the following active compounds:
Alkaloids (gentianine, Trigonelline, Carpaine) that help with infection and gas.
Sapogenins like Fenugreekine (which slows down the absorption of carbohydrates so that too much sugar will not be released into your system right after a meal.)
Amino Acid (4 – Hydroxyisoleucine) which stimulate the pancreas, causing it to produce more insulin.
Antioxidants (which inhibits free radicals responsible for cell damage as in the case where cells do not respond to insulin in order to absorb excess glucose from the blood)
Fiber (help with cholesterol and slowing down the absorption of sugars from the stomach)

Possible Side-Effects

Possible side-effects that should go away after a couple of days are:

– gas
– diarrhea
– flatulence

Fenugreek has been used as medication in India to induce a baby’s delivery, so it’s better not to use it when you are pregnant.

Fenugreek, with its maple syrupy taste, has been used to mask the taste of medicines.

– this can cause your urine to smell like maple syrup (not sure if that’s good or bad, but will surely be strange if you don’t know where it’s coming from).
– Kids drinking Fenugreek tea may have a maple syrup odor lingering around them.
– Not sure how safe it is for kids as a supplement.

Other side-effects:

– allergic reaction (swelling, sneezing and a runny nose)

– blood thinning (Talk to your doctor before you use it, might interfere with other meds)

– When taking it with diabetic meds, monitor your sugar levels more often.