Fenugreek

Summary

Used commonly as a food, fenugreek is a staple in India and other Asian countries. The fenugreek extract is specifically useful for increasing libido and hormonal support (specifically as a testosterone booster) and these claims from traditional Ayurvedic medicine are being partially validated by modern science [1].

The fenugreek extract is often used to regulate blood sugar levels, which can have an impact on cognitive performance as well [2]. Although most studies are with diabetic patients, it could be a useful tool for blunting insulin response to food (specifically carbohydrate intake).

As a natural substance with thousands of years of evidence, many believe fenugreek to be completely safe. While it is relatively low-risk as a hormone enhancer, pregnant women should not use fenugreek extract as it could create complications with the health of an infant.

Also Known As

Trigonella foecum-graecum, fenugreek seeds

Editors’ Thoughts on Fenugreek

I have consumed fenugreek all my life, but never taken the supplement specifically for the purposes of increasing testosterone or libido. The results on libido enhancement are promising (and notable), which makes fenugreek potentially useful for many men (and potentially women).

I wouldn’t rank this as one of my go-to or favorite nootropics or testosterone enhancers, but it could be a relatively non-invasive way of boosting hormone profiles in a world where testosterone levels in men are falling rapidly across western civilization.

Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor

fenugreek

Benefits of Fenugreek

The main benefits of fenugreek are for hormonal support (testosterone) and increasing libido. The evidence on the libido benefits of fenugreek are more robust. In a study of fenugreek extract (50% fenusides), 600 mg per day divided into two doses was able to increase male libido based on a self-reporting scale [3]. The satisfaction of orgasm and sexual desire was higher as well.

From a cognitive enhancement perspective, there are few other benefits of fenugreek. While some people feel the increased testosterone or libido can help them to feel more “motivated”, this is probably a subjective fallacy.

As for an increase in testosterone using fenugreek extract, there seems to be relatively mixed evidence. In one 6-month study, researchers discovered no significant change in the testosterone levels of 60 men [4]. A separate study showed an increase in testosterone and bioavailable testosterone, which suggests conflicting results [5]. Until more data is found, it is hard to say for sure whether increased testosterone is a true benefit of fenugreek extract.

Side Effects of Fenugreek

Some of the major side effects of fenugreek are related to women using the compound during pregnancy. In animal models, fenugreek is suspected to cause birth defects in larger doses. It is probably best to avoid any fenugreek supplements during pregnancy for extra precaution.

That noted, after birth it can be a great tool for increasing milk production for women. Getting the timing right with fenugreek can avoid the side effects (at least in women).

The fenugreek dosage can also play a role in the side effects. While this is a natural substance, taking to high of a dose can create an increased risk of gastrointestinal distress. If you are afraid of the fenugreek side effects associated with intestinal issues, it might be best to start with a small dosage and go up from there.

Numerous studies show that high doses in animals “fail to show adverse effects” [6], but the 3 g / kg of bodyweight they used would be outrageous for a human to consume.

Fenugreek Dosage

The fenugreek dosage depends heavily upon your goals. For many people who are trying to increase testosterone production, the dose range most commonly used is between 5 – 600 mg of fenugreek extract. The dose should be standardized to 50% fenusides if using this dosage.

For balancing blood glucose levels (for diabetics or simply maintaining healthy blood glucose), a dose of 2 – 3 grams of fenugreek seeds should be sufficient (no extract is needed).

How and Where to Buy Fenugreek

Fenugreek is a food that can be purchased from any grocery store. If you are looking for the seeds, it’s possible to find them nearly anywhere you shop. This is a popular and commonly used food in Indian cuisine among others. However, if you are looking for an increase in testosterone production or simply want to buy fenugreek extract, it might be useful to look online.

The fenugreek extract for sale online seems to be an affordable and more reliable option (especially for testosterone boosting). VitaMonk is a brand that is associated with (or even owned by) Jesse Lawler from Smart Drug Smarts. They have produced a fenugreek extract product you can find here, which has the right dose and 50% fenusides as indicated in the studies.

Fenugreek Reviews

As with any testosterone boosting supplement, the fenugreek reviews should be taken with a grain of salt. Many of the reviews come from experiences of people who claim to have a certain effect, but cannot really point to any objective data around it (i.e: testosterone testing in blood work).

Therefore, while it is great to seek fenugreek reviews and understand how people are using the compound for their own hormone or blood glucose enhancing purposes, it is not a good idea to take this as gospel. Combined with the scientific evidence, they can paint a helpful picture to understand whether fenugreek is right for you.

Selected Community Experiences

“1-2 TSP a day of powdered Fenugreek (aka Methi), a spice, has completely eradicated my severe lifelong allergy symptoms. Wanted you to know, curious about whether or not anyone knows why that would work.” [7] – ZaphodTrippinBalls

References (Click to Expand)
  1. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21116018
  2. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11370345
  3. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21312304
  4. Ibid.
  5. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21116018
  6. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20448850
  7. //www.reddit.com/r/Nootropics/comments/6ua413/fenugreek_for_allergies_not_strictly_nootropic/
Other Scientific Resources (Click to Expand)
  1. //www.pjbs.org/pjnonline/fin129.pdf
  2. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9324004
  3. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18928139
  4. //www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874112008550
  5. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22680628
  6. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22397995
  7. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9041713
  8. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20641053
  9. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9023970
  10. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21106928
  11. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4401485
  12. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21117451
  13. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8327543
  14. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10234605
  15. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23993618
  16. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23319888
  17. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1872034
  18. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24094275
  19. //www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814606007011
  20. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17313713
  21. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22234597
  22. //www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0308814683900869
  23. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22142357
  24. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23368940
  25. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24022709
  26. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19576740
  27. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15374601
  28. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8539775
  29. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11370345
  30. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20020282

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