An Herb For Thought: Fenugreek Seed
For those of you out there suffering from colds, coughs, sinus headache, flu, etc.; this one goes out to you.
The Sleuth Journal would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, Hanuka, Kwanza or whatever holiday you feel like celebrating! We hope you find your day eventful, joyful and pleasant. To those traveling, a very safe holiday travel wish to you.
Now without further ado, I’d like to introduce one of MY favorites, Fenugreek.
Fenugreek is most commonly used for its expectorant properties. Like the other mucilaginous herbs, it causes the mucosal of the bowel to increase the production while decreasing the viscosity of protective fluid. This response in the digestive system triggers a sympathetic response in the other mucous membranes of the body. This is particularly noted in the respiratory and urinary systems. In other words, it’s quite universal.
Usually a key component of lung healing and expectorant formulas, Fenugreek seems particularly suited to relieving the symptoms of allergies such as hay fever and in resolving the unproductive coughs often found in humid climates.
Fenugreek seeds are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of chemical constituents. The major effects of this seed are due to its mucilage content which causes it to swell in water and provides a source of viscous fiber. The seeds are rich in fixed oils which are often compared to cod liver oil preparations as it contains choline and vitamin A. It also contains mucilaginous compounds that decrease the thickness while increasing the production of mucosal fluids and soothe inflamed tissue. It also contains bitter compounds that increase the production of digestive fluids and enzymes and may have a mild laxative effect. Fenugreek is an excellent herbal source of iron and selenium, as well.Fenugreek seed: Try this multipurpose remedy for help with allergies, coughs, headaches, sore throat, bronchitis, dyspepsia, fevers, ulcers, respiratory tract infections, anorexia, and gastritis.
Side Effects & Safety
Fenugreek is LIKELY SAFE for people when taken by mouth in amounts normally found in foods. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken in amounts used for medicinal purposes (amounts larger than normally found in food). Side effects include diarrhea, stomach upset, bloating, gas, and a “maple syrup” odor in urine. Fenugreek can cause nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, facial swelling, and severe allergic reactions in hypersensitive people. Fenugreek might also lower blood sugar.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Fenugreek is LIKELY UNSAFE in pregnancy when used in amounts greater than those in food. It might cause early contractions. Taking fenugreek just before delivery may cause the newborn to have an unusual body odor, which could be confused with “maple syrup urine disease.” Yes, that is a real disease, but it does not appear to cause long-term effects.
Although fenugreek is used to stimulate the production of breast milk, not enough is known about the safety of fenugreek during breast-feeding. It’s best not to use fenugreek is you are breast-feeding.
Children: Fenugreek might be UNSAFE for children. Some reports have linked fenugreek tea to loss of consciousness in children. An unusual body odor resembling maple syrup may occur in children drinking fenugreek tea.
Diabetes: Fenugreek can affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use fenugreek.