How to Use Fenugreek for Diabetes

Fenugreek is an herb that may help to treat diabetes by lowering blood sugar after meals. You can use fenugreek to help lower blood sugar after meals by taking supplements, adding fenugreek to recipes, or by drinking it as a tea. Always make sure to talk to your doctor before adding any herbal medicines to your regimen, especially if you are already taking medications for diabetes.[1]



Using Fenugreek

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    Talk to your doctor before adding fenugreek to your diet. Fenugreek interacts with a variety of medications prescribed for diabetes as well as some blood thinners.[2] For this reason, it is essential that you check with your doctor before adding fenugreek to your regimen. It may interfere with the medications that you are taking to help treat diabetes as well as other conditions.

    • Always check with your doctor first before discontinuing any medication.
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    Consider the dose range for fenugreek. The recommended dosage for fenugreek is between 2.5–15 grams (0.09–0.5 oz) daily, so it is important to talk to your doctor about your intentions and ask for a recommendation based on your weight and other factors. You may also want to consult an experienced herbalist or naturopath.[3]

    • The most common dose used in studies was 12.5 grams (0.4 oz) of powdered fenugreek taken twice daily. However, some studies have shown benefit from taking only 2.5 grams (0.09 oz) twice daily.[4]
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    Choose a high quality fenugreek supplement. Some people do not like the taste of fenugreek seeds, so capsules are often recommended.[5] If you choose to take fenugreek in supplement form, make sure that the product you choose is of high quality. The packaging should provide: [6]

    • realistic information about the effects of taking the supplement
    • information such as dosage recommendations, side effects, and ingredients
    • a label that is easy to read and understand
    • company information such as a phone number, mailing address, or website.
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    Add fenugreek to food. Some people do like the taste of fenugreek and may opt to add the seeds to food. You can seek out recipes that include fenugreek or simply sprinkle the seeds on your food as a garnish. Keep in mind that you should still follow your doctor’s recommendations for healthy eating. When adding fenugreek to food, 15 grams (0.53 oz) was a common dosage in some studies.[7]
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    Drink fenugreek with hot water. Making a fenugreek tea seems to produce the best results according to some studies. One study showed no significant results for patients who took fenugreek with yogurt, while those who took fenugreek with hot water experienced significant improvement. Participants in this study consumed a total of 10 grams (0.35 oz) of fenugreek per day.[8]

    • Crush or pulverize 2.5 grams of fenugreek seeds using a mortar and pestle or food processor. Then, add the seeds to a mug and pour eight ounces of boiling water over them. Stir well with a spoon. Then wait for the mixture to cool to drinking temperature and enjoy.



Knowing What to Expect

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    Keep in mind that only a few studies looked at fenugreek’s effects. Although fenugreek seems to be an effective way to reduce blood sugar levels after a meal, only a handful of studies have found this to be true so far. Therefore, it is still important to work with your physician to treat your diabetes.[9]

    • Fenugreek alone will not treat diabetes. Diabetics must follow a careful diet, monitor blood sugar levels closely, and do other things such as get regular exercise.
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    Be aware that you may have some side effects. Fenugreek is considered as “likely safe” for adults when you use it in amounts that are common for food. But it is considered possibly safe when taken as a supplement. During this time, you may experience some gastrointestinal side effects such as diarrhea, gas, and upset stomach. You may also experience some respiratory side effects such as congestion, wheezing, and coughing.[10]

    • Do not take fenugreek for more than six months.
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    Know when to avoid using fenugreek. Fenugreek is not considered to be safe for pregnant women and children. Do not take fenugreek if you are pregnant, nursing, or planning to become pregnant. Do not give fenugreek to children either, as some children have passed out from taking fenugreek.[11]

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