Last updated: August 6, 2021

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Welcome to our comprehensive fenugreek test 2021. With this test we want to help you learn everything you need to know about this versatile plant.

After reading it, you will know exactly which criteria you should pay special attention to when buying Fenugreek products. In addition, we present the best Fenugreek products for different applications and answer the most frequently asked questions in detail. Have fun!




The most important facts

  • Fenugreek is a plant with origins in the Persian Empire. In German usage, the plant is mainly known as fenugreek.
  • Fenugreek is very versatile and can be used internally in the form of food and teas as well as externally in the form of shampoos or poultices.
  • Fenugreek has been said to have many positive health effects for a very long time. However, not all of these effects have been scientifically proven so far.

The Best Fenugreek: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for Fenugreek

When buying Fenugreek, you can pay attention to various aspects, such as:

By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you don't give your body anything it doesn't need. Therefore, always look for high quality and ask to see the manufacturer's certificates if necessary.

Dosage form

The versatility of Fenugreek is already evident in the number of possible dosage forms. Fenugreek is not only available in its natural, herbal form, but also extracted in various products for internal and external use. You can get herbal fenugreek in the form of whole or ground seeds or the leaves of the plant.

Plant part use
whole seeds as sprouts in salads or for planting
ground seeds for spice mixtures or tea
leaves in salads

However, you don't necessarily have to buy seeds and boil them yourself, as ready-made fenugreek teas are also available on the market. You can get fenugreek in particularly high doses, especially in capsules. These are particularly easy to transport and store. For external use, Fenugreek is widely used in shampoos. In addition, skin rashes can be treated with the help of a fenugreek poultice.

Dosage

The necessary dosage of Fenugreek is largely influenced by the area of application. If there are acute symptoms that one wants to combat with the help of Fenugreek, then a high dosage is often a good solution. If, on the other hand, you would rather take Fenugreek prophylactically and use the positive active ingredients of the plant, then a light or moderate dosage may be sufficient.

The choice of the dosage level then again influences the respective Fenugreek product. The highest dosage is achieved with capsules. With these products, the dosage is explicitly stated on the packaging and thus easy to follow. Of course, the unground seeds offer the most freedom in dosage. You can grind the desired amount yourself and then process it as needed.

Package size

For both seeds and capsules, both smaller and larger packages have their respective advantages and disadvantages. Obviously, one advantage of larger packs is that you can buy a larger supply and don't have to order supplies or go to the shop as often. In addition, larger packs often come with a relative price advantage, as there are fewer costs for packaging materials. However, both the seeds and the capsules have a limited shelf life.

If you don't use the products often, the effect can be lost and the products become unusable. In addition, smaller pack sizes are particularly suitable for newcomers to the field. If you want to test the effectiveness first and don't want to spend so much money, then it is recommended to buy a small pack first. In addition, capsules in smaller packaging are better suited for transport. If you are on the road a lot and want to take the capsules at work or while travelling, then a smaller pack is also recommended.

Additives

Rarely are dietary supplements or concentrates sold in pure form. Actually, certain additives are always added. These can be harmless colourings or preservatives, but sometimes also substances that are hazardous to health. If you want to be sure that you are getting a pure product, then you should use fenugreek seeds and then process them for the respective purpose.

If you prefer to use capsules, be sure to read the product information carefully. On the front of the packaging you will often find information on whether the product is vegan or not. All other ingredients should also be listed on the back.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying fenugreek

In order to inform you comprehensively about the most important questions concerning Fenugreek, we have summarised all important information in the following sections.

What is Fenugreek and what does it help with?

Fenugreek, known as fenugreek in German, is a plant from the legume family that originated in the Persian Empire. Nowadays, however, the plant is cultivated in many Asian countries and sometimes also in Germany. Already in ancient times, the plant was said to have a large number of healing powers. Some of these effects have been proven over time with the help of scientific and clinical studies. In the following section we will show you for which complaints the use of Fenugreek can be useful.

Hair loss

The fact that Fenugreek is very popular as a method of application for hair loss or broken hair becomes clear when looking at the countless shampoos and hair treatments on the market that contain Fenugreek.

Shampoos with Fenugreek can prevent hair loss and stimulate hair growth. (Image source: Apothecary_87 / unsplash)

Shampoos and homemade oils made from fenugreek have been used for a long time. However, a significant improvement in hair growth was only scientifically proven in 2006 in Hamburg at the proDERM institute (6). The study involved 60 people, one group of whom took Fenugreek capsules and the other group was given placebos. The result of the study was that about 83% of the test persons showed both objective and subjective positive effects due to the Fenugreek.

Loss of appetite

Fenugreek seeds contain a variety of essential oils as well as bitter substances. These are beneficial for the flow of gastric and bile juices, which in turn can stimulate the appetite. Several scientific studies have already come to the conclusion that taking fenugreek can stimulate the appetite (2). However, there are also some studies that have shown the exact opposite. There, a significantly reduced calorie intake was observed after taking Fenugreek supplements (10).

Insufficient production of breast milk

Fenugreek should not be taken during pregnancy, but only after birth.

While the use of Fenugreek supplements is strongly discouraged during pregnancy, it may be useful after delivery. Scientists in Turkey found out in a study that drinking Fenugreek teas daily significantly increases the milk production of new mothers (5). Other studies also came to the conclusion that the use of Fenugreek to increase milk production after childbirth is definitely recommendable, although further research should be done (9). In addition, the babies of mothers drinking Fenugreek tea were able to make up for the weight loss that occurred after birth much more quickly.

Diabetes

Fenugreek has long been used to support type 2 diabetes therapies. This is mainly because fenugreek contains an amino acid that has a strong influence on blood sugar levels (4).

Despite the positive trend of most fenugreek studies, it should be noted that not all of these studies were conducted on humans.

A study published in the Journal of Nutritions in 2002 also came to this conclusion. Here it could be proven that the use of fenugreek capsules resulted in a lowering of the blood sugar level (1). A number of other studies have also come to the same conclusion that the administration of Fenugreek in various forms leads to a lowering of the blood sugar level after a short time (7, 8).

When and for whom is it useful to take Fenugreek?

Taking Fenugreek is especially recommended for people who suffer from the symptoms described in the last point. Although the effect cannot be guaranteed beyond doubt for every person, there is a definitely positive tendency for the effectiveness. In moderate quantities, especially the purely herbal components of Fenugreek are completely harmless. So if you want to make a salad with the leaves or sprouts or refine your dishes with the spices, you can do so without hesitation.

The intake of fenugreek is especially recommended for people who tend to have high blood sugar levels. A whole series of studies have already proven a lowering effect of the active ingredient (7). Extensive use of Fenugreek capsules is not recommended, especially for children. While the herbal products have no effect in small amounts, the high dosage of the capsules can lead to stomach problems (3). In addition, pregnant women are advised against excessive intake of Fenugreek as it can cause contraction of the uterus and thus induce premature birth (3).

Fenugreek should be avoided during pregnancy. During breastfeeding, on the other hand, taking it can be very useful. (Image source: Ömürden Cengiz / unsplash)

In addition, people who are allergic to peanuts, soybeans or other legumes should refrain from taking Fenugreek. In some studies, certain connections between the intolerances were discovered (3).

How much do Fenugreek products cost?

Products in the lower price segment are usually of poorer quality and contaminated with additives. High-quality products are usually equipped with a variety of quality seals and are subject to constant controls.
The price of a Fenugreek product depends on the type of product as well as on the quality.

The prices of capsules are usually between 10 and 20€. The quantity varies from about 100 to 250 capsules per pack. The price differences are mainly due to the fact that the more expensive products are in organic quality, were produced in Germany and are free of any additives. Fenugreek seeds are the cheapest, as they are not processed further and thus production costs are minimised. For 100g you pay approximately between 2 and 4€ depending on the quality. Fenugreek shampoos are much more expensive compared to conventional shampoos. For the cheap shampoos you have to pay about 4€ per 100ml, while the expensive ones cost up to 8€ per 100ml.

What types of Fenugreek products are there?

From the basic product of the plant, i.e. the seeds, a variety of other products can be obtained. On the one hand, new plants can be grown from the seeds and the shoots and leaves can be used for consumption. In the industry, however, the following products are mainly produced and sold:

  • Capsules
  • Seeds
  • Powder
  • Shampoo

We discuss each of these product types in more detail in the following section.

Capsules

Fenugreek capsules are the most common dietary supplement. Here, the substances are extracted from the fenugreek plant and processed into capsules in high doses.

Advantages
  • high dosage possible
  • easy to take
  • long storage times
Disadvantages
  • partly with additives
  • higher price
  • unsuitable for children and pregnant women

Apart from some advantages, however, it should always be noted with capsules that they have been chemically processed and often have additional minerals or are enriched with colourings and preservatives.

Seeds

Fenugreek seeds are the purest product and are available both whole or ground.

Advantages
  • available without additives
  • healthiest option
  • many uses
Disadvantages
  • more difficult to take
  • imprecise and not as high a dosage

The big advantage of seeds is that you have many processing possibilities. You can plant the seeds and grow leaves and sprouts, you can make teas or spice mixtures, or you can make your own oils and hair treatments.

Powder

Fenugreek powder consists of very finely ground seeds. This is ideal if you do not have your own mortar and would like to make tea from the powder or use it as a spice.

Advantages
  • good for seasoning dishes
Disadvantages
  • Loses flavour more quickly than seeds
  • often mixed with other spices

When buying fenugreek powder, you should pay attention to whether it is a pure powder containing only ground seeds or whether it is a spice mixture with other ingredients.

Shampoo

If you only want to use Fenugreek for one area of application, namely your hair, then its Fenugreek Shampoo is recommended.

Advantages
  • ideal for hair care
Disadvantages
  • not available everywhere
  • expensive

The effect of this shampoo has not been scientifically proven beyond doubt. However, it is said that it stimulates hair growth, makes hair shiny and also helps with split ends.

How do I notice an overdose of Fenugreek?

First of all, it should be mentioned that an overdose is basically only realistic by taking capsules. Both the seeds and the leaves would have to be consumed in enormous quantities, so that an overdose can actually be ruled out in this way. An overdose of fenugreek capsules is mainly noticeable through gastrointestinal problems. In this case, diarrhoea or flatulence is to be expected. In addition, too frequent external application, for example in the form of a Fenugreek poultice, can lead to skin irritation and redness.

How can I cook with fenugreek?

Besides its many positive effects, fenugreek is especially suitable as a wonder weapon in the kitchen. The most common uses include:

  • Salads
  • Curries
  • Breads
  • Cheese
  • Tea

The leaves of the Fenugreek plant make an excellent base for a mixed leaf salad. In addition, the sprouts can be used to give a salad that certain something. The ground seeds, on the other hand, are mainly found in Indian and Persian cuisine and are used to refine a variety of curries.

Ground fenugreek seeds are a component of many oriental spice mixtures (Image source: Dan Gold / unsplash)

Lightly ground seeds are particularly good for refining fresh breads or some cheeses. When ground and infused with hot water, fenugreek seeds can be used to make an aromatic tea.

Image source: Solodenko / 123rf.com

References (10)

1. Madar, Z., & Stark, A. (2002). New legume sources as therapeutic agents. British Journal of Nutrition, 88(S3), 287-292. doi:10.1079/BJN2002719
Source

2. Sowmya, P., Rajyalakshmi, P. Hypocholesterolemic effect of germinated fenugreek seeds in human subjects. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 53, 359–365 (1999)
Source

3. Singletary, Keith W. PhD Fenugreek, Nutrition Today: 3/4 2017 - Volume 52 - Issue 2 - p 93-111
Source

4. Haeri MR, Limaki HK, White CJ, White KN. Non-insulin dependent anti-diabetic activity of (2S, 3R, 4S) 4-hydroxyisoleucine of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum) in streptozotocin-induced type I diabetic rats. Phytomedicine. 2012;19(7):571-574. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2012.01.004
Source

5. Turkyılmaz C, Onal E, Hirfanoglu IM, et al. The effect of galactagogue herbal tea on breast milk production and short-term catch-up of birth weight in the first week of life. J Altern Complement Med. 2011;17(2):139-142. doi:10.1089/acm.2010.0090
Source

6. Reimann Dr. J, Schulz Christiane - Bockshornsamen plus Mikronährstoffe bei Haarausfall
Source

7. Abdel-Barry JA, Abdel-Hassan IA, Jawad AM, al-Hakiem MH. Hypoglycaemic effect of aqueous extract of the leaves of Trigonella foenum-graecum in healthy volunteers. East Mediterr Health J. 2000;6(1):83-88.
Source

8. Xue WL, Li XS, Zhang J, Liu YH, Wang ZL, Zhang RJ. Effect of Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) extract on blood glucose, blood lipid and hemorheological properties in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16 Suppl 1:422-426.
Source

9. Forinash AB, Yancey AM, Barnes KN, Myles TD. The use of galactogogues in the breastfeeding mother. Ann Pharmacother. 2012;46(10):1392-1404. doi:10.1345/aph.1R167
Source

10. Mathern JR, Raatz SK, Thomas W, Slavin JL. Effect of fenugreek fiber on satiety, blood glucose and insulin response and energy intake in obese subjects. Phytother Res. 2009;23(11):1543-1548. doi:10.1002/ptr.2795
Source

Why you can trust me?

klinische Studie
Madar, Z., & Stark, A. (2002). New legume sources as therapeutic agents. British Journal of Nutrition, 88(S3), 287-292. doi:10.1079/BJN2002719
Go to source
klinische Studie
Sowmya, P., Rajyalakshmi, P. Hypocholesterolemic effect of germinated fenugreek seeds in human subjects. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 53, 359–365 (1999)
Go to source
Übersichtsstudie
Singletary, Keith W. PhD Fenugreek, Nutrition Today: 3/4 2017 - Volume 52 - Issue 2 - p 93-111
Go to source
klinische Studie
Haeri MR, Limaki HK, White CJ, White KN. Non-insulin dependent anti-diabetic activity of (2S, 3R, 4S) 4-hydroxyisoleucine of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum) in streptozotocin-induced type I diabetic rats. Phytomedicine. 2012;19(7):571-574. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2012.01.004
Go to source
klinische Studie
Turkyılmaz C, Onal E, Hirfanoglu IM, et al. The effect of galactagogue herbal tea on breast milk production and short-term catch-up of birth weight in the first week of life. J Altern Complement Med. 2011;17(2):139-142. doi:10.1089/acm.2010.0090
Go to source
Studie
Reimann Dr. J, Schulz Christiane - Bockshornsamen plus Mikronährstoffe bei Haarausfall
Go to source
Studie
Abdel-Barry JA, Abdel-Hassan IA, Jawad AM, al-Hakiem MH. Hypoglycaemic effect of aqueous extract of the leaves of Trigonella foenum-graecum in healthy volunteers. East Mediterr Health J. 2000;6(1):83-88.
Go to source
klinische Studie
Xue WL, Li XS, Zhang J, Liu YH, Wang ZL, Zhang RJ. Effect of Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) extract on blood glucose, blood lipid and hemorheological properties in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16 Suppl 1:422-426.
Go to source
Übersichtsstudie
Forinash AB, Yancey AM, Barnes KN, Myles TD. The use of galactogogues in the breastfeeding mother. Ann Pharmacother. 2012;46(10):1392-1404. doi:10.1345/aph.1R167
Go to source
Studie
Mathern JR, Raatz SK, Thomas W, Slavin JL. Effect of fenugreek fiber on satiety, blood glucose and insulin response and energy intake in obese subjects. Phytother Res. 2009;23(11):1543-1548. doi:10.1002/ptr.2795
Go to source
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