Fenugreek can be used for treating diabetes, chronic diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, abdominal distension, flatulence, arthritic joint pain and rheumatism.
Fenugreek is used for the control of diabetes by practitioners. Medical scientists have found that fenugreek seeds can be used to lower blood sugar levels, and help for diabetes. Fenugreek has been used in Ethiopia as a natural herbal medicine in the treatment of diabetes. Several human intervention trials demonstrated that fenugreek has antidiabetic effects and helps relieve most metabolic symptoms associated with type-1 and type-2 diabetes in both humans and animals by reducing serum glucose and improving glucose tolerance.
Fenugreek tea also has a therapeutic and healing effect on joint pains. In India, there is a low incidence rate of arthritis. This may be due to that a lot of fenugreek is consumed in India. Indian people believe that drinking 1 cup of fenugreek tea per day, made from the leaves or seeds, can relieve the discomfort of arthritis.
Fenugreek seeds also can be used in colic flatulence, chronic dysentery, dyspepsia, loss of appetite and diarrhea.
Why fenugreek can treat so many diseases – from diabetes, to arthritis, dysentery and more?
Well, we may find the explanation about the health effects of fenugreek in traditional Chinese medicine guidelines. According to traditional Chinese medicine guidelines, fenugreek (“Hu Lu Ba” in Chinese) is a moderate warming tonic. It warms kidney network. In Chinese medical theory, “kidney” is not just referring to the physical organs of the kidneys. Rather it refers to very specific energy flows and functions related to kidneys. The concept “kidney” includes genital organs, adrenal gland, kidney, prostate and bladder, etc. They all are located in the lower abdomen. According the theory, many chronic “cold” diseases, like arthritis, joint pain, lower back pain, low sex drive, impotence, nocturnal emission, premature ejaculation, painful menstrual cramps, diabetes, chronic diarrhea and chronic dysentery are caused by weakness and coldness in “kidney” and lower abdomen. Therefore, the treatment for these problems is to warm, tonify and strengthen “kidney” and lower abdomen. Fenugreek is just one of the herbs that have properties of warming “kidney” and lower abdomen. So we can see that, the effects of fenugreek for the above diseases are indirect and therefore moderate.
Then why fenugreek can treat fevers if it is a warming herb? Well, each herb may have specific properties that affect specific areas and parts of body. Yes, fenugreek is a warming herb, but it warms lower abdomen, and it has downwarding properties. When there is a fever in the upper body, fenugreek guides (leads) the heat downward to the lower abdomen. That is why fenugreek can relieve fever in the upper body and warm the lower body. And that is why, there are warnings regarding fenugreek in traditional Chinese medicine guidelines: fenugreek should not be used for patients who have “hot” diseases. If you have “hot” symptoms in lower abdomen, such as dark yellow urines, blood urines, kidney stones, high sex drive, constipation, liver inflammation, etc, you should not use fenugreek.