Fenugreek is quite known for its effects on female hormones and this is what we are going to discuss today, how this amazing herb can bring back balance to your hormone levels, especially if you are suffering from certain issues such as the ones we are going to talk about today.
Most importantly, we are going to discuss fenugreek’s phyto-hormones effects on the female body, in other words, how the consumption of this herb is going to affect your hormonal balance, whether it’s positive or negative.
Here are the topics we are going to talk about:
- 1 Fenugreek’s Benefits for Women
- 2 Fenugreek and Estrogen
- 3 Does Fenugreek Increase Estrogen Or Testosterone?
- 4 Fenugreek and Progesterone
- 5 Fenugreek and Prolactin
- 6 Fenugreek for menopause
- 7 Is Fenugreek Dangerous For Women?
- 8 Fenugreek’s Side Effects for Females
- 9 Fenugreek and Your Menstrual Cycle
- 10 Fenugreek for Fibroids
- 11 Fenugreek and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Fenugreek’s Benefits for Women
Fenugreek seeds’ use and benefits for women’s health have been known for over 4000 years according to the book Domestication of Plants in the Old World.
In fact, even nowadays in many parts of Asia and Africa, fenugreek is daily used to treat different female issues such as PMS, low appetite, low breast milk supply in nursing mothers, and even used for increasing fertility, breast size and volume.
I myself have used fenugreek to increase my breasts size, and let me tell you that the plant hormones it contains are amazing for the female body.
Just to give you an idea of fenugreek’s beneficial properties on our bodies, here is a list from webmd.com showing you some of the issues it has been proven to treat, although conclusive studies are still needed for a lot of the health problems listed below:
- Painful menstrual periods, dysmenorrhea
- Low libido
- Ovarian cysts, polycystic ovary syndrome
- Breast milk production
- Exercise performance
- Chapped lips
- Atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries
- Stomach upset
- Mouth ulcers
- High cholesterol
- Chronic cough
- Parkinson’s disease
- Kidney disease
And in fact, this lists isn’t even complete as there are dozens of other health issues that fenugreek is being studied for.
This is the reason why I have created this website, to help women understand how they can use fenugreek properly and as a supplement to get rid of some horrible female issues.
One more thing, most of fenugreek’s benefits are directly related to our endocrine system, in other words, they deal with our hormones.
Which brings me to my next subject:
Fenugreek and Estrogen
Does fenugreek increase estrogen levels in the body?
This is the question most women keep asking me all the time when it comes to fenugreek, in fact, they think that fenugreek is high in estrogen and thus, it may cause different health issues if they start taking its supplements or seeds on a daily basis!
For example, a lot of women are extremely scared when it comes to this herb because they think that it’s going to cause them breast cancer since they think that it increases estrogen level in their bodies.
Is this true, does fenugreek contain estrogen? Does fenugreek cause cancer?
The answer is absolutely not, fenugreek does not contain estrogen, it contains phytoestrogens, especially diosgenin, which has been associated with some extremely promising benefits such as fighting cancer.
Yes, fenugreek is estrogenic in nature, its phytoestrogens and flavonoids mimic estrogen molecules in the female body, however, what people don’t usually know is that fenugreek is also an estrogen blocker, in other words, it prevents side effects of high estrogen levels in the body and thus, it offers a protective benefit in terms of breast and ovarian cancer for example, which are mainly caused by hormonal imbalance in the body.
In a research paper by Rampogu S et al. Under the title: Exploring the Therapeutic Ability of Fenugreek against Type 2 Diabetes and Breast Cancer Employing Molecular Docking and Molecular Dynamics Simulations, the following is stated:
“The computational results reveal that the compound galactomannan can be ascribed as potential drug candidate against breast cancer …”
Fenugreek ground seeds are the source of galactomannan gums according to sciencedirect.com.
Yes, fenugreek is very powerful when it comes to cancer, according to research, because it limits the effects of estrogens and other hormones on the body, especially breast tissue cells and other sexual organs.
Does Fenugreek Increase Estrogen Or Testosterone?
Fenugreek does not increase estrogen levels in the body, in fact, it limits their side effects which is why fenugreek is highly recommended for women suffering from PMS symptoms, in fact, according to webmd.com, it is recommended that women take between 1800 and 2700 mg of fenugreek seed powder three times a day for the first three days of a menstrual period, which reduces the need for painkillers and PMS management medications.
So, no, fenugreek does not increase estrogen levels.
What about testosterone?
Yes, fenugreek increases testosterone levels, in men!
We are not men!
Indeed, in the following study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5278660/ it’s clearly stated the following:
“Free testosterone levels were improved up to 46% in 90% … 85.4% of the study population showed improvements in sperm counts. Sperm morphology improved in 14.6% of volunteers.”
As a woman, you have nothing to worry about when taking fenugreek in terms of increasing testosterone levels, of course, women also have some testosterone produced and circulating in their body, but fenugreek consumption does not increase it.
Fenugreek and Progesterone
Progesterone is a sex hormone involved in many parts of a woman’s health, such as her menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and the formation and development of an embryo.
Does Fenugreek Increase Progesterone?
The answer is yes, research on animals have shown promising potential of fenugreek extracts as an ovulation stimulant.
In fact, a research article published in the Iraqi Academic Scientific Journal in 2011 reports positive benefits between fenugreek and ovulation induction, indeed, significant elevation of estrogen and progesterone were reported, however, this study was done on rats.
Unfortunately, human studies on this subject are still lacking, however, as far as traditional medicine is concerned, fenugreek may be an excellent stimulant for pregnancies.
In the book Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Tori Hudson, Author and naturopathic physician recommends the use of fenugreek as a progesterone precursor which stimulates ovulation.
Fenugreek and Prolactin
A research study by Carol Reeder under the title: The Effect of Fenugreek on Milk Production and Prolactin Levels in Mothers of Preterm Infants found no significant difference between women who took fenugreek for increasing their breast milk production and those that did not.
However, as the authors noted, research still need to be done and throughout the world, in many countries, fenugreek is one of the most recommended herbs for increasing breast milk production in nursing mothers.
Does Fenugreek Increase Prolactin?
Unfortunately, no scientific study to my knowledge has a clear answer, so it’s probably not.
Fenugreek for menopause
In a research study by Steels E et al. Titled: Efficacy of a Proprietary Trigonella foenum-graecum L. De-Husked Seed Extract in Reducing Menopausal Symptoms in Otherwise Healthy Women: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study, the following is noted:
“This study demonstrated that … (fenugreek) … may reduce menopausal symptoms in healthy women.”
To add more, a research study by S. Sreeja et al. noted that:
“Our study provided the evidence for estrogenic activities of fenugreek seeds…its suitability as an alternative to HRT.”
HRT means hormone replacement therapy, which is usually the most prescribed treatment for menopausal symptoms.
All this suggests one thing, that fenugreek can be very powerful at balancing the hormones of menopausal women.
How to Use Fenugreek for Menopause
There are many techniques for using fenugreek for menopause; however, choosing one depends on your personal taste.
They are excellent since they are extremely convenient, usually, they do not cost a lot, and most importantly, most studies and scientific research were based on extracts, fenugreek pills, the only inconvenience I see with using them is the fact that they tend to be heavy on the stomach.
If you would like to avoid this, you can simply take them in the middle or after a meal, breakfast is usually when I take my fenugreek pills.
Ground Fenugreek Seeds
Although this is my favorite option, I’m sure that most women are going to feel horrible about using this alternative since the seeds tend to taste bitter and are also very difficult to prepare!
You will need a spice grinder and a lot of time to prepare them, however, you will be consuming a whole food, in other words, side effects are going to be extremely minimal, apart from the maple syrup smell, nothing else to say about ground fenugreek seeds since they tend to be very powerful as well in terms of effects and also in terms of balancing the hormones.
Although this is not my favorite one, I have noticed from asking a lot of women who are going through menopause, that this is their favorite technique of fenugreek intake, well, it’s also very easy.
You just need to buy fenugreek tea bags, brew them in hot water for ten minutes, add your favorite sweetener, and you are done.
However, in terms of effects, they tend to be very diluted because fenugreek tea is only going to contain a small amount of the phytonutrients and flavonoids present in fenugreek seeds.
Fenugreek Dosage for Menopause
If you’d like to use fenugreek capsules for menopause, then, you need to take a minimum of two each morning, as mentioned before, after or in the middle of breakfast, always with a large glass of water.
When it comes to ground fenugreek seeds, a small teaspoon will do the trick, of course, every day, again, in the middle of breakfast.
And when it comes to fenugreek tea, you can simply drink two cups every single day, for example, one after breakfast, and the second one in the evening.
Fenugreek and Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are one of the most notorious menopause and perimenopause symptoms, they are characterized by a sudden feeling of warmth and they are usually most noticeable around the neck.
They are largely due to hormonal imbalances since a woman is going through menopause of course.
And yes, since fenugreek contains high amounts of phytoestrogens and is also going to balance your hormone levels, hot flashes are going to be extremely reduced.
The same techniques for fenugreek intake I have just giving you some few lines ago are also going to work against hot flashes as well.
Is Fenugreek Dangerous For Women?
The answer is absolutely not, however, before we dive into this subject, you need to understand that you are dealing with a natural herb which is very powerful, so, sometimes, it can seem like dangerous for our health as women.
But I assure you, I have used it for many years, and I have nothing to say but good things about it, anyway, let’s dive into our subject and let me show you why fenugreek is not dangerous at all for women.
Before starting to use fenugreek, I read many scientific articles in different authority websites, especially PubMed.
I have also read reviews and books on natural medicine and I came to the realization that most women, when they hear about the health benefits of fenugreek, how it can increase their curves, especially their breasts size, and how it’s amazingly nutritious for them, they get scared and think that because fenugreek is very high in phytoestrogens and other plant hormones, it’s going to be bad for their health!
After all, these hormones are the main cause for breast and ovarian cancer in women!
Well, this is completely false.
Let’s talk a little about the hormones found in fenugreek: most women are completely wrong!
They think that fenugreek is rich in estrogens and progesterone, this is completely false, fenugreek does not contain these hormones because it’s a plant!
Plants do not produce progesterone and estrogens, in fact, plants do not produce animal and human hormones because plants do not get pregnant!
What you are going to find in fenugreek are phytoestrogens, these hormones resemble human estrogens, but they are completely different in terms of effects, in fact, scientists think that phytoestrogens are going to protect our vital organs from the harmful effects of estrogens and progesterone!
They are going to block excess human hormones from damaging your cells and especially your uterus, ovarian glands and breast tissue!
That is why the consumption of fenugreek and other plants rich in phytoestrogens is very beneficial for women.
Fenugreek’s Side Effects for Females
Nothing is completely safe if you ask me!
If you do not consume fenugreek moderately, you are going to suffer from annoying and somehow painful side effects like bad smell, stomach pain, low glucose levels and even breasts enlargement; I know that this last side effect is enjoyed by so many women, including myself!
However, we must be extremely cautious when dealing with natural remedies, especially fenugreek since it can be very powerful and it can also cause numerous side effects ranging from a bad smell to even stomach pain if used in large amounts.
This is the reason why I highly recommend that you do not exceed one teaspoon of ground fenugreek seeds a day, trust me, this is more than enough in order to get its amazing benefits when it comes to balancing your hormone levels and also avoid some of its nasty side effects.
However, you should start gradually, and as a woman, I must warn you that consuming fenugreek in high amounts will produce a distinct maple syrup smell in your sweat, which can be somehow very annoying, nothing too serious, don’t worry, it’s not going to cause you any terrible health problems whatsoever.
But, you need to be careful, you have to avoid consuming too much fenugreek seeds on a daily basis, that’s everything I’m going to ask you to do, just remember that fenugreek is a plant, and has nothing to do with animal or human hormones, so, do not worry about cancer as it’s not going to happen because of fenugreek.
In fact, fenugreek has been reported in many studies for its anticancer effects, just read the following research paper on the subject: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3095649/pdf/nihms283130.pdf
There is one thing I would like to talk to you about now, and it’s the fact that we are talking here about fenugreek seeds, and not fenugreek extracts, which can be very potent and can cause different kinds of side effects.
Personally, I do not take extracts and supplements a lot because I really believe that they can be dangerous for our health since most brands are going to add lots of preservatives and additives to their products in order to give them a longer shelf life.
Fenugreek and Your Menstrual Cycle
Although fenugreek has been long known for its effects on female hormones, especially when it comes to reducing PMS symptoms and pain levels before menstruation, there aren’t many conclusive studies.
However, the ones already done are more than clear when it comes to fenugreek’s role in alleviating menstrual symptoms while also relieving different symptoms we are going to talk about in this section.
Fenugreek during Periods
Can you take fenugreek during your period?
This is the question I keep receiving a lot when it comes to fenugreek and menstrual cycle; in fact, it’s the one I wanted to write a section about for a long time.
The answer is absolutely yes, in fact, according to many studies, fenugreek should be taken three days prior to your periods beginning and while menstruation as well since it will alleviate PMS symptoms while also lowering painkillers intake, and other drugs for lowering pain.
In a research study under the title: Effects of Fenugreek Seed on the Severity and Systemic Symptoms of Dysmenorrhea published in the Journal of Reproduction & Infertility is stated the following:
“…In the fenugreek group, pain severity decreased from 6.4 at baseline to 3.25 in the second cycle, whereas that in the placebo group decreased from 6.14 to 5.96 … with pain reduction in each cycle being significantly larger in the fenugreek group … the duration of pain decreased between the two cycles … The mean number of sedative tablets required in the fenugreek group decreased significantly … the severity of the systemic symptoms associated with dysmenorrhea decreased significantly …”
“Dysmenorrhea is known as painful periods, or menstrual cramps, is pain during menstruation. “ Wikipedia
If you are suffering from PMS symptoms, then, taking fenugreek is probably one of the most important steps you can do as it’s going to lower pain while also decreasing the number of painkillers used.
I used to have terrible symptoms in the past, before my periods, I would simply become paralyzed with pain and I would need different kinds of painkillers, I knew that this was not healthy at all, however, after starting to take fenugreek seeds, my symptoms diminished tremendously.
Can Taking Fenugreek Delay Your Period?
The answer is yes, you need to understand that fenugreek intake is going to increase the levels of phytoestrogens in your blood stream, these are going to have a direct effect on your womb lining, lining of uterus, the endometrium.
It sheds during menstruation.
Fenugreek intake is going to result in a thicker lining which is going to take more time to shed, that’s why fenugreek is going to have a direct effect on your cycle, in other words, it can delay it by up to one week.
Fenugreek and Menstrual Bleeding
Having a thicker endometrium can also result in higher bleeding during menstruation.
Every now and then, I receive an e-mail from a worried female fenugreek user asking me whether it’s dangerous or not because she has been bleeding excessively during her menstruation.
Let me tell you that this is completely fine, you have nothing to worry about and it means one thing, fenugreek is doing its job and its phytoestrogens are acting on your endocrine system.
Fenugreek for Fibroids
Is fenugreek bad for fibroids?
In the book Healing Fibroids: A Doctor’s Guide to a Natural Cure By Allan Warshowsky and Elena Oumano, the following is stated:
“These tasty, nutritious seeds (fenugreek ) … contain phytohormones, the hormonelike plant substances that help prevent the estrogen-dominant state that leads to fibroids and helps them to grow … also helps the pelvis discharge the excess mucus and the toxins trapped in it—a condition often associated with fibroids.”
“…Turkish women still snack on a mixture of powdered fenugreek seeds and honey to maintain the gynecological health and fertility that fibroids can impede.”
So, yes, fenugreek can be used for ovarian cysts, however, I have to tell you that I have looked for a research study to demonstrate this, but I found very inconclusive results, most of these didn’t tackle the subject of fenugreek and fibroids.
How To Use Fenugreek For Fibroids
Allan Warshowsky and Elena Oumano suggest the following recipe to use fenugreek for fibroids:
“… fenugreek seed can be brewed into a tea … steep two teaspoons of the seeds in a cup of boiling water for five minutes. Strain and add honey and/or lemon or lime juice. Drink freely.”
If you are not a big fan of fenugreek tea, you can still use fenugreek capsules, which are more convenient in my opinion.
So, every day, just after having breakfast, you can take two 610 mg each capsules, of course, with a large glass of water.
Fenugreek and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
A study published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences under the title Efficacy of a Novel Fenugreek Seed Extract (Trigonella foenum-graecum, FurocystTM) in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) reports the following:
“A total of 47 subjects demonstrated reduced cyst size. Of these, 36 subjects exhibited no cyst at the completion of the study and 6 subjects got pregnant during the study. Overall, 94% subjects responded to Furocyst treatment …”
What does this mean?
Researchers developed a treatments based on fenugreek in order to treat Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and they had 94% response rates, imagine this, 94% of patients responded to the treatments and had positive results!
It says one thing; fenugreek can be used for PCOS very efficiently.
Of course, more conclusive studies need publication but suffice to say that fenugreek has been used for thousands of years in order to help women get pregnant, and this is my own opinion as well, I don’t think that those women were mistaken.
Even in my family, we believe that fenugreek seeds are powerful remedies, not just staple food, and in fact, when I had my terrible PMS symptoms in the past while I was very skinny, it was my grandmother who gave me fenugreek and insisted on me taking it.
How to Use Fenugreek for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
In order to get the most results from fenugreek seeds when it comes to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, I highly recommend that you use the following recipe which my grandmother gave me five years ago:
Every day, after breakfast in order to avoid stomach issues and feeling nauseous, you need to take two teaspoons of ground fenugreek seeds, not roasted and not boiled, with a large glass of water, indefinitely!
It’s true, you need to keep taking ground fenugreek seeds until you get pregnant, then, you need to stop immediately because fenugreek and pregnancy don’t go together as the seeds can have teratogenic effects, meaning that they can disturb the development of the fetus, halt the pregnancy or even cause a birth defect!
That is all you need to know about the safety of fenugreek for women, if you have other questions, please post them below, I will answer them as soon as possible.