What is fenugreek?
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is native to India and southern Europe. The small, stony, seeds are harvested and used for its medicinal properties. Fenugreek is part of the legume family. Fenugreek seeds are commonly used in cooking.
What are the benefits of fenugreek?
Fenugreek has been used to treat premenstrual syndrome, menopausal symptoms, inducing labor, treatment of diabetes, and as a galactogogue in nursing women. Fenugreek has been classified as GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by the FDA.
How does fenugreek affect breastfeeding?
Fenugreek acts as a phytoestrogen and has been shown to increase a womans breastmilk supply in as little as 24-72 hours, and increase it as much as 900%. Fenugreek is considered one of the most potent herbal galactogogues.
What are the risks of taking fenugreek?
- Women who are pregnant, should exercise caution when taking fenugreek, as fenugreek has a history of being used to induce labor in near-term or at-term women.
- Fenugreek can cause bloating, gas and diarrhea.
What form is fenugreek best taken in?
Fenugreek is available in teas, tablets, and capsules in most health food stores, and in most health food sections of major grocery stores. You may find young fenugreek leaves and sprouts in the produce section of the store, however, the spouts and leaves have not been proven to have the same effect on breastmilk production as the seeds have.