Fenugreek Tea- Benefits, How To Make & Side Effects
Fenugreek tea has an incredible list of properties and health benefits, including the ability to soothe menstrual cramps, lower blood sugar, promote proper digestion, protect the heart, stimulate the sex drive, eliminate inflammation, speed the healing process, detoxify the body and increase circulation, among others. There are a number of potential side effects when too much tea is consumed, or for those who are allergic to fenugreek or other plants in the Fabaceae family, such as soybeans. These side effects can include diarrhea, bloating, gas, nasal congestion and facial swelling, but these are not common.
Fenugreek tea is made from the seeds of the fenugreek plant, which has the scientific name Trigonella foenum-graecum. It is a small bush with pale yellow flowers and seed pods, which contain the light brown seeds. The seeds are where the majority of the nutrients are located in fenugreek, and as such, these seeds have been widely used in traditional medical applications for thousands of years, dating back at least to the Egyptians. They are also widely seen in traditional Chinese medicine; many of the ancient uses for this herbal tea remain popular applications today. Most of these benefits are the result of fenugreek’s unique nutrient composition, featuring high levels of iron, potassium, calcium, selenium and zinc, as well as phytonutrients, vitamin A, vitamin C and various B-family vitamins.
Benefits of Fenugreek Tea
Some of the most impressive health benefits are for those who suffer from inflammatory conditions, indigestion, constipation, high blood pressure, diabetes, painful menstrual cramps, toxicity, anemia, obesity, arthritis and fever.
Digestive Health: For people suffering from constipation, bloating, cramping or other gastrointestinal issues, fenugreek tea is excellent at relieving these issues. As a natural laxative, this tea can stimulate peristaltic motion and smooth muscle function to flush out the body and get the digestive tract working normally.
Arthritis: Powerful anti-inflammatory compounds found in this herbal tea are great for people suffering from arthritis, gout, and other inflammatory conditions. This reduction of symptoms in chronic disease is largely due to the antioxidant phytonutrients that are in the seeds.
Hypertension and Cholesterol: Studies have directly linked the use of fenugreek tea to lower blood pressure and lower levels of cholesterol. Both of these properties help cardiovascular health in a major way, significantly reducing your chances of developing atherosclerosis, or suffering a heart attack or stroke. This tea is also anticoagulant in nature, meaning a reduced risk of blood clots.
Blood Sugar: Diabetes is a growing, global epidemic, but this tea is able to help in a major way. By lowering blood sugar and helping to regulate insulin production and release in the body, fenugreek tea can help diabetic patients stay alive and live a more normal life. By preventing many of the spikes and drops in blood sugar, this tea is one of the best means of taking control of diabetic symptoms.
Menstrual Cramps: Fenugreek tea has been used for thousands of years to reduce menstrual cramps in women, as well as soothe some of the other side effects, such as mood swings and hormonal fluctuations. The tea is also known to help minimize hot flashes, making it good for menstruation and menopausal situations.
Diuretic: This tea is a natural diuretic, meaning that it can help detoxify the body quickly by stimulating urination. This can eliminate excess toxins, fats, salts and water from the body, reducing the strain on the kidneys and other organs to process and eliminate toxins.
Circulation: High levels of iron found in fenugreek tea can help people avoid the symptoms of anemia, also known as iron deficiency. Iron is a crucial part of red blood cells, and when more RBCs can be produced, more parts of the body can be properly oxygenated, maximizing bodily function and repairing any damage quickly.
Weight Loss: This particular tea has shown appetite-suppressing qualities, which makes it a favorite of people who are trying to lose weight. It still provides a number of critical nutrients and vitamins, but doesn’t tack on calories to your daily diet and prevents you from overeating or snacking between meals.
Immune System: Fenugreek tea has often been prescribed to people with respiratory infections, as it can quickly cut through the phlegm and mucus, and neutralize the underlying pathogen. In this way, the antioxidants and vitamins in this tea give the immune system a major boost. The vitamin C content alone is enough to stimulate the production of white blood cells and act as the body’s primary line of defense against pathogens and bacteria.
How to Make Fenugreek Tea
Fenugreek tea is extremely easy to make at home, and only requires a handful of fenugreek seeds, hot water, and some honey or sugar to use as a sweetener. While most teas are brewed with leaves, flowerbuds or roots, fenugreek tea is prepared with the seeds of the fenugreek plant. In order to release the nutrients and flavor of fenugreek, it is required that you lightly crush the seeds. You don’t need to turn them into powder, but gently crushing them with a wooden spoon will do wonders for the flavor of the tea.
- 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds (lightly crushed)
- 1 cup of water (filtered)
- 1 dash of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of organic honey
Step 1 – Bring the water to a simmer in a small pot. The water should not be boiling.
Step 2 – Add the fenugreek seeds to the water, along with any other herbs you may want to include for extra flavor and health benefits. The flavor of fenugreek is quite mild, and pairs well with a number of other herbal tea preparations.
Step 3 – Allow the seeds to simmer in the water for roughly 3 minutes, and then remove the pan from heat.
Step 4 – Let the seeds steep for an additional 15 minutes to release more of the beneficial nutrients; unlike leaves, seeds can take slightly longer to brew.
Step 5 – Strain the mixture into your teacup, add the nutmeg and honey, and enjoy!
Is Fenugreek Seed Tea Safe to Drink?
Fenugreek seed tea is safe to drink in most cases, although there is a risk of certain side effects, such as gastrointestinal distress, nausea, vomiting, facial swelling, coughing and wheezing. These side effects primarily affect people who are allergic to fenugreek, or other members of the Fabaceae family, which includes peanuts and soybeans. However, there are some other risks to consider before adding fenugreek tea to your daily health routine.
- Pregnancy – One of the side effects of fenugreek tea is uterine contractions, which can cause premature labor in pregnant women, and in early-term pregnancies, it can result in miscarriages or abortions. However, later in pregnancy, some people use fenugreek tea to intentionally stimulate labor.
- Diabetic Patients – Fenugreek tea is very good at lowering blood sugar, but for diabetic patients who are already on medication to lower their blood sugar, this can be dangerous, and may result in lightheadedness or fainting. Be sure to monitor your blood sugar closely if drinking this tea, and speak to your doctor before adding it to your diet.
- Anticoagulant – This herbal tea helps to prevent blood clotting, which can improve heart health, but for patients already taking warfarin or other drugs, there can be unpleasant side effects. Do not drink this tea if you are undergoing surgery in the near future.