Fenugreek ( Trigonella foenum-graecum L. Leguminosae): An Evidence-Based Systematic Review by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration

Massachusetts General Hospital, USA.
Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy 02/2007; 7(3-4):143-77. DOI: 10.1080/15228940802142852
Source: PubMed


An evidence-based systematic review including written and statistical analysis of scientific literature, expert opinion, folkloric precedent, history, pharmacology, kinetics/dynamics, interactions, adverse effects, toxicology and dosing.

Download full-text


Available from: Ethan Basch, Feb 27, 2014
  • Source
    • "Previous studies have highlighted the popularity of these herbs and herbal medicines amongst the general population as well as breastfeeding women [5-9]. Some herbal medicines including galactagogues have indeed gained some reputation and recognition by the public and some health care providers, for example naturopaths, as alternative approaches to enhance breastfeeding performance [9-11]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Some herbal galactagogues have gained reputation and recognition by the public and health professionals as alternative approaches to increase breast milk supply. This study explores the perspectives and attitudes of breastfeeding women towards the use of herbal galactagogues while breastfeeding, their experiences, and why and how they have chosen an alternative option over conventional treatments to enhance breastfeeding performance. Methods This exploratory research was conducted through in-depth semi-structured interviews with women living in Perth, Western Australia, who were using one or more herbal galactagogues during breastfeeding. Purposeful and subsequent snowball sampling methods were employed to recruit participants. All interviews, facilitated by an interview guide, were audio-recorded, then transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was used to analyse qualitative data to construct themes and subthemes. Results The perspectives and attitudes of the 20 participants are classified under three main headings: i) use of herbal medicines during breastfeeding, ii) available herbal medicines resources, and iii) level of breastfeeding support received. Throughout the interviews, participants described how their perseverance and determination to breastfeed, as well as concerns over breastfed infants’ safety with conventional treatments, influenced their choice of therapy. A sense of self-efficacy and autonomy over their own health needs was seen as influential to their confidence level, supported self-empowerment and provided reassurance throughout the breastfeeding journey. There was also a desire for more evidence-based information and expectations of health professionals to provide credible and reliable information regarding the use of herbal medicines during breastfeeding. Conclusions This study has enhanced our understanding of the perspectives and attitudes of breastfeeding women towards the use of herbal medicines, in particular galactagogues, while breastfeeding. The positive attitudes of breastfeeding women identified in this study highlight the need for further research into evaluating the safety and efficacy of commonly used herbal galactagogues, whilst the negative views on breastfeeding education should be taken into consideration when implementing or improving breastfeeding-related health policies.
    BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 07/2014; 14(1):216. DOI:10.1186/1472-6882-14-216 · 2.02 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "In addition, several longer-term clinical trials showed reductions in fasting and post-prandial glucose levels and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) [9,21-23], but some trials did not show benefit [24,25]. Systematic reviews that have evaluated the effect of various alternative therapies for diabetes included only a few clinical trials of fenugreek [26-29]. We therefore conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of fenugreek on glucose homeostasis based on a comprehensive literature search leading to the identification of a reasonably large number of trials with an evaluation of potential explanations for differences in study results. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background and aim: Fenugreek is a herb that is widely used in cooking and as a traditional medicine for diabetes in Asia. It has been shown to acutely lower postprandial glucose levels, but the long-term effect on glycemia remains uncertain. We systematically reviewed clinical trials of the effect of fenugreek intake on markers of glucose homeostasis. PubMed, SCOPUS, the Cochrane Trials Registry, Web of Science, and BIOSIS were searched up to 29 Nov 2013 for trials of at least 1 week duration comparing intake of fenugreek seeds with a control intervention. Data on change in fasting blood glucose, 2 hour postload glucose, and HbA1c were pooled using random-effects models. A total of 10 trials were identified. Fenugreek significantly changed fasting blood glucose by -0.96 mmol/l (95% CI: -1.52, -0.40; I2 = 80%; 10 trials), 2 hour postload glucose by -2.19 mmol/l (95% CI: -3.19, -1.19; I2 = 71%; 7 trials) and HbA1c by -0.85% (95% CI -1.49%, -0.22%; I2 = 0%; 3 trials) as compared with control interventions. The considerable heterogeneity in study results was partly explained by diabetes status and dose: significant effects on fasting and 2hr glucose were only found for studies that administered medium or high doses of fenugreek in persons with diabetes. Most of the trials were of low methodological quality. Results from clinical trials support beneficial effects of fenugreek seeds on glycemic control in persons with diabetes. However, trials with higher methodology quality using a well characterized fenugreek preparation of sufficient dose are needed to provide more conclusive evidence.
    Nutrition Journal 01/2014; 13(1):7. DOI:10.1186/1475-2891-13-7 · 2.60 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Fenugreek is commonly used as a traditional dietary ingredient in India and Egypt, among others. As a medicinal herb it has proven activity against hepatotoxicity [19], diabetes [20,21], hyperlipidemia [22] and cardiovascular diseases [19,23,24]. Fenugreek has anticancer properties [25] and has proven to be effective in preventing colon [26] and breast cancers [27]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Drugs used both in classical chemotherapy and the more recent targeted therapy do not have cancer cell specificity and, hence, cause severe systemic side effects. Tumors also develop resistance to such drugs due to heterogeneity of cell types and clonal selection. Several traditional dietary ingredients from plants, on the other hand, have been shown to act on multiple targets/pathways, and may overcome drug resistance. The dietary agents are safe and readily available. However, application of plant components for cancer treatment/prevention requires better understanding of anticancer functions and elucidation of their mechanisms of action. The current study focuses on the anticancer properties of fenugreek, a herb with proven anti-diabetic, antitumor and immune-stimulating functions. Method Jurkat cells were incubated with 30 to 1500 μg/mL concentrations of 50% ethanolic extract of dry fenugreek seeds and were followed for changes in viability (trypan blue assay), morphology (microscopic examination) and autophagic marker LC3 transcript level (RT-PCR). Results Incubation of Jurkat cells with fenugreek extract at concentrations ranging from 30 to 1500 μg/mL for up to 3 days resulted in cell death in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Jurkat cell death was preceded by the appearance of multiple large vacuoles, which coincided with transcriptional up-regulation of LC3. GC-MS analysis of fenugreek extract indicated the presence of several compounds with anticancer properties, including gingerol (4.82%), cedrene (2.91%), zingerone (16.5%), vanillin (1.52%) and eugenol (1.25%). Conclusions Distinct morphological changes involving appearance of large vacuoles, membrane disintegration and increased expression of LC3 transcripts indicated that fenugreek extract induced autophagy and autophagy-associated death of Jurkat cells. In addition to the already known apoptotic activation, induction of autophagy may be an additional mechanism underlying the anticancer properties of fenugreek. This is the first report showing fenugreek as an inducer of autophagy in human cells and further work is needed to define the various intermediates of the autophagic pathway.
    BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 10/2012; 12(1):202. DOI:10.1186/1472-6882-12-202 · 2.02 Impact Factor
Show more