Fenugreek: Benefits, How it Works, Clinical Studies And Side Affects

Fenugreek seeds

What is Fenugreek?


Scientific name: Trigonellafoenum-graecum

Other name: Greek Hay

Fenugreek is a Mediterranean herb which whose seeds and leaves are commonly used as spice in different cuisines.

Function:  It is also used to make medicine to treat a variety of health problems in South Asia, Italy, Greece and Egypt.

Similar test boosting herbs and spice: Nettle leaf, Panax Ginseng, Piperine (black pepper), etc.

Fenugreek is an herb which is found in the Mediterranean regions and is used as a treatment for many medical conditions in different parts of the world such as Europe and South Asia. The leaves and seeds are used as a spice, and seeds are known to contain different nutrients such as diosgenin (has estrogen like properties), niacin, vitamin C and potassium. Other active compounds include the amino acids L-tryptophan and lysine as well as some alkaloids and steroidal saponins.

Benefits of Fenugreek as a Testosterone Booster

Fenugreek is known to increase testosterone levels which help in building muscle through:

  • Increased exercise performance
  • Increased fat loss
  • Increased muscle mass
  • Increase in muscle glycogen after exercise
  • Increased muscle strength

How Does It Work?

In your body, testosterone plays a crucial role in muscle building. However, much of the testosterone is bound to a protein, making it unavailable for muscle growth. Fenugreek steps in to help by boosting the production of testosterone in your body. This increase in testosterone levels is beneficial for building muscle mass.

Moreover, fenugreek contains several amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. These amino acids aid in the maintenance, repair, and synthesis of muscle tissue. Essentially, fenugreek supports muscle growth and development by not only increasing testosterone levels but also providing the essential components needed for muscle repair and growth. This combined action makes fenugreek an effective supplement for enhancing muscle building and improving exercise performance.

Other Benefits

Some health benefits of fenugreek are as follows:

  • Treats sore throat, bronchitis and asthma
  • Improves digestion and treats digestive disorders like constipation and stomach upset
  • Cures acid reflux
  • Treats hormonal disorders
  • Reduces menstrual pain
  • Helps in inducing labor
  • Treats reproductive disorders
  • Increases libido
  • Combats symptoms of PMS and menopause such as mood swings and hot flashes
  • Cures skin problems such as boils, rashes and wounds
  • May be effective for the treatment of diabetes
  • May have cardiovascular benefits
  • May reduce heartburn
  • Helps with weight loss
  • May serve as a treatment for gout

Clinical Studies on Fenugreek

fenugreek clinical research findings

Effect of Fenugreek Extract on Strength in Resistance Trained Men: A study involving 49 resistance trained men examined the impact of fenugreek extract on strength improvement. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or 500mg of fenugreek daily. They followed a structured resistance training program for four days a week over an eight-week period. At the study’s conclusion, it was found that those who took 500mg of fenugreek experienced significant increases in both upper and lower body strength compared to the placebo group. Notably, no adverse side effects were reported during the study.

Source: Research Study on Fenugreek Extract for Strength Improvement

Effect of Fenugreek Extract on Testosterone Levels and Body Composition: Another study investigated the impact of fenugreek extract on two enzymes – 5α reductase and aromatase – which are found in fenugreek. This study involved 20 resistance trained men who were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or fenugreek extract. The study lasted for two months, during which participants engaged in resistance training four days a week. Results showed that men who received fenugreek extract experienced increased testosterone levels, improved performance in weight-lifting exercises, and reduced body fat compared to those in the placebo group.

Source: Study on the Effects of Fenugreek Extract on Testosterone Levels and Body Composition

Side Effects

Fenugreek is safe to consume in the amount found in foods. When taken as a medicine, following mild side effects may occur:

  • Stomach upset
  • Facial swelling
  • Diarrhoea
  • Low blood sugar
  • Allergic reactions in hypertensive people
  • Wheezing and coughing
  • Bloating and gas
  • Nasal congestion
  • Maple syrup odour in sweat and urine

A word of caution

For pregnant women, it is advised to avoid the use of fenugreek because it may cause early contractions and cause an unusual odour in the new born. There is not much evidence to show the safety of fenugreek during breastfeeding so it’s better to stay away from fenugreek in these conditions.

Also, for diabetics, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) can be a consequence of fenugreek intake. It is advised to monitor your blood sugar regularly and consult your doctor if you are a diabetic before starting on fenugreek as a supplement or medication.


Fenugreek has a variety of benefits – from serving as a spice for Mediterranean cuisines to increasing the libido and building muscle mass. Through research, it is shown that fenugreek when taken in doses of 500mg per day, can lead to reduced fat, increased exercise performance and more muscle mass. If you are planning to start on fenugreek supplement to build a toned and muscular body, consult your doctor first so as to avoid any complications which might occur otherwise. Also, make sure to take note of the side effects, allergies and contraindications for fenugreek before you augment this supplement to your diet for your resistance training and workout.