Fenugreek is the unsung hero of anti-inflammation and sexual drive. Scientists have discovered significant fenugreek benefits with regards to testosterone levels and libido.
With new, promising findings, this little legume may be the missing link in our journey towards improved male sexual health.
What is fenugreek?
You may have seen fenugreek seeds or powder in botanical supplements, but it is only recently growing in popularity.
Fenugreek has been studied for its traditional health benefits, but it is only in recent years that it has been linked to testosterone levels as well.
Native from southern Europe to Western Asia, it has a strong history as a medicinal and culinary herb. Throughout the Mediterranean, fenugreek was a staple in ancient physician’s toolkits.
Have gas? Here’s some fenugreek.
Have a wound? Here’s a fenugreek tonic.
Backed up? Fenugreek is a bulk laxative.
The ancient Greeks and Romans even used it for cattle fodder, giving it the Latin name foenum graecum meaning “Greek hay.”
Fenugreek was also one of the first methods of creating yellow dyes in ancient societies. It is also a primary ingredient in Indian curries, contributing to their unique flavor.
It seems there wasn’t anything this little herb couldn’t do in ancient societies! So what about today?
Fenugreek benefits are primarily anti-inflammatory both internally and externally.
From minimizing ulcers, tuberculosis, and arthritis to reducing dandruff, gout, and muscle pains, it is one of the safest, natural solutions to problems that otherwise only have chemical or prescription drug medications.
There is such an endless list of fenugreek benefits for the body that we don’t have time to discuss them all here!
Fenugreek sexual health benefits
Aside from all of its anti-inflammatory magic, it has also been shown to raise testosterone levels, increase male libido, lengthen erection endurance, and improve reproductive function.
Fenugreek has these abilities because it both directly targets masculine sexuality while also working to lower body fat, increase lean muscle, and regulate blood sugar—all of which contribute to higher T levels
1. Raises testosterone levels
Testosterone is the crux of male sex drive and sexual health. Low testosterone means a low libido, low reproductive function, and sometimes even erectile dysfunction. Thus, higher T levels means a better sex life. Many studies show that fenugreek can stimulate testosterone production and increase T levels for two main reasons.
2. Stimulates sex hormones
Fenugreek seed extract contains a compound called “fenuside,” which is a type of glucoside. Glucosides are known to fuel androgens (aka male sex hormones). Thus, fenugreek helps excite the production of these male hormones in the testes.
One study recommends fenugreek seed extract at 600 mg per day as a primary option for hypogonadal men (men whose testes are not producing enough of the T hormone).
It is also interesting to note that fenugreek was historically used to enhance female beauty and sexuality. It has also been used to boost lactation in breast-feeding mothers. Thus, fenugreek boosts all sex hormones, acting as an aphrodisiac for both men and women.
Insulin actually influences testosterone production, acting as a barrier to sex hormone construction. One study by the Institute of Clinical Medicine in Bologna, Italy found that insulin levels played a significant factor in effective testosterone production.
Thus, lower insulin levels means higher T levels.In this way, fenugreek’s insulin regulating powers opens up the doorway for increased testosterone production in response.
4. Boosts libido
Higher testosterone levels means a higher libido. However, fenugreek has also been proven to have a more immediate effect on libido apart from simply its T-raising powers.
One study by Phytotherapy Research found that fenugreek extract not only helped maintain healthy T levels, but it also played a significant role in sexual arousal, energy, and even stamina and endurance.
The men given a daily dose of fenugreek self-reported much higher arousal than those given the placebo. This included how often they thought about sex, how often they were sexually aroused, how often they had sex, and how often they had an orgasm.
The participants and the researchers both concluded this increased libido was a direct result of the fenugreek extract.
5. Decreases body fat
Low testosterone is linked to obesity in a bi-directional relationship.
Being overweight can actually lower your testosterone levels, likely due to increased sugar in the bloodstream. In the opposite way, having low testosterone levels can play a major factor in creating a soft belly (since testosterone helps in the production of lean muscle).
Thus, men can often get stuck in an unhealthy cycle of being overweight and maintaining low testosterone levels. However, it’s not always that easy to break the cycle.
It can feel like your body is working against you because your T levels are already so low. Fenugreek is the boost that you need.
Not only does fenugreek raise your T levels as mentioned above, but it can also help kickstart weight loss. One study found that fenugreek seeds can inhibit fat accumulation while improving metabolism, enhancing insulin sensitivity, and increasing antioxidant defense—all of which can help your body combat the buildup of unwanted pounds.
Fenugreek also can decrease your appetite and support digestion. Paired with its blood sugar regulation properties, it ensures that your body is absorbing nutrition and burning off sugar (which turns into fat).
6. Increases lean muscle
In the same vein, increasing your lean muscle will also increase T levels—and vice versa. The more lean muscle you have, the more T you will produce; the higher T levels you have, the more lean muscle you’ll get.
It’s a beautiful cycle! But again, it’s not an easy cycle to enter into. That’s where fenugreek comes in.
A study by the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that creatine and fenugreek extract together showed significant increases in lean mass in overall body composition.
It also showed that the combination increased bench and leg press strength, which can help men create that necessary lean muscle.
Another study by the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor found that fenugreek had a significant impact on body composition when combined with a stringent resistance-training program. This means that fenugreek alone will not increase your lean muscle, but it can act as a booster to help your workouts be more productive and effective.
How do you consume fenugreek?
Uncooked fenugreek seeds are bitter and not very enjoyable. When cooked, though, the bitterness mellows into sweetness. They’re so sweet, in fact, that seed extract is often used in imitation flavorings like vanilla, butterscotch, rum, and maple syrup.
The seeds can even be roasted and used as a coffee or tea substitute due to its rich flavor. As mentioned earlier, fenugreek is also a main ingredient in Indian curries and chutneys.
Fenugreek is a natural source of soluble fiber, so it is often used as thickening agents in cereal bars, yogurts, and nutritional beverages. When crushed into a powder, it can be mixed into seasonings, juices, oatmeal, milkshakes, soups, smoothies, and other foods to increase their nutrition and sweetness.
Some fortified baked goods like bread, pizza, and muffins use fenugreek fiber powder in the dough as well. Here are a few of my favorite recipes with the highest fenugreek benefits to boost your testosterone levels.
1. Wet seeds snack
Soak a cup of fenugreek seeds in a container of water overnight. In the morning, filter out the seeds from the water. You can then chew on these wet, soaked seeds throughout the day whenever you’re feeling hungry. They will help curb your appetite and deliver quick spurts of nutrition.
2. All-purpose seed powder
Heat or roast fenugreek seeds in a pan. They should release a nice aroma. Then crush the warm seeds into a fine powder. They’re not easy to crush, so a mortar and pestle is often the best solution. If you don’t have this available, use a grinder and add a little bit of water.
This powder can be mixed into curries, seasonings, and other spices. You’ll be getting your fenugreek without even realizing it! I like to mix my fenugreek powder into my smoothies for an added flavor palette and nourishing boost.
3. Morning digestive tea
Take your fenugreek seed powder and mix it with water to make a thin paste. Add the paste to a pan of boiling water. Then, add your favorite tea-flavors like cinnamon, ginger, or even chai!
Cover the lid of the pan and let the tea simmer for 5 minutes. This will create a sweet tea that is perfect for weight loss and blood sugar regulation, especially when taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Generally, you’ll get the most fenugreek benefits with 500-600mg of extract per day. You can also find fenugreek in certain testosterone supplements, Learn more about fenugreek extract as an ingredient.
What are the possible side effects?
Although several studies have demonstrated the benefits and safety of fenugreek, a few studies found that fenugreek did not have an effect on T levels and sexual libido.
A possible reason for this is that isolating sexual drive variables is fairly difficult. Once men enter the healthy, T boosting cycle, they are more likely to workout, have a higher sex drive, and continue to produce more testosterone. This upward slope causes them to naturally make other healthy life changes, so it’s difficult to determine where exactly these positive benefits are coming from.
In this way, fenugreek is not a 100% true method, but it certainly seems to have some effect on helping men enter into this positive sexual circle.
As with all herbs and medicines, there are a few side effects to be aware of. Because it is so fibrous, it can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea. It may also thin blood or cause excessive bleeding and bruising for those taking blood thinners or anticoagulants. You can see other possible risks of fenugreek here.
Fenugreek is a natural addition to your diet or supplements that can help increase testosterone production. It naturally influences T levels through its ability to regulate blood sugar and encourage a healthy weight.
Fenugreek benefits male libido as well by increasing sex hormone production and suppressing T-blocking insulin.
Fenugreek won’t solve low T on its own, but it’s a helpful and healthy addition to other lifestyle changes to help you enter into the cycle of healthy testosterone production.