Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graeceum), or Greek Hay, is an annual herb native to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. The genus name Trigonella is derived from old Greek meaning “three-angled,” which accurately describes the corolla of the plant.1 According to historians, cultures have used it in various ways, such as cooking, fragrance and even as an aphrodisiac.2
In terms of physical features, the plant can grow to a height of 2 feet, with a single stem (or branched) at the base. Aside from the three-angled feature of the leaves, the plant is known for its strong, sweet aroma, as well as pods that produce 10 to 20 seeds.3 From these seeds, fenugreek tea is created — a drink that is known for its potential therapeutic properties.
What Is Fenugreek Tea?
In essence, fenugreek tea is made by brewing the seeds of the fenugreek plant, which is also where most of the nutrients lie. Ancient cultures have been utilizing these seeds to their advantage for thousands of years. The ancient Romans, for example, used them for treating respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia.4
Today, an affinity for fenugreek tea lives on and it is enjoyed by many people around the world. Research has attempted to discover what makes this beverage stand the test of time, and the findings are surely impressive.
Potential Benefits of Drinking Fenugreek Tea
Fenugreek tea is known for its nutty flavor, but it may have a bitter, maple-like taste as well.5 Nevertheless, drinking it may provide a wealth of potential benefits to your health. Some well-known examples include:6
Boosting Digestive Health
Fenugreek tea may help relieve constipation, bloating, cramping and other gastrointestinal issues.
In a related study, researchers observed these claims in fenugreek extracts when they performed an experiment in arthritic rats.7
Regulating Blood Sugar
Diabetics may benefit from drinking fenugreek tea as it has been found to help lower blood sugar levels and regulate insulin production in the body.
However, caution is advised as it may amplify the effects of those currently taking diabetic medications.
Reducing Menstrual Cramps
Evidence suggests that fenugreek seeds may be helpful in relieving menstrual cramps, according to a study published in the Journal of Reproduction & Infertility.8
In light of this information, drinking fenugreek tea may have the same effect.
Fenugreek tea may suppress your appetite, allowing you to control your caloric intake. Furthermore, the drink is low in calories, so you can be sure that it won’t make you pack on extra pounds.
Boosting Your Immune System
Fenugreek tea is reportedly high in vitamin C, a crucial nutrient in helping boost your white blood cell count. In this way, the drink may help fight off infections better.
Nutrition Facts and Caffeine Content of Fenugreek Tea
The fenugreek plant does not belong to the Camellia sinensis plant family, making its tea derivative a caffeine-free drink. In addition, a single cup of fenugreek tea has only 36 calories, making it a practical beverage for people watching their weight. One teaspoon of the seeds also contain the following nutrients:9,10
|Amt. Per |
|% Daily |
|Total Fat||0 g||0%|
|Saturated Fat||0 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||0 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||0 g|
|Trans Fat||0 g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrates||7 g|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g|
|Vitamin A2 g||Vitamin C||0%|
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
How to Make and Store Fenugreek Tea at Home
Making fenugreek tea starts with the plant itself. If you’re a beginner gardener, you’re in luck because fenugreek is considered to be perfect for budding green thumbs. It grows fast and delivers quick results that will allow you to grow your interest in gardening.11
Start by making sure you have loamy, well-draining soil with full sun exposure.12 Next, sprinkle the seeds evenly on the surface, then water the ground without flooding. After a few days, the seeds will begin to germinate. From here, water regularly early in the day and maintain this pattern to keep the soil’s moisture intact.13
Allow the plants to complete their life cycle and die naturally. You will notice that you will be left with thin, long pods that contain the seeds. Snap off the stalk carefully so you don’t damage the seeds, and collect them in a container.14 To separate the seeds from the pods, you can peel them one by one. You may also rub the pods between your palms or place them in a bag and repeat the action vigorously to save time.15 Once you have your seeds, follow this procedure to make your own fenugreek tea:16
1. Place the fenugreek tea in the teapot and pour the water over the seeds. Cover and steep for at least three minutes.
2. Strain and drink warm.
3. The seeds can be used for a second serving if desired.
Reported Side Effects of Fenugreek Tea
For the most part, fenugreek tea is safe to drink regularly, in moderate amounts. However, there are instances when it may cause side effects. Here are affected areas that have been associated with fenugreek tea:17
• Gastrointestinal System
You may experience one or a combination of the following digestive problems: flatulence, nausea, stomachache, indigestion and insatiable hunger. They’re typically not severe and occur almost exclusively when drinking fenugreek tea in large amounts.
• Blood Sugar
Drinking fenugreek tea may lower your blood sugar levels, which can result in hypoglycemia if not monitored. Symptoms of this condition include dizziness, hunger, sweating and irregular heartbeat. Diabetics who are currently taking blood sugar-stabilizing medicines should avoid drinking fenugreek tea to prevent amplifying the effects of the drugs.
• Blood Clotting
Fenugreek seed tea has anticoagulant properties, which means it may prolong blood clotting when you develop wounds. If you’re currently taking warfarin for medical reasons, the effect may compound. For those who are about to undergo surgery, do not drink this tea.
Drinking fenugreek tea may cause uterine contractions, which may result in premature labor. In early-term pregnancies, it may even cause miscarriages or unwanted spontaneous abortions. Those who are late in their pregnancy, however, may use this effect to their advantage to intentionally stimulate labor. However, if you are pregnant, do not drink fenugreek tea for any reason without first consulting your physician or obstetrician to make sure it is safe for you.
Try Drinking Fenugreek Tea and See the Results for Yourself
Making tea from fenugreek seeds is an easy way to get the benefits of the herb. Best of all, growing the plant yourself is stress-free and allows you to avoid pesticides that usually come with conventionally grown products. Just be sure to consume fenugreek in moderation to minimize your risk of side effects. Who knows? You may even begin to enjoy gardening as a long-term hobby once you start planting fenugreek in your home garden.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fenugreek Tea
Q: Where can you buy fenugreek tea?
A: Fenugreek tea can be bought in local and online stores. However, it’s more important to thoroughly review the product you’re purchasing and make sure it’s made from high-quality ingredients.