Seeds of fenugreek are considered one of the most effective stimulants of lactation. A lactation stimulant is a substance that enhances the production of breast milk in humans and animals. If you do not have enough breast milk to feed your baby, then you might be interested in reading an article on what fenugreek breastfeeding is and how fenugreek seeds help lactation.
What Is Fenugreek?
Fenugreek is a popular medicinal plant which has a lot of useful properties. Women use this means to stimulate hair growth, eliminate painful sensations during menstruation, treat digestive tract, skin, and genital organs diseases. Fenugreek is used in cooking as a spice. In addition, women use fenugreek for breastfeeding to stimulate the production of milk.
Fenugreek has different names: helba, fenum-Greek, shamballa, Greek hay, etc. Translated from Arabic, “Helba” means “milk”. As a rule, this grass grows in south Europe, Egypt, Morocco, India, and Argentina. It smells nice but tastes bitter. What’s more, in cooking and for therapeutic purposes, people use fenugreek oil, chopped seeds or dried fenugreek leaves.
Healing Properties of Fenugreek
Positive feedback on the incredible health effect of Fenugreek existed even in the 7th century AD. Its oil, seeds, and leaves were used in treatment of various diseases. In ancient Egypt, women often used fenugreek to facilitate childbirth. Nursing women who had lack of breast milk used fenugreek to improve lactation.
In the 19th century, in America, women used fenugreek oil to get rid of melancholy and menstrual pains. What’s more, women in India used the seeds and oil of this plant to strengthen their back after birth and restore the energy.
Modern industry uses Fenugreek in the production of bactericidal plasters. Also, this plant helps to reduce blood sugar, so it is very useful for diabetics.
Thanks to the content of phytoestrogen, this herb has proven itself in the treatment of ovarian and thyroid cysts. Fenugreek can accelerate the process of childbirth, so it is forbidden to take it during pregnancy.
Useful Properties of Fenugreek:
- Increase in the amount of breast milk;
- Improvement of the cardiovascular system;
- It accelerates recovery after childbirth;
- Elimination of problems in the sexual sphere;
- Decrease in blood sugar;
- Works as a depressant;
- Antiseptic action;
- Normalizes the work of gastrointestinal tract;
- Strengthens the pancreas.
Fenugreek is also useful for rapid weight loss, after surgery, respiratory system and gastrointestinal diseases, vitamin deficiency, skin problems, etc. You can also prepare a fenugreek brew if you have anemia, muscle pain, arthritis, and dysentery.
Fenugreek Therapeutic Properties
Fenugreek has a lot of useful properties:
The plant is used to treat violations of defecation (constipation or chronic diarrhea). Seeds are rich in fiber, which is necessary for the normalization of the stool. The drug eliminates the chronic inflammatory process in the large intestine and is used to treat ulcerative colitis.
Reduces the concentration of cholesterol and prevents cardiovascular diseases
With the help of polysaccharides which are a part of the plant, the concentration of lipoproteins and fats in the blood normalizes. The concentration of harmful cholesterol decreases. Fenugreek slows the absorption of fats in the colon down and reduces the production of cholesterol in the liver. The plant has an anti-inflammatory effect and prevents heart and vascular diseases (e.g. atherosclerosis).
Cures chronic inflammation
The seeds contain antioxidants that protect the body from oxidative stress and inflammation. The fruits of the plant are used to eliminate the inflammatory process on the skin, in the oral cavity. Fenugreek helps with infectious diseases of airways and kidneys. The remaining indications to the use of fenugreek are: colds, flu, ARD, bronchitis, and tuberculosis.
Reduces the level of glucose in the blood
Thanks to amino acids and fiber, sugar from food absorbs slower. Doctors recommend people with diabetes and a predisposition to this disease to include fruits of fenugreek in their diet.
Biologically active additives with the addition of fenugreek strengthen the muscles of the body, stimulate the build-up of muscles, and eliminate excess fat.
Strengthens the production of milk
Improves a woman’s state during menstruation and menopause. It’s a fact, that the plant is incredibly useful for women. Doctors recommend using it at different stages of the development of the body.
In addition, fenugreek improves the condition of the heart and blood vessels and restores strength after childbirth. The plant is helpful if you have genitourinary diseases and for normalization of the digestive tract. Fenugreek is an antiseptic. Besides, the herb has a soothing effect.
Seeds of Fenugreek contain a large amount of protein and saturated fats. In addition, they have the amino acids necessary for the body, selenium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, zinc, sodium, magnesium. Seeds of fenugreek contain essential oil, tannin, rutin, vitamins A, B, C, PP, sugar, enzymes. There are 10 grams of fiber in 100 grams of this spicy herb.
The biochemical composition of fenugreek is also impressive:
- Beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, elements of group B;
- Calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, sodium, zinc, etc.;
- Linoleic, oleic, linolenic acid.
Thanks to anti-inflammatory compounds, antioxidants, and alkaloids, Fenugreek is indispensable in treatment of many ailments. It perfectly strengthens the body’s defenses and slows aging down.
Fenugreek During Pregnancy and Fenugreek Breastfeeding
Pregnant women must not take Fenugreek from the first to the last trimester. The reason is that after the intake of the plant, the smooth muscles of the uterus contract. Therefore there is a risk of premature birth. Though, some women sometimes drink Fenugreek brew before giving birth to facilitate the process.
Fenugreek breastfeeding is rather popular among mothers. After taking Fenugreek, prolactin begins to secret in the body. This is the hormone that is responsible for the production of breast milk. The herb also has a tonic, immunomodulating effect.
Nursing women drink fenugreek brew to recover from childbirth and return to the original physical form. In addition, Fenugreek has a beneficial effect on the mammary glands. It supports the elasticity of the breast and stimulates its growth by producing diosgenin and prolactin in the body.
Fenugreek Breastfeeding: How to Increase Lactation?
The recipe for making tea with fenugreek to increase lactation is quite simple. It is necessary to rinse 2 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds and pour a glass of water over them. Then you need to boil it for about 7 minutes. Drink the prepared brew 2-3 times a day. Before boiling the seeds, it is better to soak them for several hours in the water.
Fenugreek while breastfeeding is very useful. It’s very important for babies, as the value of breast milk cannot be overestimated. However, keep in mind that there should be a measure in everything. If you drink fenugreek teas and brews for a long time and in large portions, you can feel unpleasant symptoms, such as:
- The formation of gases;
- Allergic reaction;
- The appearance of a specific smell of the skin.
Therefore, nursing mothers should consult a doctor before taking any herbs and medications.
Scientists have not proven that if you drink fenugreek tea, you increase the amount of breast milk. However, if you read the reviews of nursing mothers, you will see that basically all of them are positive. Mostly, women write that fenugreek breastfeeding positively affects the amount of breast milk.
Fenugreek is a very useful plant. But it is important to observe the right dosage. Otherwise, there may be side-effects:
- Flatulence and violations of defecation (often diarrhea) occur in people who are not used to eating fiber.
- In the first days of admission, the smell of urine changes.
- There is a risk of an allergic reaction in the form of a runny nose, coughing, increased discharge of tear fluid, and facial swelling.
- Be careful while using fenugreek with antidiabetic drugs, as it helps to lower the level of glucose in the blood. If you have diabetes mellitus, then before taking fenugreek, you need to consult a doctor.
In general, fenugreek breastfeeding can indeed increase milk production. But be careful and consult a doctor beforehand. A nursing woman must comply with the dosage and other recommendations on taking the medication. Self-treatment is absolutely contraindicated!