fenugreek helps menopause

This herb may not be much discussed outside culinary circles, but it may be time for women struggling with menopause to start talking about it.

 

A double-blind study gave either 500mg of fenugreek seed husk extract or a placebo twice a day to 88 menopausal women. All of the women were suffering moderate to severe discomfort and were experiencing 3-5 hot flashes a day. The women who took the fenugreek had significantly greater improvement on the Greene Climacteric Scale. The women who got the placebo had little improvement: from 34.25 at the beginning of the study to 30.49 at the end; the women who got the fenugreek had significantly greater improvement: from 34.83 to 19.64. Hot flashes decreased by 47.8% on fenugreek, and 32% of the women who took fenugreek had no hot flashes at all. There was also significant improvement in night sweats (57.1%), insomnia (75%) and headaches (53.9%) compared to placebo. Vaginal dryness improved significantly more in the fenugreek group.

Fenugreek was also superior to placebo for psychological symptoms. Mood swings improved by a significant 68.2%. Depression, anxiety and loss of sexual desire all improved significantly more on fenugreek. Compared to placebo, there was also a significant improvement in quality of life in the fenugreek group. The women who took fenugreek experienced improvements in physical and mental fatigue, concentration and interest in daily work as well as overall health, mental health and well-being.

The fenugreek also reduced total cholesterol, the dangerous LDL cholesterol and triglycerides without lowering the heart healthy HDL cholesterol in women who had elevated cholesterol.

In the fenugreek group, estradiol increased by 120% versus less than 5% in the placebo group. The researchers say that the increase in estrogen and the improvement in menopause symptoms "point towards the establishment of a healthy hormonal balance." There was no toxicity and no adverse events in the fenugreek group (Phytother Res 2016;30(11):1775-84).

That’s a really exciting study that showed very comprehensive menopause benefits for fenugreek seed husk extract. But is it just the husk?

A second double-blind study looked at de-husked fenugreek seed extract. This study included 104 healthy menopausal women. One group was given a placebo, while the other group was treated with 600mg of de-husked fenugreek seed extract for 12 weeks.

Like in the previous study, there was a significant improvement in total menopausal symptoms in the fenugreek seed group compared to the placebo on the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life (MENQOL) questionnaire. There was significant improvement in vasomotor symptoms (which include hot flashes and night sweats), psychosocial symptoms, physical symptoms and sexual symptoms. Perhaps surprisingly, estradiol levels were similar in both groups (Phytother Res 2017;31(9):1316-1322).

Taken together, these two studies nominate fenugreek seeds as a promising new candidate for treating the symptoms of menopause.


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For much more on preventing and treating menopausal symptoms, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia .

For comprehensive help with menopause, make an appointment to see Linda Woolven now. Linda’s clinic is now open for virtual appointments.

 

The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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