Fenugreek seeds come from Trigonella foenum graecum. The first question is – is fenugreek useful in causing weight loss, and if yes, what scientific evidence supports this spice?

Let me share with you some of the most popular herbal combinations used in weight loss.

Ayurveda:

A herbal combination containing the following herbs – Cyperus rotundus, Saussurea lappa, Curcuma longa, Berberis aristata, Acorus calamus, Aconitum heterophyllum, Picorrhiza kursoa, Plumbago zeylanica, Holoptelea integrifolia, and Iris ensata is a formulation prescribed to control obesity. (Kumar and Bhandari 2015)

Another Ayurveda anti-obesity formulation – lekhana basti contains Terminalia bellerica, Terminalia chebula, Embilica officinalis, Cyperus rotundus, Holoptelea integrifolia, Berberis aristata, Curcuma longa, Embelia ribes, mustard oil, honey, cows urine, a formulation made from barley (Hordeum vulgare), and rock salt.

In Traditional Chinese medicine, the popular weight loss formulations are:

1. xin-ju-xiao-gao-fang (a combination of a compound of rhubarb, Coptis chinensis, Cassia semen, and Citrus aurantium),

2. yellow pea fiber;

3. bofu-tsusho-san (a mixture of Radix platycodi, gypsum fibrosum, talcum, Paeoniae, Scutellarie, and Glycyrrhiza);

4. RCM -104 (compound of Camellia sinensis, flos sophorae, and semen cassia); pistachio,

5. Satiereal (a trade medicine),

6. Monoselect Camellia (containing green tea extract: GreenSelect and Phytosome, both registered trademark products) or Nigella sativa. (Yangfei Liu et al., 2017)

As you would observe, fenugreek seeds do not find mention as a herb for weight loss either in Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese medicine. The scientific evidence in support of the weight loss properties of the above-listed herbs is also weak.

Fenugreek seeds are an important constituent of diabetes control herbal formulations. I did find strong scientific evidence in support of the herb’s anti-diabetic properties.

Additional reading:

Tri-series on Natural Solutions – cancer, obesity, and diabetes

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