Fenugreek – A Natural Heartburn Remedy
Is Fenugreek an effective treatment for heartburn?
Well the results of a small short term study published in Phytotherapy Research in July 2010 do give indications that this might be the case. In the two week trial, 45 patients were given either an OTC (over the counter) heartburn medication containing ranitidine, a placebo or the Fenugreek product Fenulife. The participants took their trial ‘medication’ 30 minutes before their two largest meals of the day and, the results of the trial showed that Fenulife could be equally as effective as the OTC medication ranitidine.
Fenulife is a dietary product that is manufactured from a new variety of Fenugreek seeds. These seeds are free from GMO (genetically modified organisms) but do not have the pungent smell of normal varieties. However they still retain the very high levels of the beneficial soluble fiber. Fenulife is currently marketed as an appetite suppressant and an anti-diabetic aid. The gel from the galactomannan fills the stomach and delays the absorption of glucose.
How does Fenugreek help with heartburn?
The Fenugreek seeds are very high in fiber and contain galactomannan a soluble fiber which binds sugar and fat. The fiber also forms a gel in the stomach. It is thought that the fiber helps absorb excess acid and the gel helps to prevent the acidic stomach contents from refluxing into the esophagus.
How else can I take Fenugreek to help with heartburn?
- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds onto your food.
- Take one teaspoon of Fenugreek seeds and swallow them with water before each meal.
- Drink a cup of Fenugreek Tea.
Recipe for Fenugreek Tea
- 1 teaspoon Fenugreek seeds
- 1 cup of boiling water
- Crush the fenugreek seeds in a pestle and mortar and place in cup.
- Pour over the boiling water and allow tea to steep for around three hours.
- Strain and serve either hot or cold.
A Little More about Fenugreek
Fenugreek is one of the oldest cultivated herb plants and it is now used as both a herb and a spice. It is most abundant in the Mediterranean, North Africa, Yemen and India, but it is also found in Western Europe and North America. It is not a popular spice in Western cuisine due to the pungent odor of the seeds, but it is widely used in dishes from India, Africa and Pakistan. Some of the beneficial properties attributed to Fenugreek include:
- breast enhancement
- improved sexual libido
- improved mental focus
- balancing of hormone levels
- balancing of blood sugar levels
- lowering of cholesterol