Fenugreek – History, Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

Fenugreek – History, Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

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Native to North Africa, India, and the Mediterranean, Fenugreek is legume that has been used in alternative medicine for several decades. It was mostly used as a spice in the ancient world. But now, it has gained so much popularity as an herbal supplement in the Western world.

Studies have it that this herb has been used as a treatment for fever and other illnesses among the ancient Egyptians. In fact, studies revealed that Fenugreek seeds were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun.

 

What Exactly Is Fenugreek?

Fenugreek is an annual plant that often comes with three leaves, which could either be yellow or green. In India, the leaves are often consumed as vegetables. The seeds of Fenugreek are brownish and hard seeds that often come in a wide variety of shapes. Many cuisines have it as a common ingredient in either whole, powder or dried forms.

The seeds are very bitter in taste and have a little bit spicy smell. Its taste is similar to that of maple syrup, and often included as one of the ingredients of curry spices.

 

History

The history of Fenugreek was traced back to ancient Egypt around 1500 B.C. But archeologists have found cooked Fenugreek seeds from around 400 B.C on the territory of Iraq. Over the years, different cultures have used it for different purposes, including as food or medication.

For instance, Egypt used it for treating physical injuries and fever, as well as for embalming. Perhaps that is the reason its seeds have been found in several tombs, including the famous Tutankhamun. Egypt also used it in reducing childbirth pains and also increase milk supply during breastfeeding.

Romans and Greeks cultivated it as a fodder crop. In Traditional Chinese medicine, it was used as medicinal herbs for various purposes, including abdominal pain. Studies also have it that is was grown in the imperial gardens of the Roman Emperor Charlemagne.

This may be the reasons there are still have some small plantation of the plant in France.

 

Nutritional Content

The ancient cultures of China, India, and Egypt have a good understanding of the nutritional contents and benefits of this herb. But below are the most significant nutritional facts about Fenugreek based on modern studies. All of the figures are based on a serving of 100 grams.

  •         Iron – 33.53mg
  •         Magnesium – 191mg
  •         Fiber (dietary) – 24.6g
  •         Calcium – 176mg
  •         Protein – 23g
  •         Fats – 6.41g
  •         Vitamin A – 60 IU

Benefits of Fenugreek

Below are some of the benefits of Fenugreek.

#1: It improves digestion and cholesterol

One of the many health benefits of Fenugreek has been its ability to reduce cholesterol levels. Thanks to its high fiber content. It helps lower the risk of several health conditions, including atherosclerosis, heart attack, and strokes.

Fenugreek is also effective in improving digestion and helping with inflammation and constipation. However, when Fenugreek is consumed in excess, it can lead to diarrhea.

#2: Helps improve diabetes

Studies have confirmed that including higher doses of Fenugreek in one’s daily food intake and diet can help reduce blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. In this case, the dosage is 5 to 50 grams of Fenugreek seed two times daily. For type 1 diabetics, the recommended dosage is 50g two times every day.

It has been shown to improve insulin function, which is often the reason for the reduction in blood sugar levels. Fenugreek also helps in reducing glucose absorption and concentrations of lipid-binding protein.

#3: Improves Testosterone, libido, and sperm count in men

This has been one of the uses of Fenugreek among men. It helps boost their overall sexual performance as it improves testosterone level, increase libido, and addresses erectile dysfunction.

It is important to note that scientists at Babu Banarasi Das University and King George’s Medical University in India aver that fenugreek improved testosterone levels. Additionally, the University of Sydney in Australia discovered that in addition to the increase in testosterone levels in the body, men experienced a higher number of morning erection, and had sex more often after consuming a dose of 600mg fenugreek daily for 12 weeks.

#4: Improves breastfeeding

Drinking Fenugreek tea over a few days has been associated with increased breast milk volume in breastfeeding women. So, it is often recommended for women who find it difficult breastfeeding their babies because of too little breast milk.

#5: It reduces menstrual pain

Studies have found that Fenugreek, under certain doses, has the ability to reduce menstrual pains. When used beforehand, it can also help relieve the symptoms of dysmenorrhea.

#6: It helps reduces inflammation and pain

Because of its rich antioxidant content, Fenugreek can be effective in reducing both external and internal inflammation. Just as we already know, one of the uses of Fenugreek among ancient Egyptians is for treating pain and injuries.

#7: It promotes weight loss

One of the unbelievable benefits of Fenugreek is its influence on weight loss. Research has revealed that consumption of Fenugreek can increase the feeling of fullness and reduce hunger. So, when looking to shed some pounds, adding Fenugreek to your diet will surely be a smart move.

What Are The Possible Side Effects?

The truth is that there could be some side effects that come with excessive consumption of Fenugreek. Some of them include headaches, stomach upset, bloating, diarrhea, smelling urine.

For healthy people, consuming Fenugreek seems safe, but if you have any health conditions, it’s advisable you speak with your doctor before adding Fenugreek to your diet. Some people are allergic to Fenugreek while some diabetic patients may experience excessively low blood sugar when they eat it.

Fenugreek should NOT be taken by pregnant women. Even though it aids milk production in breastfeeding mothers, it should not be consumed prior to childbirth.

Therefore, ensure you speak to your doctor before taking it so he can guide you on the right dose for you.

Table Of Contents

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Chapter 1 – What exactly is Fenugreek?

Chapter 2 – Benefits of Fenugreek

Chapter 3 – What Are The Possible Side Effects?

 

Nettle Root: Uses, Benefits, Dosage And Side Effects

Nettle Root: Uses, Benefits, Dosage And Side Effects

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Nettle root is part of the stinging nettle plant. For years, the root of this plant has helped alleviate common symptoms related to certain conditions like diabetes, enlarged prostate gland, and many more. If you have ever been in that state of painful urination, frequent night calls, irritable bladder, and much more, you will better understand the effectiveness of these precious roots.

Apart from the common urinary problems Nettle root helps to alleviate, it has also been known to help resolve other challenges like muscle pain and joint problems when nettle root is taken at the right amounts in its varied forms.

Nettle Root Versus Stinging Nettle

Practitioners of traditional herbal medicine practitioners have used the stinging nettle plant, also known as Urtica dioica to treat many disorders. Stinging nettle was originally from northern Europe and Asia, and now grows worldwide as a wild plant that is about 4 feet tall. What are the stinging nettle roots benefits? The herbaceous parts of stinging nettle have properties that may make them useful in painful conditions such as arthritis and sore muscles.

Its leaves and stem are covered with tiny hairs that release stinging substances which the plant derived its name from. The herbaceous parts of the plant and its roots have medicinal properties that are different from each other.

Nettle root is used in the treatment of different urinary problems. It is widely used today as a remedy for benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, symptoms of BPH including “reduced urinary flow, incomplete emptying of the bladder … and [a] constant urge to urinate,” may be relieved by nettle root.

 

Benefits of Nettle Roots

For years, nettle root has been known for treating different urinary disorders. But right now, it is also being used to relieve symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Nettle roots also provide relief for pain and inflammation associated with some infectious and non-infectious conditions. Although the mechanism by which nettle roots provides most of its benefits are still not clear, and under research, the benefits have been observed by several people. Some conditions in which nettle roots potentially functions are:

  •         UTIs
  •         Arthritis
  •         Reduction of prostate size
  •         Muscle and joint ache
  •         Respiratory allergy
  •         Gout

Other Benefits Include:

 Provides relief for symptoms of Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

The beta-sitosterol present in nettle roots has anti-inflammatory properties. This thus helps bring relief to symptoms of enlarged prostate because of its ability to reduce prostaglandins responsible for enlarging prostate.

When taken in tandem with other medicinal herbs, its effects are usually amazing. A good example of such herbs is palmetto.

It can help reduce the urge for frequent urination while also reducing urine and post-urination dripping.

When extracted into an oil-based solution, nettle roots can reduce inflammation associated with arthritis. It does that by interfering with the production of multiple inflammation hormones like tryptase and histamine.

It provides a wide variety of nutrients, and many of them act as antioxidants. Some of such nutrients include essential amino acids, vitamins, beta carotene, linolenic acid, lutein, palmitic acid, carotenoids, flavonoids, stearic acid, and many more.

Nettle roots also help protect heart health by reducing high blood pressure. It helps to stimulate the production of vasodilators that helps in relaxing blood vessel muscles and reduce the force on your heart.

 In helps regulate blood sugar levels in people suffering from type 2 diabetes

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, nettle roots reduce the symptoms of hay fever such as sneezing, itchy eyes, and running nose.

It also acts as a pain reliever for joint aches when administered with anti-inflammatory medications like diclofenac.

Usage of Nettle Roots

Because of the medicinal properties of the nettle roots, it has been the most used part of the nettle plant (Urticadioica). It can be consumed as an extract, tea or tincture, tablet, capsule, and can also be applied topically as a cream. You can also find the pill form in the market.

In its tincture form, nettle root is diluted with water and taken about 3 to 4 times every day. The roots also contain lots of active compounds like alpha and beta-hydroxysitosterols, rutin, and quercetin, as well as nutrients which are all responsible for its diverse benefits.

What Are The Possible Side Effects?

The general side effects that often accompany the consumption of nettle roots extracts are:

  •         Digestive discomfort like stomach upset
  •         Modulated blood sugar level
  •         Dehydration, especially when co-administered with diuretics.

 

Who Shouldn’t Take Nettle Roots?

Consuming nettle roots are not safe for some groups of people because of their susceptibility to the supplement. Such people include:

  •         Pregnant or breastfeeding people: Nettle roots can trigger uterine contraction and so could lead to a possible miscarriage.
  •         Diabetics: it’s very important that you keep a watchful eye on your blood sugar level when taking it with ant diabetic drugs so it doesn’t go too low.
  •         People with low blood pressure: people at risk of low blood pressure and have been taking anti-hypertensive drugs with nettle drugs should immediately speak with their doctor. This might cause an excessive drop in blood pressure.
  •         Kidney condition patients: because it influences urine production, nettle might hence affect kidney functions. This might increase your risk of suffering dehydration.

 Drug Interaction of Nettle Roots

Because of the various side effects that come with nettle roots consumption, it’s important you take note of some drugs that may cause interaction with nettle roots. You need to obtain optimum benefits from this root, so you should NOT take them with drugs like:

  •   High blood pressure medications – it could affect blood clotting
  •     Anti-diabetic drugs – when taken with anti-diabetic drugs, it could result in drastic low blood sugar level harmful to your health.
  •    Anti-hypersensitive drugs – this could also cause an excessive drop in blood pressure levels.
  •    Sedatives – this could cause severe drowsiness or sleepiness.
  •   Warfarin (Coumadin) – could reduce the effect of warfarin in reducing blood clotting because of its vitamin K content. Remember vitamin K enhances blood clotting.
  •   Lithium

 Dosage

There is no officially recommended dosage for the consumption of nettle root ingredients. So it’s important you speak with your doctor for appropriate dosage, which often depends on your age and health conditions.

Table Of Contents

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Chapter 1 – Benefits Of Nettle Root

Chapter 2 – What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Nettle Root?

 

Panax Ginseng: Uses, Side Effects and Dosage

Panax Ginseng: Uses, Side Effects and Dosage

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Panax ginseng is popularly known as the well-being medication. Many people wonder what brought about that name. Does the ancient plant native to the Asian countries like Siberia, China, and Korea really possess all the amazing benefits it was known for?

Because of the active compound found in Panax ginseng(Ginsenoside or Panaxosides), the plant differs from all the others of its kind. And it is also the most popular among the ones used for therapeutic purposes.

Because of the active components in the plant, it has been widely used for treating and preventing inflammations and promoting a healthy life. It has a soothing effect against a variety of conditions like chronic fatigue, stress, depression, rapid aging, diabetes, and many more. Because of its effect on a lot of body systems, it seems to have earned the name it was called.

 

Benefits of Panax Ginseng

 

#1: It improves cognitive abilities

It is known for improving mental function in middle-aged individuals and people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. It prevents the onset of mental illness (dementia) and helps prolong mental activities. It also has its own unique way of reducing alcohol intoxication on the brain.

#2: It boosts energy

Studies have proven that due to some specific compounds found in Panax ginseng, it can help reduce fatigue while boosting mental and physical activity. The compounds help reduce oxidative stress and increase energy production within the cells.

#3: It has potent antioxidant properties

Panax.G contains ginsenosides which serve as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substance. These substances help in preventing inflammation of the nerves around body tissues.

#4: It relieves stress

It has been shown to promote quick recovery after stress as it also functions as an adaptogen boosting energy and mood levels. It does this by altering the hormonal levels in the body. Panax ginseng also improves memory performance in young adults.

#5: It improves lung function

Panax ginseng helps reduce symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) while also preventing infections of the lungs.

#6: It boosts the immune system

Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties put it in a great position to prevent different microbial infections. It also boosts the effect of vaccination for some diseases like influenza, RSV, hepatitis C, and rotavirus.

#7: Effective in treating erectile dysfunction in men

When the herb is applied early and removed before intercourse, it can help prevent premature ejaculation.

#8: It improves blood sugar levels and diabetes

The herb has glucose regulatory properties that help in reducing blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. Its active compound also helps in improving insulin resistance and insulin production.

#9: It delays premature aging

The antioxidant property of Panax ginseng makes it great for fighting off negative radicals that cause premature aging.

Panax Ginseng Usage

Right now, the topical application of Panax ginseng remains the safest option. This is because oral consumption of the herbal supplement could cause prolonged effects on your endocrine system.

The effect of Panax ginseng starts to be felt about 10-20 minutes after intake. That is the time is takes it to circulate through the bloodstream. This is the time its effects on the brain can be observed too. Also, when the supplement is taken with a good diet and rest, improvement can also be seen as quickly as possible.

 

Possible Side Effects

As effective and beneficial as this plant may be, it is not suitable for all conditions. Below are some conditions you should be mindful of:

  •         Hemophilia
  •         Autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis
  •         Diabetes
  •         Heart conditions
  •         Schizophrenia
  •         Endocrine-sensitive conditions like endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and cancer
  •         Organ transplant

Children, infants, and pregnant women should not be administered Panax ginseng supplement. Just like any other medications, consumption of Panax ginseng also comes with some side effects, including:

  •         Insomnia which happens to be the most common
  •         Mood swings
  •         Diarrhea
  •         Itching with rashes
  •         Loss of appetite
  •         High/low blood level
  •         In some rare cases, you may experience liver condition, allergic reactions, or Steven-Johnson syndrome

Panax Ginseng Dosage

The two main forms of Panax ginseng administration are topically and orally. Topical cream application is done for premature ejaculation. It is applied on the penis about an hour before intercourse and should be removed shortly before intercourse.

However, the oral administration differs in usage. Below is the recommended dosage of Panax ginseng for different conditions:

  •         Alzheimer’s disease – 4.5 to 9g for 3 months
  •         Erectile dysfunction – 1400 to 2700mg of 2-3 doses for 3 months
  •         COPD – 3 times daily intake of 100mg to 6g for 3 months
  •         Menstrual function – 200 to 600mg for 3 months

Table Of Contents

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Chapter 1 – Benefits Of Panax Ginseng

Chapter 2 – Possible Side Effects 

D-aspartic Acid: Everything You Need to Know

D-aspartic Acid: Everything You Need to Know

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D-aspartic acid, also known as DAA is a popular name in the sports supplement market. It has a unique metabolic pathway that helps convert it to N-methyl-D-Aspartate under the influence of some receptors.

DAA increases the levels of gonadotropin, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone. It also increases the levels of testosterone and so promotes the growth of muscles and strength. But this may also cause you to lose some important brain cells. 

DAA could kill NMDA receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for helping humans appropriately and simultaneously adapt to various changes in their environment. When you lose these receptors, it may increase your risk for some conditions like Alzheimer’s and other central nervous system diseases.

 

What Exactly is D-aspartic Acid?

D-aspartic acid, also called D-asparagine or D-aspartate is a nutritional supplement well known for boosting testosterone levels. It is not only an amino acid but also a spatial isomer of L-asparagine.

The D-form of DAA is usually metabolized in the N-methyl-D-aspartate, which is a substance known for stimulating NMDA receptors in the brain. These receptors are related to the memory capabilities of the brain just as they are to the plasticity of brain synapses.

What is it used for?

D-aspartate functions as neuro-modulators and neurotransmitters. They stimulate the synthesis of enzyme proteins in the nerve cells. They also regulate hormonal levels when in the endocrine system. There, they also increase the levels of gonadotropin, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone.

Health Benefits

D-aspartic acid has been shown to have the following health benefits:

  •  It boosts the synthesis of testosterone and luteinizing hormone
  • Due to increased synthesis of testosterone, it hence boosts the synthesis of aromatase, a key enzyme in estrogen biosynthesis
  •  It can help boost prolactin synthesis
  •   It is effective for increasing the levels of gonadotropin-releasing hormone and growth hormone in rodents
  •   Effective in increasing progesterone production
  •   It stimulates the release of Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which are biogenic amino acids synthesized in the brain to boost concentration and mental calmness. GABA deficiency can cause cramps and convulsions.
  •         Research also shows that it can permanently increase the levels of testosterone.

 

How Does D-aspartate Work?

D-aspartate promotes two secondary signaling proteins: cGMP and cAMP. The cAMP is produced in the Leydig cells, acting as a boost for the synthesis of sex hormone, including progesterone and testosterone. cGMP, on the other hand, enhances the activation of intracellular protein kinases which hence result in increased production of prolactin, luteinizing hormone, and growth hormone.

In the hypothalamus, D-aspartate enhances the production Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) which is actively involved in the secretion of luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone from the anterior pituitary.

GnRH stimulates the release of vasopressin and oxytocin and induces the synthesis of matric RNA. 

What Are The Possible Side Effects?

D-aspartate often causes over-stimulation of NMDA receptors and so can be exotoxins working the same way as aspartame (E951) and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Whenever there is overstimulation, it causes the death of the affected receptor nerve cells.

Therefore, individuals that have hereditary risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases should not take exotoxins. 

What Is The Recommended Dosage And How Should It Be Taken?

10ml sodium D-aspartate (3.12g/10ml) is the only scientifically recommended dose for humans. And the supplement should be taken with vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid for 12 days.

D-aspartic acid could cause serious damage to the body when a higher dose is taken or when not taken with the vitamins. It increases the chance of having destroyed NMDA cells as well significantly increase the risk of developing various diseases.

However, it is very important that you don’t take it longer than the indicated period.

Who Should Not Use D-Aspartic Acid?

Pregnant women, breastfeeding women,and newborn babies should not receive D-aspartic Acid. The risk of exotocity also increases as the amount of intake also increases. So also as the age of the recipient.

People with a predisposition to neurodegenerative disease should also avoid taking D-aspartic Acid.

In Which Sports Supplements Is D-Aspartic Acid Common?

D-aspartic Acid is common in most testosterone and libido stimulants, as well as infertility supplements. It is usually in combination with aromatase inhibitors, B-vitamin, and other testosterone-stimulating agents.

It can also be found in some products on the market, including hormonal stimulants and in combination with energy (creatine) and nitric oxide precursors.

However, you need to remember that none of these products will ever write the dangerous exotoxic side effects on the packages. So since you are already aware of them, the decision is yours to make; whether to use them or not.

Bottom Line

D-aspartic Acid is a testosterone booster that has received some popularity in the supplement market. While some research has proven its amazing effectiveness, studies on human are very few. This makes them a bit more dangerous than other testosterone boosters that have received huge amount of clinical studies proving they are well-tolerated by human.

Now that you know its benefits and side effects, the choice is yours if you should use it or not. However, if you decide to use it, ensure you consult with your doctor beforehand. 

What Are The Possible Side Effects?

A potential adverse effect of piperine, which is the active compound in Bioperine, is that enhances the absorption of drugs beyond the required level, and so reduces the metabolic activities of the liver. However, this varies for different individuals. So, it’s important you speak with your doctor so he can recommend the right dosage of the supplement. Not using the right dosage can also result in the following side effects:

  •         Nausea
  •         Diarrhea
  •         Stooling (black)
  •         Constipation
  •         Bronchospasms
  •         Skin rash
  •         Anaphylaxis
  •         Itching
  •         Swelling of the skin
  •         Redness of the skin
  •         Hives
  •         Sleep disorder
  •         Depression
  •         Over-excitement

 

Interactions with Other Substances

Some medications have moderate to severe interaction with Bio-perine and so speak to your doctor if you are on any medication before you use Bioperine. Some of such drugs include:

  •         Ascorbic acid/Bortezomib/Deferoxamine
  •         Folic acid/Hydantoins/Pyrimethamine
  •         Pyridoxine/Altretamine/Levodopa

 

What Is The Right Dosage?

The dosage recommendation for the supplement varies and so should be taken as prescribed by your physician. However, the common dose is about 5-10mg per serve daily. Bioperine effects can be felt about 15 minutes on a short term and about 3 hours on a long term after consumption. 

Bioperine supplement has been a really active supplement when it comes to enhancing the bioavailability of other medication and food nutrients. That is the reason it is referred to as a bio enhancer. For years, and in many cases, it has proven that name. However, when taking Bioperine, it is advisable you speak with your doctor for the right dosage in order to avoid some side effects associated with the supplement. 

Table Of Contents

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Chapter 1 – What Exactly is D-aspartic Acid?

Chapter 2 – Health Benefits Of D-aspartic Acid

 

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