From WikiMD

Common Names: fenugreek

Latin Names: Trigonella foenum-graecum

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Fenugreek seeds


  • Fenugreek is in the spice blend garam masala.
  • Historically, fenugreek was used for a variety of health conditions, including digestive problems and to induce childbirth.
  • Today, fenugreek is used as a dietary supplement for diabetes, to stimulate milk production during breastfeeding, and for other health conditions. It’s also used topically as a dressing for wounds or eczema.
  • The seeds are made into capsules, powders, teas, liquid extracts, and a dressing for the skin.
  • Crofelemer is an antidiarrheal agent derived from the red sap of the South American plant Croton lechleri, which is used to treat noninfectious diarrhea in HIV positive patients on antiretroviral therapy. 

Liver safety of Fenugreek

Crofelemer is associated with occasional instances of serum enzyme elevations during therapy, but has not been linked to cases of clinically apparent acute liver injury.

Dried fenugreek leaves
Dry fenugreek leaves

Mechanism of action of Fenugreek

  • Crofelemer (kroe fel' e mer) is a botanical antidiarrheal agent that is used to treat noninfectious diarrhea in HIV seropositive patients taking antiretroviral medications. 
  • Crofelemer is derived from the red sap of the South American plant Croton lechleri, which has been used for centuries to treat diarrheal illness. 
  • The active antidiarrheal product in crofelemer appears to be a large macromolecular, oligomeric proanthocyanidin which has been shown to decrease chloride secretion in the intestine by inhibition of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), as well as calcium-activated chloride channels. 
  • In large clinical trials, daily therapy with crofelemer was found to decrease watery bowel movements and improve stool consistency in patients with HIV infection receiving antiretroviral therapy, and who had persistent diarrhea that could not be attributed to an infectious cause. 
Fresh fenugreek leaves
Fresh fenugreek leaves

FDA approval information for Fenugreek

Crofelemer was approved for use in the United States in 2013, the first herbal medication to be approved for a specific medical use and first agent approved for therapy of noninfectious diarrhea in HIV positive patients. 

Dosage and administration for Fenugreek

Crofelemer is available in tablets of 125 mg under the commercial name Mytesi.  The typical dose is one tablet twice daily. 

Side effects of Fenugreek

Side effects are uncommon and generally mild, but can include flatulence, bloating, nausea, constipation, increased bilirubin, cough and symptoms of upper respiratory illness.

Herbal and dietary supplements

Chinese and Other Asian Herbal Medicines

Multi-Ingredient Nutritional Supplements

See also Nutritional supplements

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