Use of Fenugreek for Colds

Plant of Fenugreek
Fenugreek leaves. (Image: yogesh_more/iStock/Getty Images)

Fenugreek is used as a spice in food preparation as well as taken as an herbal supplement. First used medicinally by the Egyptians, fenugreek eases congestion when brewed into a tea. Drinking water that fenugreek seeds have been soaked in may dissolve mucus in your lungs, throat and sinuses. In a more potent form -- such as tincture or pill -- fenugreek may lower cholesterol and glucose levels. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center warns that, "diabetic patients taking this herb should monitor their blood glucose closely and may require dose adjustments of antidiabetic agents." Fenugreek may also act as an anticoagulant and a laxative; it is contraindicated for pregnant women, as it may stimulate uterine contractions. Always consult your physician before adding fenugreek supplements to your diet.

Step 1

Soak 1 tsp. of fenugreek seeds in 8-oz. of cold water overnight. For a quicker brew time, add the fenugreek seeds to boiling water and let steep for 15 minutes. This will be a slightly less potent tea.

Step 2

Strain the seeds, reserving the liquid. Warm the liquid and drink as a tea. The tea may have a strong, bitter taste, so add honey to sweeten, if desired.

Step 3

Gargle with the water instead of drinking it to soothe a sore throat.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds

  • 8-oz. water

  • Cooking pot

Tip

Fenugreek clears mucus and lessens your urge to cough. Try fenugreek tea when you have a head cold, sore throat, laryngitis or sinusitis. You may purchase commercially prepared fenugreek tea. It is commonly marketed as a lactation aid -- look for it sold as "Mother's Milk" tea, as it may encourage the production of breast milk. If brewing your own tea, look for certified organic fenugreek seeds.

Warning

Do not take other medications with your fenugreek tea, as it may affect the absorption of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin and diabetes drugs.

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