Radiance Fenugreek can help support healthy consistent milk supply during lactation. The exact mechanism of the breast milk enhancing action is unclear but it is thought to relate to the following:
- Fenugreek seeds contain steroidal saponins, including diosgenin and yamogenin, which are precursors for various steroids, including male and female sex hormones. Diosgenin can increase milk supply.
- Fenugreek is thought to stimulate sweat glands and as milk ducts in the breasts are modified sweat glands, this could be a possible mode of action. Interestingly sweat produced while taking fenugreek smells of maple syrup. If there is no sweet odour, the fenugreek dose may not be high enough to affect milk production.
Fenugreek is a highly nutritious herb which improves digestion and appetite by enhancing the activity of carbohydrate and lipase enzymes. It also contains high amounts of mucilage which helps to soothe, coat and lubricate the gastrointestinal tract, helping to reduce inflammation and ulceration in the gut and respiratory tissues. Studies have also shown significant cholesterol and blood sugar lowering activity by delaying glucose absorption and enhancing its utilisation in people with and without diabetes. Fenugreek is also shown to increase libido and erectile function in men.
Fenugreek is a legume, from the same plant class as soybeans and peas. It is one of the world’s oldest documented herbs used for centuries by Egyptians, Greeks and Romans for health support and culinary purposes. Fenugreek has a variety of uses, but it is most commonly used to support healthy breast milk production during lactation, with increases in milk production by as much as 900%. It has been found that fenugreek can increase a nursing mother’s milk supply within 24 to 72 hours after first taking the herb. Once an adequate level of milk production is reached, most women can discontinue using fenugreek and maintain the milk supply with adequate breast stimulation. However, some women may need to continue taking fenugreek until the breastfeeding infant is weaned.