Fenugreek-Blessed Thistle Capsules
5:1 Powder Extract Vegicaps
Healthy Glucose and Blood Lipid Levels
What is fenugreek?
An annual herb whose name is derived from the Latin for “Greek hay,” fenugreek is native to the Mediterranean, the Ukraine, India, and China, and its seeds are revered in several ancient systems of medicine as a nutritive tonic for breastfeeding women. Its first mention in the historical record occurs in the Ebers papyri (ca. 1500 BC), where it is named as an aid to childbirth.(1) Not only are fenugreek seeds a classic and commonly used galactagogue(2), but research shows that they have anti-diabetic, hypocholesterolaemic, immunomodulatory, gastroprotective, chemo-preventive, antioxidant, and laxative properties.(3)
What is blessed thistle?
The Latin binomial for this herb, “Cnicus benedictus,” is taken from St. Benedict, the patron saint of poison antidotes.(4) Since the 17th century, Blessed Thistle has been primarily recognized by herbalists as a remedy to enhance milk production in nursing women. It is an excellent digestive tonic for the anemic and the weak and is especially good for lactating women with a low milk supply. The herb is thought to stimulate blood flow to the mammary glands.(5)
It is speculated that fenugreek seeds increase milk flow partly because of the phytoestrogens and diosgenin they contain.(6) Studies indicate that diosgenin is valuable for treating and preventing several pathologies.(7) As for blessed thistle, besides its high mineral content, it has sesquiterpene lactones that act as bitter principles to stimulate digestion.(8)
Dr. Jack Newman, a lactation specialist at the International Breastfeeding Centre in Toronto, writes about the effectiveness of blessed thistle and fenugreek when used together: “These two herbs seem to increase milk supply and increase the rate of milk flow.” He adds that their effects are additive: “Fenugreek and blessed thistle seem to work better if you take both, not just one or the other.” Dr. Newman notes that mothers generally notice an increase in milk production within 24-72 hours after starting the herbs. The herbs also work best when babies are in their first few weeks after birth.(9)
As a bitter, blessed thistle stimulates bile flow and hydrochloric acid production and thus strengthens digestion.(10) Fenugreek seeds contain vitamins like thiamin, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins A, B6, and C, not to mention an abundance of vitamin K. They are a plentiful source, moreover, of minerals such as copper, potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, manganese, and magnesium. In addition, they have a large amount of saponins and fibers.(11)
Healthy glucose levels
The hypoglycemic properties of fenugreek are well documented.(12) A 2011 in vitro and in vivo study concludes that it lowers blood glucose levels by way of an insulin-like effect.(13)
Healthy blood lipid levels
There are several studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of fenugreek seeds in reducing serum lipids in hyperlipidemic type 2 diabetic patients. A 2006 clinical trial in this population showed significantly positive changes in serum total cholesterol, LDL- cholesterol and triacylglyceride levels.(14)
A 5:1 concentration, each 500 mg capsule contains the equivalent of 2125 mg of dried Certified Organic Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum, seed) and 375 mg of dried Certified Organic Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus, herb tops) (alcohol free)
Non-Medicinal Ingredients: Hypromellose (vegicap), Magnesium stearate, Maltodextrin
Contains no: dairy, egg, wheat, soy, artificial preservatives, artificial colours, artificial sweeteners
Adults: Take 1 capsule 2 times daily on an empty stomach.
Health Canada Approved Use Claims
Used in Herbal Medicine: (1) as a nutritive tonic; (2) as a galactagogue to help promote milk secretion; (3) as supportive therapy for the promotion of healthy glucose levels; (4) to help reduce elevated blood lipid levels (hyperlipidemia).
Cautions and Warnings
Consult a health care practitioner before use if you are breastfeeding or if you have diabetes. Consult a health care practitioner if symptoms worsen or persist.
Do not use if you are pregnant or if you are allergic to plants of the Asteraceae/Compositae/Daisy family.
Known Adverse Reactions
Hypersensitivity/allergy is known to occur, in which case, discontinue use.
Our products are all third party tested to ensure the absence of pesticides, microbes, and heavy metals and to confirm purity and stability.
- Mark Blumenthal et al, eds., “Fenugreek Seed,“ Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs, Austin, TX: American Botanical Council, 2000, pp. 130-133.
- Felipe Penagos Tabares et al, “Pharmacological Overview of Galactagogues,” Veterinary Medicine International 2014 August.
- S Nathiya et al, “Therapeutic role of Trigonella foenum-graecum [Fenugreek] – A Review,” International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research 2014 July-August; Article No. 12: 74-80.
- Matthew Wood, The Admirable Secrets of Herbs, Roots & Barks: A Practical Materia Medica of Western Herbal Medicine, Minnetrista, MN: self-published, 1993.
- A Zapantis et al, “Use of herbals as galactagogues,” Journal of Pharmacy Practice 2012 April; 25(2): 222-31.
- Canan Turkyilmaz et al, “The Effect of Galactagogue Herbal Tea on Breast Milk Production and Short-Term Catch-Up of Birth Weight in the First Week of Life,” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2011; 17: 139-142.
- Mafalda Jesus et al, “Diosgenin: Recent Highlights on Pharmacology and Analytical Methodology,” Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry 2016
- Mark Blumenthal et al, eds, “Blessed Thistle Herb,” Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs, Austin, TX: American Botanical Council, 2000, pp. 27-29.
- Jack Newman, Herbal Remedies for Milk Supply, Accessed online September 2, 2014 from http://www.nbci.ca/
- Christopher Hobbs, Foundations of Health, Capitola, CA: Botanica Press, 1992, pp. 221-3.
- Ragni Sinha et al, “Fenugreek: Pharmacological Actions,” World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 2016; 5(1): 1481-1489.
- S Nathiya et al, op. cit., pp. 75-76.
- Najma Zaheer Baquer et al, “Metabolic and molecular action of Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) and trace metals in experimental diabetic tissues,” Journal of Biosciences 2011; 36(2): 383-396.
- Abu Saleh M. Moosa et al, “Hypolipidemic effects of fenugreek seed powder,” Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology 2006; 1: 64-67.
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