Name: Fenugreek

Biological name: Trigonella Foenum-graecum

Parts used: Seeds and sometimes the aerial parts.

Contains: Alkaloids, amino acids, arginine, aspartic acid, bioflavonoids, calcium, choline, cystine, fats, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, iron, isoleucine, lecithin, leucine, lysine, magnesium, manganese, methionine, oestrogen, phosphorus, potassium, proline, serine, selenium, sodium, steroidal saponins, sucrose, tryptophan, tyrosine, trypsin, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, folic acid, B12, C, D and E.

Reported actions: Alterative, anthelmintic, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic (aerial parts), blood tonic, carminative, conditioning, demulcent, diaphoretic, digestive tonic, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, fertility aid, galactagogue, laxative, liver tonic, lymphatic stimulant, metabolic, nutritive, pancreas stimulant, restorative, and uterine stimulant.

May assist with: Mucous and lung conditions. It can also soothe and nourish the body during illness. Combined with lemon and honey it can help to reduce fevers. Partnered with garlic, it is useful for respiratory infections.

Fenugreek contains steroidal saponins which are known to help horses digest protein. It can improve the condition of your horse, especially those picky eaters. Its high oestrogen-like compounds can produce a flirtatious behaviour in some mares.

Precautions: Avoid using during pregnancy and in mares with hormonal imbalances.

Notes: Fenugreek essential oil has a similar composition to cod-liver oil, but the oil can be toxic and should be avoided unless it is prescribed by a professional. Virtually identical to cod-liver oil, being that it is very high in vitamins A and D, it is not suitable for mares that are in good, fat condition.

Herbal supplements should never replace evidence-based management and treatment. This article is not intended as veterinary advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions for your horse based upon research and in partnership with a qualified equine veterinarian and nutritionist.