Hungover summary

What is it?

The seeds of the aromatic Asian Fenugreek plant are a hidden gem in the world of health foods. Fenugreek seeds have a whole host of health benefits from reducing blood glucose levels to treating cellulitis.

What symptoms does it cure?

  • Hangover prevention
  • Hangover recovery
  • Protects liver cells against the poisonous effects of alcohol

Where can I get them?

Fenugreek seeds can be found in specialist shops and online retailers.


Fenugreek is an aromatic plant which, although relatively unknown, is a common ingredient in Indian curries. The word fenugreek translates into latin as ‘greek hay’, originates from Asia and has small white flowers and light green leaves.

Fenugreek has been used for many years as a culinary spice, while the herb has been used to treat a variety of conditions from small maladies like boils and cellulitis to diseases such as diabetes and colon cancer. A number of studies have found fenugreek seeds have the ability to decrease blood glucose levels making it a promising treatment for diabetes. There is also evidence to suggest that Fenugreek is able to stimulate milk production in nursing mothers.

The key behind Fenugreek’s health benefits is down to it’s superb nutritional properties. The seeds contain vitamin B6, iron, magnesium and a number of powerful phytonutrients; beneficial vitamins and minerals found in plants.

What the Science Says

Scientific research has sought to examine whether the health benefits of fenugreek seeds carry over to curing alcohol hangovers.

A study by Kaviarasan et al. (2006) from the Annamalai University in India investigated the abilities of fenugreek seed extract to prevent the toxic effects of alcohol on human liver cells. The liver cells were either incubated with ethanol or ethanol AND fenugreek seed extract. Testing of the liver cells found that those treated with fenugreek extract significantly increased cell viability and decreased apoptosis otherwise known as cell death.

The results of this study go to show that fenugreek seeds are a markedly different hangover remedy compared to others. While the spice could indeed be an effective hangover cure, this study shows that fenugreek seeds are capable of protecting liver cells against the toxic effects of alcohol rather than helping to cure the body after alcohol has had it’s wicked way with you. The authors conclude that their study provides evidence that the aromatic plant is able to protect liver cells against the damaging effects of ethanol.


Kaviarasan, S., Ramamurty, N., Gunasekaran, P., Varalakshmi, E., & Anuradha, C. V. (2006). Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum) seed extract prevents ethanol-induced toxicity and apoptosis in Chang liver cells. Alcohol and alcoholism, 41(3), 267-273.

Rajamanickam, S., & Agarwal, R. (2008). Natural products and colon cancer: current status and future prospects. Drug development research, 69(7), 460-471.

Sharma, R. D., Raghuram, T. C., & Rao, N. S. (1990). Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and serum lipids in type I diabetes. Eur J clin nutr, 44(4), 301-6.

Turkyılmaz, C., Onal, E., Hirfanoglu, I. M., Turan, O., Koç, E., Ergenekon, E., & Atalay, Y. (2011). The effect of galactagogue herbal tea on breast milk production and short-term catch-up of birth weight in the first week of life. The journal of alternative and complementary medicine, 17(2), 139-142.