It's a herb you may have used to add flavour to your curries. But fenugreek can also spice up your sex life, a study suggests.
Men taking it can boost their sex drive by at least a quarter, researchers found.
Sixty healthy men aged between 25 and 52 took an extract of the herb twice a day for six weeks.
Their libido levels were monitored using a scoring system to assess any changes after three and six weeks.
Within six weeks, their scores had soared by an average of 16.1 to 20.6 – a 28 per cent rise.
Meanwhile, another group of men taking dummy pills saw their scores fall.
Fenugreek seeds contain compounds called saponins which are thought to stimulate production of male sex hormones including testosterone.
They contain alkaloids (mainly trigonelline) and protein high in lysine (Lysine is an essential amino acid needed for growth and to help maintain nitrogen balance in the body.) and L-tryptophan.
Its steroidal saponins are thought to inhibit cholesterol absorption and synthesis.
The tests were carried out by researchers from the Centre for Integrative Clinical and Molecular Medicine in Brisbane, Australia, who said: ‘This study has demonstrated that there was significant improvement in sexual function and performance following treatment.’
Fenugreek is a bean-like plant that grows throughout Asia and features widely in Indian cooking.
Its leaves and seeds have been used to treat fever since the time of the ancient Egyptians.