For millennia, fenugreek has been used both as a medicine and as a food spice in Egypt, India, and the Middle East. It was traditionally recommended for increasing milk production in nursing women and for the treatment of wounds, bronchitis, digestive problems, arthritis, kidney problems, and male reproductive conditions.

Present interest in fenugreek focuses on its potential benefits for people with diabetes or high cholesterol. Numerous animal studies and preliminary trials in humans have found that fenugreek can reduce blood sugar and serum cholesterol levels in people with diabetes. Like other high-fiber foods, it may also be helpful for constipation.