Fenugreek and its Side Effects

November 12, 2012

Fenugreek and its Side Effects

For many, many years fenugreek has had a remarkable history. It had a reputation for the ability to cure many ailments from indigestion to kidney disorders.

This herb is native to the Mediterranean and western Asia but it is now grown in many other parts of the world. It has the appearance of small clover-like leaves and yellow-white flowers, similar to those of peas. Seeds are hard brown, yellow and red color. This is where the therapeutic benefits of fenugreek lie.

Fenugreek side effects may include stomach upsets. Taking the recommended dose of fenugreek is considered to be safe. Doses of 100g and higher may cause upset stomach, diarrhea and nausea. There may also be an odor not unlike maple syrup in sweat and urine.

Fenugreek should not be taken by people who suffer from anemia as one of the fenugreek side effects is interference with the absorption of iron. For those who are taking thyroid hormone replacements fenugreek is also best avoided as the balance of the thyroid hormones can be affected.

People with diabetes, asthma and allergies should speak with their doctor before using supplements. Fenugreek side effects may occur in pregnant women and they should avoid taking it. In studies of animals it was shown to encourage uterine contractions.

Before taking any supplements always speak with your doctor, particularly if taking other medications and you will hopefully avoid any of the fenugreek side effects.

Fenugreek seeds are used internally to alleviate disorders of the digestive tract and also to help in the relief of menopausal and menstrual problems, congestion in the bronchi and ease coughs. Externally fenugreek is used to ease and aid the healing of infections and minor wounds to the skin. There are some experts who claim that using warm fenugreek to gargle helps to soothe a sore throat.

A study has been carried out on 60 patients who were not using any cholesterol reducing medicines. They were given soup in a bowl with 1 ounce of fenugreek seed in powdered form in addition to a further 2 ounces of powdered fenugreek. After 4 weeks of this study it was found that the levels of cholesterol in those who had taken part had reduced.

It has been found in recent studies that taking approximately 1oz of fenugreek seed on a daily basis helps to reduce the levels of blood-glucose in people who have Type 2 diabetes.

Fenugreek seeds have been used to help with the production of healthy milk for centuries. It appears the benefits may come from a compound called diosgenin which is very like estrogen. Experiments which have been carried out show that taking fenugreek can cause an increase in the flow of breast milk. Using fenugreek may be beneficial to women who have difficulty with lactation and who do not have enough breast milk for feeding. This has not been proved conclusively as more trials and tests have to be carried out to confirm if there are any fenugreek side effects.

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