Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine has, since long past, used Fenugreek to treat various ailments. Also known as Greek Hay seed, it has also been used to improve metabolism, aid digestion, reduce cholesterol, induce labor induction, and for overall health of a person. It can clear nasal congestion, ease constipation, and speed up the cure of diseases such as pneumonia, asthma, hay fever, sore throat and tuberculosis. The general dosage for over all good health is 1 or 2 grams, three times a day. While the benefits of Fenugreek are numerous, there are some side effects that need to be known and understood. This will help prevent health complications in those who are more susceptible to be affected by these.
Harmful Effects Of Fenugreek
Minor Side Effects
- Indigestion or heartburn.
- Strange odor in urine.
- Bloating and gas formation.
- Irritation of skin.
- Strange smell in milk of breast-feeding women.
- Increased bilirubin levels.
Serious Side Effects
- Gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Hemorrhage in the brain, which could lead to a stroke. Some symptoms of stroke are numbness in the hands, dizziness, and nausea. If these symptoms occur, treat it as a medical emergency.
- Allergic reactions such as hives, itching, rashes, wheezing, difficulty breathing, or swallowing and unexplained swelling.
- Fenugreek is a uterine stimulator. If taken during pregnancy, it can cause a miscarriage, since it is usually used to induce labor.
- Increases menstrual flow in people with abnormal menstrual cycles.
- Inhalation of fenugreek can, at times, trigger an asthma attack.
- While fenugreek is used at times to increase milk production in nursing mothers, excess consumption of this herb can cause stomach upsets, diarrhea and watery stools in babies.
- It can cause symptoms of dehydration and tension headaches.
- If taken along with anti-coagulant medicines, fenugreek can increase the risk of bleeding. Similar effects are seen when taking anti-platelet drugs such as heparin, warfarin and clopidogrel.
- It can interfere with the absorption of other prescription drugs. Therefore, it should be taken at least two hours before taking any pills.
- Fenugreek lowers blood glucose levels. Therefore, people suffering from diabetes should be careful when taking it, since it can interfere with medication for diabetes, and especially insulin therapy. Overdoses can even have a reverse effect, causing a person’s blood sugar to plummet, and sending them into a coma.
- Consumption of fenugreek tea has been linked to loss of consciousness in children.
- Patients with peptic ulcers and liver disease should avoid using fenugreek since it causes nicotinic acid to form.
- Those who have had breast cancer should avoid taking fenugreek since this herb contains phyto-estrogens (simulated estrogens). Those on anti-estrogenic medications due to breast cancer will not be benefitted by their current medication along with the use of fenugreek.