6 Fenugreek (Methi Seed) Side Effects For Hair, Skin & Health

Fenugreek seeds have amazing benefits but it is good to know the side effects for males, females and children before using it on a daily basis. Especially if consume fenugreek seeds in large quantities like in the form of fenugreek tea, it is important we get to know the dosage and side effects.

Fenugreek Seeds Common Names:

The botanical name of fenugreek seeds is Trigonella Foenum-Graecum. Both the leaves (called methi leaves in Hindi and vendhaya keerai in Tamil) and the seeds of the plant are used extensively. Fenugreek seeds are called Methi Dana in Hindi, Vendhayam in Tamil, Menthulu in Telugu, Menthe in Kannada and Uluva in Malayalam.

Fenugreek Seeds Composition:

Trigonelline, 4-hydroxyisoleucine, sotolon, protodioscin, diosgenin, yamogenin, apigenin-7-0-glycoside, luteolin-7-0-glycoside, trigoneosides, trigofaenoside A, glycoside D, vitamins (especially vitamin C) and minerals. Fatty acid component of fenugreek seeds contain linoleic, linolenic and oleic acids in the order given.

Fenugreek Medicinal Uses:

Fenugreek seeds have wonderful medicinal uses and health benefits, it has anti diabetic, anti inflammatory, anti obesity, antioxidant, galactagogue and anti ulcer properties and you can read about the uses in detail here. Though fenugreek seeds have wonderful medicinal uses like with any ingredient if consumed in excess will have side effects.

Fenugreek Diabetes Side Effects: My Personal Experience

Few months back, one of our relatives asked me whether consuming fenugreek seeds was good for reducing his high blood sugar levels. I explained that fenugreek is indeed good for reducing high blood sugar levels and also mentioned the dosage to be taken daily.

When we met again few days later, he mentioned that he felt unwell on days he consumed fenugreek seeds so he had stopped consuming it. When I asked him the amount he consumed he replied 1 tbsp! I had asked him to consume 1/4 to 1/2 tsp.

Along with consuming fenugreek seeds, he was taking his regular blood sugar medication also and both had drastically reduced his blood sugar levels making him feel dizzy and unwell. Please remember that dosage is very important when it comes to consuming fenugreek seeds.

How To Consume Fenugreek Seeds?

You can consume the seeds by soaking it in water overnight or in the form of fenugreek powder and finally as fenugreek tea and you can find the recipe for it here. You can also try fenugreek capsules if you don’t want to consume the seeds.

Fenugreek Seeds Dosage:

The general suggested dosage is 1/2 tsp but start with  1/4 tsp of the seeds and increase it to 1/2 tsp over time. If using fenugreek capsules, consume only the recommended dosage.

6 Fenugreek Side Effects You Should Be Aware Off: 

1. Fenugreek During Pregnancy: 

Consuming fenugreek seeds as a spice is fine during pregnancy but it should not be overdosed. When I was pregnant, I was eating fenugreek seeds used in curries as usual which was very very little.

But I stopped consuming fenugreek seeds in large doses like in fenugreek tea. Fenugreek in large doses will cause birth defects in babies and you can read the study that proves it here.

2. Fenugreek Allergy:

Some people might be allergic to fenugreek seeds. If you are allergic to any ingredient in Leguminosae family then there is a high chance that you will be allergic to fenugreek too.

The allergy can result from external application, inhalation of the powder and internal consumption. Some of the common symptoms of fenugreek allergy are wheezing, numbness, facial angioedema and fainting. You can read the study that supports this claim here.

3. Causes Urine Odor:

One other side effect of consuming fenugreek in large doses is urine odor commonly called maple syrup urine phenomena. When you start consuming fenugreek seeds daily like in the form of fenugreek tea, some will experience urine odour almost similar to maple syrup this is due to a compound called sotolon present in fenugreek.

4. Aggravates Sinus Infection When Used As Hair Pack: 

The only problem with fenugreek seeds when applying it externally on the scalp is that anyone who is prone to sinus or asthma can’t use it as it is very cooling and will aggravate the problem.

To be on the safer side, don’t let it soak for a long time (max 10 minutes) when you are using it the first time. Once you are comfortable then you can let it soak for 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Fenugreek Drug Interactions For Men & Women:

Fenugreek seeds when taken in quite enough quantities separately reduces blood sugar levels. Like I mentioned before when we take fenugreek seeds along with diabetic medications  it can lower our blood sugar levels to dangerously low levels.

To avoid this, never overdose on fenugreek seeds and take only the suggested dosage. Also monitor your blood sugar levels closely and adjust the medication accordingly.

6. Causes Upset Stomach:

When consuming internally in small amounts it does not cause any problems, but in excess it can lead to upset stomach for some especially children as it is very high in fiber.

Fenugreek is bitter so it is hard to over consume the seeds but we can add too much of fenugreek seeds while making fenugreek tea and if you do so, it will cause diarrhea.

It is best not to give young children fenugreek tea however you can add fenugreek seeds as spice in small quantities while preparing their food.

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