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

Fenugreek is a very common spice used extensively both in home remedies and in cooking in India. 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 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. 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…..


1. Fenugreek During Pregnancy: 

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:

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. Urine Odor:

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: 

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:

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. Upset Stomach:

consuming internally in small amounts it does not cause any problems,
but in excess it can lead to upset stomach for some 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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