Fenugreek side effects, fenugreek benefits, fenugreek uses, Hu Lu Ba
December 4, 2011  zhion@zhion.com
As discussed in the last sesscion, fenugreek seeds are rich source of trigonelline, lysine and l-tryptophan and they
also contain a large about of steroidal saponins and fibers. These two elements allow many benefits of fenugreek. The
steroidal saponins inhibit cholesterol absorption and synthesis, while fiber may help lower sugar levels [2,3]. Studies
have shown that fenugreek helped lower cholesterol, blood sugar levels in patients suffered from diabetes. [4-10].

Further, fenugreek seed extract is a potent anti-oxidant. A study has demonstrated the potent antioxidant properties of
the fenugreek seeds. In the study, scientists evaluated the protective effect of polyphenol-rich extract from the seeds
of fenugreek against hydrogen peroxide(H202)-induced oxidation in normal and diabetic human erythrocytes (RBCs).
The inhibition of lipid peroxidation was concentration-dependent up to 100 microl of extract (0.75mM gallic acid
equivalent (GAE) of phenolic compounds). [15] This anti-oxidative effect further contributes the fenugreek health
benefits. In the following section, we are going to review fenugreek benefits and potential uses in medicine.


It has been shown the potential protective effect of Fenugreek seeds against 7,12- DMBA-induced breast cancer in
rats. At 200 mg/kg b.wt., Fenugreek seeds' extract significantly inhibited the DMBA-induced mammary hyperplasia and
decreased its incidence. Epidemiological studies also implicate apoptosis as a mechanism that might mediate the
Fenugreek's anti-breast
cancer protective effects. [14] More studies are needed to support this health benefit-claim of
fenugreek seed extract.

Cholesterol Levels
A study has demonstrated that supplementation of fenugreek leaves lowered the lipid profile in diabetic animals. [16] A
systematic review of randomized clinical trials of herbal medicinal products used to lower serum cholesterol.
Twenty-five randomized clinical trials involving 11 herbal medicinal products were identified. Guggul, fenugreek, red
yeast rice, and artichoke have been most extensively studied and have demonstrated reductions in total serum
cholesterol levels of between 10% and 33%. [18] Thus, intake of fenugreek leaves may benefit people at risk of high

A study of alloxan-induced diabetic mice has shown that the hypoglycaemic activity of dialysed fenugreek seed extract
was comparable to that of insulin. Fenugreek seed extract also improved intraperitoneal glucose tolerance in normal
mice. In a cell study, it was found that activation of an insulin signal pathway in adipocytes and liver cells was involved
in the hypoglycaemic activities of fenugreek seed extract. [12] The effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and
the serum lipid profile was actually evaluated in insulin-dependent (Type I) diabetic patients. Isocaloric diets with and
without fenugreek were each given randomly for 10 d. Defatted fenugreek seed powder (100 g), divided into two equal
doses, was incorporated into the diet and served during lunch and dinner. The fenugreek diet reduced fasting blood
sugar and improved the glucose tolerance test. There was a 54 per cent reduction in 24-h urinary glucose excretion.
Serum total cholesterol, bad cholesterol and triglycerides were also significantly reduced. The HDL cholesterol
fraction, however, remained unchanged. These results indicate the benefits of fenugreek seeds in the management of
diabetes. [A1]

In survey conducted in Italy in 2001, the researchers distributed a questionnaire to all the attending herbalists asking
information about the herbal remedy and dietary supplement they mainly recommended to patients who required a
"natural" treatment to control glycemia. The 10 more frequently suggested herbal remedies were gymnema, psyllium,
fenugreek, bilberry, garlic, Chinese ginseng, dandelion, burdock, prickly pear cactus, and bitter melon. [17]

Weight Loss
Japanese researchers found that fenugreek seed extract reduced the body weight gain induced by a high-fat diet in
obese mice. The extract decreased plasma triglyceride gain induced by oil administration. The major component of the
extract, 4-hydroxyisoleucine, also decreased plasma triglyceride gain. [13] It is unclear if intake of fenugreek seed
extract can benefit people on weight loss, more studies are needed to clear the clouds.


Fenugreek side effects, at low doses are uncommon, but fenugreek side effects may include diarrhea, indigestion,
heartburn, gas, bloating and urine odor. High doses of fenugreek seeds may cause gastro-intestinal disturbance and
nausea. Fenugreek may stimulate uterine, pregnant women should avoid fenugreek. [11]
Fenugreek side effects
such as internal bleeding, skin irritation and allergy are suggested over the internet.

Fenugreek Dosage
Recommendations suggest using the herb up to three times daily, in doses of one to five grams, but some suggest the
fenugreek dosage up to two grams. Fenugreek can be taken in the form of capsules or as a brewed tea.
This website discusses the benefits and side effects of various supplements, herbs and drug products. Different people
may experience different side effects and benefits of a fenugreek product. You are encouraged to report adverse side
effects of fenugreek to FDA, its website is
www.fda.gov., or report the adverse side effects of fenugreek to the
manufacturer, you should be able to find the contact information on the label.

There are always new information. Please, send me an email (
zhion@zhion.com) to correct my mistake(s). Reasonable
care has been taken in preparing this document and the information provided herein is believed to be accurate. The
information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is important to seek the advice of a
physician about any medical condition or symptom or the benefits and side effects of a fenugreek supplement or
product. Finally, please, do not transfer the article to other website. Thank you. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

                                                                          Fenugreek Benefits on Breastfeeding, Milk Supply
Fenugreek Reviews
Fenugreek is an erect annual herb native to southern Europe and Asia. Today, it grows today in many parts of the world, including India, northern
Africa, and the United States. The plant reaches a height of 0.3 to 0.8 meters and has trifoliate leaves. White flowers appear in early summer and
develop into long, slender, yellow-brown pods. Fenugreek seeds are hard, yellowish brown and angular, with a side of about 3mm. These seeds
may benefit people suffered from various conditions such as wounds, abscesses, arthritis, bronchitis, and digestive problems. In ancient China,
herbalists used it for problems of kidney and male reproductive tracts. [1] People may roast the seeds or store them as dried seeds. The fenugreek
leaves and sprouts are also eaten as vegetables, and fenugreek is a common ingredient in many curries.

According to Wikipeidia.org, India is the largest producer of fenugreek in the world. Fenugreek seeds give cuboid yellow to amber color to the
preparations of pickles, curry powders, and pastes. Fenugreek dried leaves have a bitter taste and a strong smell. Fenugreek is also used in
Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisine. In Ethiopia, fenugreek seed is used as a herbal medicine for diabetes. Fenugreek seeds are found to increase milk
supply in lactating women and a correlation between intake of fenugreek and low incidence rate of arthritis was observed in India. Intake of
fenugreek may also increase libido. Today, fenugreek is used for diabetes and loss of appetite, and to stimulate milk production in breastfeeding
women. It is also applied to the skin to treat inflammation. [NCCAM.NIH.GOV]

As mentioned fenugreek seeds have been used as herbal medicine. Fenugreek seeds are a rich source of galactomannan. Galactommanna is a
sugar-polymer, which has been used in colonic delivery technology for drugs. Fenugreek seeds are also a source of saponins such as diosgenin,
yamogenin, gitogenin, tigogenin, and neotigogens. The dried seeds are ground and taken by mouth or used to form a paste that is applied to the

Common Names - fenugreek, fenugreek seed; Latin Name - Trigonella foenum-graecum
Fenugreek breastfeeding/ Increasing mother's milk / milk supply
Maternal galactagogue herbal tea containing fenugreek supplementation seems to be useful for enhancing breast milk
supply and facilitating infant birth weight regain in early postnatal days. In one study, the authors found an approximate
40% increase in milk production, although the study was not blinded, nor did they use a control population. For these
reasons, we still do not know with certainty if fenugreek works as a galactagogue. [clinicaltrials.gov] But, there is no
scientific study on how fenugreek tea affects the milk supply.

Fenugreek - Baby - Soothing Methods
Fenugreek tea is one of the soothing method for babies in some areas, but there is no scientific study on how
fenugreek tea sooths the babies.
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Implication of steroid saponins and sapogenins in the hypocholesterolemic effect of fenugreek. Lipids 1991;26:191–7.
3. Ribes G, Sauvaire Y, Da Costa C, et al. Antidiabetic effects of subfractions from fenugreek seeds in diabetic dogs.
Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1986;182:159–66. 4. Bordia A, Verma SK, Srivastava KC. Effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale
Rosc) and fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum L) on blood lipids, blood sugar, and platelet aggregation in patients
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Raghuram TC, Rao NS. Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and serum lipids in type I diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr
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Brinker F. Herb Contradictions and Drug Interactions. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications, 1998, 70–1. 12.
Vijayakumar MV et al, The hypoglycaemic activity of fenugreek seed extract is mediated through the stimulation of an
insulin signalling pathway. Br J Pharmacol. 2005 Sep;146(1):41-8. [13] Handa T et al, Effects of fenugreek seed extract
in obese mice fed a high-fat diet. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2005 Jun;69(6):1186-8. 14. Amin A. et al,
Chemopreventive activities of Trigonella foenum graecum (Fenugreek) against breast cancer. Cell Biol Int. 2005 Aug;29
(8):687-94. [15] Kaviarasan S et al, Polyphenol-rich extract of fenugreek seeds protect erythrocytes from oxidative
damage. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2004 Fall;59(4):143-7. [16] Annida B et al, Supplementation of fenugreek leaves lower
lipid profile in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. J Med Food. 2004 Summer;7(2):153-6. [17] Cicero AF et al What do
herbalists suggest to diabetic patients in order to improve glycemic control? Evaluation of scientific evidence and
potential risks. Acta Diabetol. 2004 Sep;41(3):91-8. [18] Thompson Coon et al, Herbs for serum cholesterol reduction: a
systematic view. J Fam Pract. 2003 Jun;52(6):468-78. [A1] Sharma RD, et al, Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood
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