Fenugreek Side Effects

For the most part, fenugreek is a safe and natural herbal remedy that has been shown to provide great benefits for many different health problems and ailments. Just like any other curative or therapy, however, there will always be individuals who experience side effects from the use of this herb. The following is a list of possible fenugreek side effects that may occur while taking it.

Fenugreek has the possibility of interfering with the absorption of some oral medications. The two most common medications affected are blood thinners and a few drugs used for diabetes. Since the natural coumarins in fenugreek act as blood thinners, always be sure to contact your healthcare professional if you are already taking an anticoagulant drug. If a drug interaction occurs, it can lead to dangerous side effects such as uncontrolled or internal bleeding. Use fenugreek with caution and educate yourself on all of the warning signs of a reaction.

Gastrointestinal Complaints

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has associated an assortment of gastrointestinal side effects related to the use of fenugreek. These problems may include diarrhea, loose stools, flatulence, bloating, and excessive gas. It is recommended to consume no more than 100 grams of the herb daily to reduce the chance of these side effects. If any of these symptoms still appear, continue lowering your dosage until the complications subside. If stomach problems are still present, it is best to stop taking fenugreek altogether.

Allergic Reactions

Fenugreek has been known to cause allergic responses in some individuals. The most common symptoms of this include facial swelling, rash, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and wheezing. If you are allergic to any kind of spice, a negative response may present itself after consuming fenugreek, so pay careful attention if you have been bothered by flavorings or seasonings in the past. A second problem is that fenugreek is in the same family as green peas, peanuts, and chickpeas. Those who are allergic to legumes should not use fenugreek, because a serious or deadly reaction may occur.

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Body Odor

A component of fenugreek is sotolone, which is a strong aromatic complex, comparable to maple syrup. This compound passes through the body almost unchanged, exiting the pores and orifices with the same smell as when it was taken in. The herb’s smell has been found to emit from a user’s sweat and breath. Fenugreek can also cause a similar smell in the urine and turn it dark-colored when taken in high doses.

Skin Irritation

Fenugreek has been known to cause skin reactions in some individuals, which can become quite bothersome. When the herb is used topically, it can cause skin sensitivity, rash, and irritation. Other less common reactions include bleeding and bruising easily. Studies have shown, however, that these skin irregularities most often occur when fenugreek is taken in large doses or for a lengthy amount of time. 

Fenugreek is a plant used in natural therapies for many types of ailments, and serious side effects are actually very rare. As long as a physician or health care professional is consulted before use, users should experience little to no fenugreek side effects while using the herb.

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