Side Effects of Fenugreek Tea

Debopriya Bose Mar 12, 2019
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Heard of drop in blood sugar levels, bleeding and bruising in those who drink fenugreek tea? These are just some of the side effects of fenugreek tea. To know about them, read on...
Fenugreek is a member of the Fabaceae family. It is a native to India and southern Europe and has been effectively used as herbal remedy for a number of ailments. Its seeds are a useful spice that is popularly used in a number of dishes.
Also known as Trigonella foenum-graecum by botanists, fenugreek extract has been used to flavor cheese in Switzerland, artificial maple syrup and bitter rum in Germany. Whether it is leaves or the fenugreek seeds, benefits and side effects are there for this plant.
Despite the fact that it is consumed in the form of tea due to numerous health benefits, there are also some side effects that one needs to be aware of before consuming it to make the most of its many health benefits.


Fenugreek is a rich source of alkaloids, lysine and L-tryptophan, mucilaginous fiber and saponins which bestow the plant with its health benefits. It is also a natural source of silicon, iron, sodium, selenium, and thiamine. It is because of these ingredients that this herbal tea is also termed as the miracle tea.
The benefits of this tea include regulating blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels, treating constipation, gout, indigestion, muscle pain and poor appetite to name a few. Nursing mothers also use fenugreek for lactation.

Side Effects

Fenugreek tea is made using fenugreek seeds. Just soak one teaspoon of the seeds in one cup (8 ounces) of cold water for about 3 hours. Strain out the seeds and drink the liquid, either cold or hot. Or add one teaspoon (for stronger tea, you may add one tablespoon) of fenugreek seeds to one cup of hot (after boiling and removing from heat) water.
Let it steep for 45 minutes. Then, strain it and drink it immediately. If you want, you may refrigerate the tea and drink it later. These days, prepackaged teabags are available in the market. Using a teabag, you can prepare the tea within a few minutes.
Experts say that you should drink the tea after meals as lysine from the tea helps digest the food. It also slows down the rate of sugar absorption in the bloodstream. Thus, it is beneficial for those diagnosed with diabetes. Studies show that it helps lower cholesterol levels not only in diabetics but also in normal healthy people.
However, like most other things, there are both, fenugreek seeds benefits and side effects. Some possible side effects of fenugreek tea are:

Lowering of Blood Sugar Levels:

Women who take mother's milk tea (of which fenugreek is an important constituent), have reported a drop in their blood sugar levels and have suffered from dizziness, trembling, hunger pangs and excessive sweating. Excess of fenugreek in the tea is believed to be the cause behind such a change in blood sugar levels.
This may also cause hypoglycemia in some women. It is for the same reason that people suffering from diabetes should be careful of the blood sugar lowering fenugreek side effect. If one is diabetic and drinks fenugreek tea, it is important for such a person to monitor his blood sugar levels regularly to be able to read the signs of hypoglycemia.
Fenugreek normally lowers blood sugar levels. When taken with other medicines for diabetes (that intend to lower blood sugar levels), fenugreek may interact with them and cause a drop in blood sugar levels way below safe levels for diabetic patients.

For Pregnant Women:

If taken in amounts more than what is used in cooking, fenugreek can trigger early contractions in pregnant women. If consumed right before delivery, it may cause the baby to smell like maple syrup that may be confused with the maple syrup disease.
Some nursing women have reported that their babies behave in a very fussy way and pass green stool when they consume fenugreek tea. Once they discontinue drinking the tea, these effects on the baby also goes away. Pregnant and nursing women should consult their physician before taking the tea.

For Children:

Fenugreek seed side effects include bouts of unconsciousness in children. Even children may have a maple syrup like smell in their urine due to consumption of fenugreek tea. Parents should consult the physician before giving the tea to small kids and older children.

Blood Clotting:

Fenugreek may interact with medicines like warfarin that slow down blood clotting. This may lead to bruising and bleeding. Hence, those using blood clotting drugs and also consuming fenugreek tea must get their blood checked regularly to ensure that they don't suffer from the undesirable side effects of bleeding and bruising.

For Migraine:

Although fenugreek is also used as a remedy for migraine, there are instances when it has actually triggered the severity or duration of migraine. Some study also suggests that those with a history of heart diseases or high blood pressure must be careful about the consumption of fenugreek tea, even though fenugreek has properties to lower blood pressure.

Gastrointestinal Problems:

It may also cause gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea and upset stomach in both adults and children.


Those with peanut or chickpea allergy must be careful about consuming fenugreek as this might trigger allergic reactions in such individuals.
More and more people are opting for fenugreek tea as they want to enjoy the health benefits offered by the tea. But it is necessary to know that diarrhea, stomach upset, discomfort due to bloating and gas, and a 'maple syrup' odor in urine are some of the common side effects of fenugreek tea.
Hypersensitive people may suffer from severe allergic reaction after drinking this tea. Symptoms like nasal congestion, excessive coughing, wheezing, swelling in face, etc. can be noticed in such cases. The safety, effectiveness, and purity of fenugreek seeds is not assessed by the FDA.
Herbal supplements may contain toxic materials in the absence of such regulations or set standards. Herbal products should be purchased from a reliable source only. To minimize the side effects, it is best to consult one's physician before taking a sip of the miracle tea on a regular basis.
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