Fenugreek is likely safe for people when taken by mouth in amounts normally found in foods. It is possibly safe when taken in amounts used for medicinal purposes (amounts larger than normally found in food) for up to 6 months. Side effects include diarrhea, stomach upset, bloating, gas and a “maple syrup” odor in urine. Fenugreek can cause nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, facial swelling and severe allergic reactions in hypersensitive people. Fenugreek might lower blood sugar.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Fenugreek is likely safe in pregnancy when used in amounts greater than those in food. It might cause early contractions. Taking fenugreek just before delivery may cause the newborn to have an unusual body odor, which could be confused with “maple syrup urine disease.” It does not appear to cause long-term effects.
Although fenugreek is used to stimulate the production of breast milk, not enough is known about the safety of fenugreek during breast-feeding. It is better not to use fenugreek if you are breast-feeding.
Children: Fenugreek might be unsafe for children. Some reports have linked fenugreek tea to loss of consciousness in children. An unusual body odor resembling maple syrup may occur in children drinking fenugreek tea.
Diabetes: Fenugreek can affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use fenugreek.