You may have seen many breastfeeding teas list Fenugreek among their ingredients. But while it has been used as a herb for many years, it may be an ingredient to avoid when you are breastfeeding.
The herb is used either fresh or as seeds as a flavouring agent in a range of herbal blends, including teas, and is known to offer a range of health benefits including reducing the risk of cancer & obesity.
It may also help with lowering cholesterol, reducing high blood pressure, and assist with certain ear conditions.
What is Fenugreek?
This seed comes from the Fabaceae plant and originates from the Mediterranean region of Europe. Cultivated around the world it is used in many dishes and medicines.
Seeds from the plant are nutty and sweet and you might find them in Indian food or Asian cuisine.
There are many uses for fenugreek as well as plenty of health benefits, yet it does have some side effects to be aware of.
Uses for Fenugreek
People use the fenugreek plant for a range of uses including for tea, cosmetics, condiments, spices and soaps.
It is an antioxidant and offers a range of vitamins however there are some unwanted effects that individuals should be aware of.
Why we don’t include Fenugreek in Mother’s Love Tea
While fenugreek is quite a good stimulator of milk production in mothers, it has some side effects that warrant its use with caution.
Clean Tea’s resident naturopath Amanda Hunter shares the side effects to be aware of when consuming this ingredient:
- If you have a thyroid problem, particularly hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) Fenugreek can influence the active thyroid hormone your body uses. This can make your hypothyroidism worse and accordingly reduce milk production. Women who are on medication for their thyroid problem, have a normal milk supply while breastfeeding.
- Some women have reported side effects from Fenugreek, such as diarrhoea, gas and heartburn and urine and sweat that smells like maple syrup – that smell can show up in baby’s urine too.
- If mum’s digestive system is upset, then this can cause similar symptoms in the baby.
- Fenugreek is capable of lowering blood sugar, so if you are at all hypoglycemic (suffer from low blood sugar symptoms) Fenugreek could make these symptoms worse, so you would need to monitor your glucose levels.
- Fenugreek is a legume and those who have peanut and chickpea allergies may experience a cross-reaction and a possible allergic reaction.
- Fenugreek is such a good stimulator of breast milk that the baby can become fussy and develop loose, watery, green stools – a sign of too much foremilk.
Our resident naturopath is always available to share more information on fenugreek and why we choose to leave this ingredient out of our Mother’s Love tea blend. Get in touch if you would like more information on our blends or ingredients.