Fenugreek and Pregnancy: How Safe is the Herb?

Fenugreek is an herb that most people probably haven’t heard about, but that could actually have a negative impact on your pregnancy. It is part of the pea family and has edible leaves and edible seeds. The seeds are widely eaten around the world, and are often ground into spices that are used in a wide variety of dishes.

Fenugreek leaves are also edible, but are used a lot less often than the ground up and dried seeds. The seeds are tastier and have a male syrup type of taste that goes well in many recipes.

Fenugreek Usage

The herb can also be taken orally as a medication. Or, it can be applied to the skin to act as an anti-inflammatory substance for cuts and wounds. Manufacturers are also now adding fenugreek to soaps and lotions in order to calm irritated skin.

Fenugreek is known for its antibacterial and antioxidant properties. It is also known around the world for helping keep blood sugar levels stable, which is a wonderful property for patients with diabetes.

Pregnancy is a time that most women try to be their absolute healthiest. It is essential that women who become pregnant eat a variety of foods in order to sustain their pregnancy and keep themselves and their babies healthy.

Fenugreek has few benefits while you are pregnant and after you give brith. You should always be cautious when ingesting fenugreek seeds and oils on a daily basis.

The benefits can be seen if you add fenugreek spices to your foods, but it isn’t recommended that you consume fenugreek oil or whole seeds in a medicinal manner during pregnancy.


Fenugreek seeds and oils are not recommended during pregnancy because they have the ability to induce uterine contractions. It isn’t known whether women can be put into pre-term labor by ingesting large quantities of fenugreek, but to be on the safe side, it isn’t recommended that women consume fenugreek every day during their pregnancy.

Fenugreek Benefits

Some of the benefits that you may notice if you do use fenugreek spices in your foods include gestational diabetes prevention, breast enlargement, lactation help, and help with inducing labor.

Seasoning your food with fenugreek seeds may help keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout your pregnancy. Gestational diabetes occurs when your body just cannot process sugar appropriately while pregnant.

Often, it doesn’t matter if you eat a ton of sugar throughout your pregnancy or not. If your body isn’t processing the sugar properly, then you will be diagnosed with diabetes.

Fenugreek can help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep your blood sugar levels normal. However, always talk to your doctor before consuming the spice.

Fenugreek seeds have also been linked to helping your breasts enlarge and helping with lactation once you have given labor.

Women who consume the herb once they deliver have reported higher amounts of milk production. If you are struggling with production levels, then adding fenugreek to your diet could help.

Fenugreek Side Effects

The side effects of fenugreek can be very dangerous, and for this reason, it is a seasoning that should be used in moderation during pregnancy. One of the most serious side effects of consuming fenugreek is uterine contractions.

Uterine contractions may lead to induction of labor. Eating fenugreek in moderate amounts in your dishes probably won’t throw you into labor, but if you consume large amounts of fenugreek or consume it on a medicinal level, then you are putting yourself and your baby at risk.

Fenugreek has also been linked to fetal risks such as neural tube defects. Anencephaly and spina bifida have both been seen in mothers who consumed large amounts of fenugreek per day throughout their pregnancy. Animal studies have also shown the connection between neural tube defects and fenugreek consumption.

Eating fenugreek in foods throughout your pregnancy isn’t something that you should worry about. Pregnancy is already a time in which you have to watch what you eat, so don’t worry too much about fenugreek spices in your foods. Spice levels are minimal in most foods and won’t affect your pregnancy.

It does become considering if you are eating large amounts of fenugreek herbs and seeds per day. However, most women do not regularly consume large amounts of this herb whether they are pregnant or not.

Throughout your pregnancy, stay away from large amounts of fenugreek and do not take fenugreek medicinally. Doing so could put you into pre-term labor and cause harm to you and your baby. Fenugreek may also lead to neural tube defects in your baby, and put your baby at risk for the rest of their lives.

As with any of type of food or herb, it is essential to eat everything in moderation while pregnant and while not pregnant. Eating one food item excessively is never healthy.


    1. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-733/fenugreek
    2. https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/consumption-of-fenugreek-methi-seeds-during-pregnancy/
    3. https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/herbs/fenugreek/
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