What is a fenugreek allergy

Part Descriptions

LP14182-7 Trigonella foenum-graecum
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a plant in the family Fabaceae. Fenugreek is used both as an herb (the leaves) and as a spice (the seed). It is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop. It is frequently used in curry. Copyright Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ for details.Source: Wikipedia, Wikipedia

LP14182-7 Trigonella foenum-graecum
Native to western Asia and south-eastern Europe, this aromatic legume plant is well known almost worldwide for its pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet seeds, sometimes described as having a suggestion of burnt sugar.

Fenugreek grows today in numerous parts of the world, including India, northern Africa and the United States.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that fenugreek may induce symptoms of food allergy in sensitised individuals; however, few studies own been reported to date. Reactions may follow ingestion, inhalation or external application of fenugreek seed powder. Copyright Copyright © 2006 Phadia AB.Source: ImmunoCap, ImmunoCap

Articles

General Information

Description

This plant is thought to originate from India or the Middle East. It is now primarily grown in India and in the Mediterranean countries.

It is an herbaceous plant belonging to the Fabaceae family, 40-60 cm high, with alternate trifoliate leaves and pale yellow flowers. Its pods are curved, 10-15 cm endless, with narrow ends. These pods contain 10-12 seeds, brown or yellowish, lozenge-shaped, 4-5 mm endless, 2-3 mm wide.

Plant Part Used:

Seeds.

Chemical Constituents:

The composition of fenugreek seeds was extensively studied and their composition reveals a few specific features (1),(2).

  1. Galactomannans: ~15% of the seed weight.
  2. A pseudo alkaloid, trigonelline 2 (0.1-0.15% of the seed weight).
  3. Volatile compounds: Over 50 volatile compounds were identified.

    However, the characteristic flavour of the seeds is mainly provided by a little g-lactone, sotolone 3.

  4. Mucilage (39)
  5. Steroids and steroidal saponins: Free sterols, dominated by sitosterol, make about 0.2% of the seed weight. Steroidal saponins (4-6% of seed weight)include a homogenous series of steroidal sapogenins with furostan 4 and spirostan 5 skeletons and two glycosidic chains on C-3 and C-26.
  6. 4-Hydroxyisoleucine 1, a non-proteogenic amino-acid, 0.6% of the seed weight, 85% of the free amino acids.
  7. Phenolics: coumarins, flavonoids (~0.1%)
  8. Proteins: High content, around 30% of the seed weight.
  9. Lipids: 5.5-7.5%.

    The fatty acids are dominantly linoleic acid (~40%) and linolenic acid

  10. Tannicacid, fixed and vegetable oils, diosgenin, trigocoumarin, trigomethyl coumarin, steroidal saponin such as gitogenin and traces of trigogenin and vitamin A (40)

Traditional Use:

Fenugreek is above every a condiment used in Indian and North African cuisine. As a traditional medicine, there is a variety of claims relative to its use. It is widely considered as antidiabetic and anticholesterol herb.

It is used as a tonic and appetite stimulant in North Africa. In India, it is used to treat various GIT disorders. It is also said to be galactogogue and uterine stimulant.

Fenugreek also has been used in therapeutic treatment such as CNS stimulant, anti ulcer, anti-inflammatory, intestinal pain, skin diseases, sexual impotence, wound healing, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, anti-neoplastic and anti-pyretic. (40),(41)

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

Hypoglycaemic activity

A study on cyclists showed that a fenugreek extract increases insulin concentration and glycogen resynthesis after exercise (21).

Various clinical trials of fenugreek showed improvement in glucose tolerance in healthy volunteers as well as in type 2 and type 1 diabetic patients (22), (3), (23), (24). However, every these studies were considered as methodologically feeble and classified as preliminary (25).

Hypocholesterolemic activity

A clinical trial on hyperlipidemic non-diabetic patients whom diet was supplemented in defatted fenugreek showed significant reduction of serum entire cholesterol, LDL and VLDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while HDL cholesterol levels were unchanged (3).

In another trial, fenugreek seed powder did not affect the blood profile in healthy subjects, but significantly reduced the entire cholesterol and triglyceride without affecting the HDL-cholesterol in patients with coronary artery disease (26). Similar results were obtained with germinated seeds, which are less bitter (27). Endless lasting hypo-cholesterolemic activity was also demonstrated in diabetic subjects. Altogether, the methodology of these studies were considered as poor (28), (25).

Galactogogue activity

One study involving ten women indicated that fenugreek seeds would increase milk production.

However a stronger methodology would be required before this claim could be endorsed.

Adverse Effects in Human:

  1. Minor gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhoea, flatulence) subsidising after few days (3).
  2. Allergy after inhalation of the seed powder or topical application of a seed powder paste (29), (30).

Used in Certain Conditions:


Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

  1. Fenugreek may increase lactation (31).
  2. Ingestion of fenugreek by mothers during labour resulted in syrup-like odour in their new born infants, leading to a untrue suspicion of maple syrup urine disease (MSUD).

    This is due to the fact that fenugreek, maple syrup and urine of MSUD patients share sotolone as common component (32), (33).

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation

Geriatrics

No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  1. Potential interaction with antiplatelet/anticoagulant drugs (incl. NSAIDs): the presence of coumarin in fenugreek may theoretically increase the risk of haemorrhage (speculative) (34), (35).
  2. Potential interaction with exogenous insulin in diabetic patients who do not adjust insulin dosage: could lead to hypoglycaemia (speculative).
  3. Potential interaction with oral hypoglycaemic drugs sulfonylurea, biguanides, or both: could lead to hypoglycaemia (speculative).
  4. Potential enhancement of the activity of cholesterol-lowering agents due to additive effects (speculative).

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

Fenugreek seeds extract and garlic extract are less effective in the regulation of hyperthyroidism in rats than istrated independently (36).

Read More

1) Malaysian Herbal Plants

Contradications

Contraindications

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes (speculative).

Case Reports:

Interaction with warfarin

  1. A lady stabilized on warfarin developed an elevated INR after several weeks of using a capsule of fenugreek before meals and 10 drops of boldo extract after meals.

    Her INR returned to the normal range after stopping the herbal products but became elevated again after resuming their use. It may be that warfarin metabolism was reduced or the serum protein bond of warfarin was modified (speculative) (37).

Allergy

  1. An Algerian student using fenugreek as an appetite stimulant and topically as healing agent developed a respiratory allergy. Handling this powder induced rhinitis and asthma. The prick test performed with fenugreek was strongly positive (29).
  2. A 36-year-old housewife experienced sneezing, rhinorrhea and excessive tearing after opening a jar containing fenugreek and smelling it for identification.

    This was followed by persistent coughing, wheezing and fainting. She was admitted to the hospital in a state of shock. The past history revealed allergy to chickpeas and occasional mild asthma. On the day the incident took put she had not consumed chickpeas (30) .

  3. A 45-year-old lady with a history of allergic rhinitis and asthma since childhood developed pruritus and dandruff. On advice from a relative she applied fenugreek seed paste on her scalp.

    Within minutes, she developed nasal congestion and hoarseness. Later, she experienced facial angiodema, wheezing and numbness of the head. She was rushed to the hospital casualty ward (30).

False maple syrup urine disease (MSUD)

  1. Rao, P.U., Sesikeran, B., Rao, P.S., Naidu, A.N., Rao, V.V., Ramachandran, E.P. Short term nutritional and safety evaluation of fenugreek. Nutr. Res. 1996; 16: 1495-1505
  2. View Abstract: Flammang, A.M., Cifone, M.A., Erexson, G.L., Stankowski, L.F.Jr. Genotoxicity testing of a fenugreek extract. Food Chem. Toxicol. 2004; 42: 1769-75
  3. Thompson Coon, J.S., Ernst E.

    Herbs for serum cholesterol reduction: a systematic view. J. Fam. Prac. 2003; 52: 468-478

  4. Darwish R. M., Aburjai T. A. Effect of ethnomedicinal plants used in folklore medicine in Jordan as antibiotic resistant inhibitors on Escherichia coli. BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine.
  5. Herbal Medicines in Pregnancy and Lactation — An Evidence-Based Approach . 2006, Taylor & Francis, London.
  6. View Abstract: Bordia A, Verma SK, Srivastava KC.

    Effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) and fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum L.) on blood lipids, blood sugar and platelet aggregation in patients with coronary artery disease. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. May1997;56(5):379-84.

  7. Izzo, A.A..

    What is a fenugreek allergy

    Herb-drug interactions: an overview of the clinical evidence. Fundam. Clin. Pharmacol. 2004; 19: 1–16

  8. Nair, S., Nagar, R. Antioxidant flavonoids in common Indian foods. South Asian J. Prev. Cardiol. 1997; 1: 33-35
  9. Bessot, J.C., Gourdon, C., Pauli, G. Allergie respiratoire au fenugrec. Rev. Franc. Allergol. 1996; 36: 510-512
  10. Natural Standard Herb & Supplement Reference — Evidence-Based Clinical Reviews. 2005, St Louis: Elsevier Mosby.
  11. Pandian, R.S., Anuradha, C.V., Viswanathan, P. Gastroprotective effect of fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum graecum) on experimental gastric ulcer in rats.

    J. Ethnopharmacol. 2002; 81: 393-397

  12. Sharma, R.D., Raghuran, T.C. Hypoglycaemic effect of fenugreek seeds in non-insulin depednent diabetic subjects. Nutr. Res. 1990; 10: 731-739
  13. Shlosberg, A., Egyed, M.N. Examples of poisonous plants in Israel of importance to animals and man. Arch. Toxicol. Suppl. 1983; 6: 194-196
  14. Korman, S.H., Cohen, E., Preminger, A. Pseudo-maple syrup urine disease due to maternal prenatal ingestion of fenugreek. J. Paediatr. Kid Health . 2001; 37: 403-404
  15. Ruby, B.C., Gaskill, S.E., Slivka, D., Harger, S.G. The addition of fenugreek extract (Trigonella foenum-graecum) to glucose feeding increases muscle glycogen resynthesis after exercise.

    Amino Acids . 2005; 28: 71-6

  16. Chemistry and pharmacology of fenugreek, in Herbs, Botanicals and Teas, Mazza, G., Oomah, B.D. eds. 2000, Technomic Publishing Co., Lancaster, USA.
  17. Patil, S.P., Niphadkar, P.V., Bapat, M.M. Allergy to fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum). Ann. Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1997; 78: 297-300
  18. Thakran, S., Siddiqui, M.R., Baquer, N.Z. Trigonella foenum graecum seed powder protects against histopathological abnormalities in tissues of diabetic rats. Mol. Cell Biochem. 2004; 266: 151-159
  19. Thirunavukkarasu, V., Anuradha, C.V., Viswanathan, P.

    Protective effect of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum) seeds in experimental ethanol toxicity. Phytother. Res. 2003; 17: 737-743

  20. Siddiqui M. R., et al. Amelioration of altered antioxidant status and membrane linked functions by vanadium and Trigonella in alloxan diabetic rat brains. Jour. Biosci. Sept 2005;4(30):483-490 – siddiqui 2
  21. Vats, V., Yadav, S.P., Biswas, N.R., Grover, J.K. Anti-cataract activity of Pterocarpus marsupium bark and Trigonella foenum-graecum seeds extract in alloxan diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004; 93 : 289-294
  22. Kaviarasan, S., Vijayalakshmi, K., Anuradha, C.V.

    Polyphenol-rich extract of fenugreek protect erythrocytes from oxidative damage . Plant Foods Hum. Nutr. 2004; 59: 143-147

  23. Sowmya, P., Rajyalkshmi, P. Hypocholeserolemic effects of germinated fenugreek seeds in human subjects . Plant Foods Hum. Nutr. 1999; 53: 359-365
  24. Amin, A., Alkaabi, A., Al-Falasi, S., Daoud, S.A. Chemopreventive activities of Trigonella foenum graecum (Fenugreek) against breast cancer. Cell. Biol.

    Int. 2005; 29: 687-694

  25. Devasena, T., Menon, V.P. Enhancement of circulatory antioxidants by fenugreek during 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-induced rat colon carcinogenesis. J. Biochem. Mol. Biol. Biophys. 2002; 6: 289-292
  26. Sauvaire, Y., Petit, P., Broca, C., Manteghetti, M., Baissac, Y., Fernandez-Alvarez, J., Gross, R., Roye, M., Leconte, A., Gromis, R., Ribes, G. 4-Hydroxyleucine – a novel amino acid potentiator of insulin secretion . Diabetes. 1998; 47: 206-210
  27. A male baby was born at term by normal delivery weighing 3470 g, with Apgar score of 9 and 10 at 1 and 5 min, respectively.

    Several hours after birth, the nursing staff in the nursery noted a strong smell emanating from the skin and the diaper of the baby. The odour resembles maple syrup, leading the staff to suspect MSUD. Physical examination revealed an alert baby with normal vital signs, normal primitive reflexes and without any abnormal physical signs. Every biological analyses yielded normal results. It was subsequently realized that the mom, of Yemenite Jewish origin, had ingested a spicy paste prepared from fenugreek seeds during the early hours of her labour.

    The same maple syrup-like odour could be detected on the mother’s skin (32).

  28. Sharma, R.D., Raghuram, T.C., Rao, N.S. Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and serum lipids in type 1 diabetes. Eur. J. Clin. Nutrit. 1990; 44: 301-306
  29. Sauvaire, Y., Petit, P., Broca, C., Manteghetti, M., Baissac, Y., Fernandez-Alvarez, J., Gross, R., Roye, M., Leconte, A., Gromis, R., Ribes, G. 4-Hydroxyleucine – a novel amino acid potentiator of insulin secretion . Diabetes. 1998; 47: 206-210
  30. SatheeshKumar N., Mukherjee P. K., Bhadra S., Saha B. Acetylcholinesterase enzyme inhibitory potential of standardized extract of Trigonella foenumgraecum L and its constituents.

    Phytomedicine;17:292-295 -2010 Kumar

  31. Hannan, J.M.A., Rokeya, B., Faruque, O., Nahar. N., Mosihuzzaman, M,, Azad Kha,n A.K., Ali, L. Effect of soluble dietary fibre part of Trigonella foenum graecum on glycemic, insulinemic, lipidemic and platelet aggregation status of Type 2 diabetic model rats. J. Ethnopharmacol. 2003; 88: 73 -77
  32. Kumar, G.S.; Shetty, A.K.; Sambaiah, K.; Salimath, P.V. Antidiabetic property of fenugreek seed mucilage and spent turmeric in streptozocin-induced diabetic rats . Nutr. Res. 2005; 25: 1021-1028
  33. Bilal Bin-Hafeez, et al.

    Immunomodulatory effects of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) extract in mice. International Immunopharmacology. 2003;3(1):257-265.

  34. Muralidhara, Narasimhamurthy, K., Viswanatha, S., Ramesh, B.S. Acute and subchronic toxicity assessment of debitterized fenugreek powder in the mouse and rat. Food Chem. Toxicol. 1999; 37: 831-838
  35. Gupta, A., Gupta, R., Lal, B. Effect of hydroalcoholic extracts of fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum-graecum) on insulin resistance and glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. J. Assoc. Phys. India. 2001; 49: 1057-1061
  36. Kaviarasan, S., Ramamurty, N., Gunasekaran, P., Varalakshmi, E., Anuradha, C.V. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum) seed extract prevents ethanol-induced toxicity and apoptosis in Chang liver cells.

    Alcohol Alcohol. 2006; 41: 267-273

  37. Tahiliani, P., Kar, A. The combined effects of Trigonella and Allium extracts in the regulation of hyperthyroidism in rats. Phytomedicine. 2003; 10: 665-668
  38. Swafford, S., Berens, B. Effect of fenugreek on breast milk production. . ABM News & Views 6(3): Annual meeting abstracts . 11 — 13 / 9 / 2000.
  39. Lambert, J.P., Cormier, J. Potential Interaction between warfarin and boldo-fenugreek. Pharmacother. 2001; 21: 509-512
  40. Vats V, Grover JK, Rathi SS. Evaluation of anti-hyperglycaemic and hypoglycaemic effect of Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn, Ocimum sarctum Linn and Pterocarpus marsupium Linn in normal and alloxanized diabetic rats.

    J Ethnopharmacology. 2002;79(1):95-100.

  41. Handa T, et al. Effects of Fenugreek Seed Extract in Obese Mice Fed a high-Fat Diet. Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem. March 2005; 6(69):1186-1188
  42. Abebe, W. Herbal medication: potential for adverse interactions with analgesic drugs . J. Clin Pharm. Ther. 2002; 27: 391-401
  43. Nahas R., Moher M. Complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Canadian Family Physician. June 2009;55: 591-596

Pre-Clinical Data

Pharmacology

Hypoglycaemic activity

The hypoglycaemic activity of fenugreek seeds was demonstrated on several animal models (normal mice and rats, insulin-dependant dogs, alloxan-induced diabetic mice, rats and dogs) (3), (4), (5).

The activity was related to various components of the seeds. The soluble dietary fibre part, the main components of which are the galactomannans, was shown to reduce glycaemia after glucose istration (3). This part was further shown to decrease the serum fructosamine level with no significant change in insulin level (6). Another experiment using fenugreek seed mucilage istrated to streptozocin-induced diabetic rats confirmed the antidiabetic properties (7).

Trigonelline is known to own some hypoglycaemic effect. However, most attention was given to 4-hydroxyisoleucine. In vitro, it was shown to increase the insulin secretion by isolated Langerhans islets in a dose-dependant manner. It was also shown to induce a biphasic insulin response in isolated perfused rat pancreas. In vivo, it was shown to be effective in type 2 diabetic rats as well as in conscious fasted dogs in improving oral glucose tolerance after oral istration (3).

4-Hydroxyisoleucine has been shown to increase glucose-induced insulin release without interacting with other agonists of insulin secretion such as tolbutamide and glyceraldehydes, thus demonstrating a novel in vitro insulinotropic activity (8). The bio-molecular mechanism is still unclear. However, it was shown that seed powder was capable to both increase the glutamate deshydrogenase and decrease that of D-b-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase in aloxanized rats. Ultrastructures of the rat liver showed a reduction in abnormalities (9). An alcoholic seed extract exerted an anti-cataract in alloxanized diabetic rats (5).

Hypocholesterolemic activity

Fenugreek seeds showed some hypocholesterolemic activity.

This activity was credited to both the galactomannans and the saponins. Galactomannans decrease the uptake of bile acids, lower blood and liver concentration of cholesterol and decrease hepatic cholesterol synthesis (3). Indeed, the soluble dietary fibre part of the seeds significantly decreases the atherogenic lipids in type 2 diabetic rats (6). Saponins were also shown to interact with bile salts in the GIT (3).

Nutritive activity

Studies to verify these traditional claims provide somewhat contradictory results. Some studies using fenugreek seeds as food supplement did not alter the food intake of animals (10). When given to type 2 diabetic patients, no significant changes were observed on the food consumption, mean energy intake or body weight.

However, the seed extract was reported to increase appetite and food intake in rats.

What is a fenugreek allergy

The saponins seem to be responsible for this effect, as a entire saponin extract significantly increased appetite and body weight of normal as well as diabetic animals (3).

Gastroprotective activity

An aqueous extract and a gel part of fenugreek seeds were shown to protect the gastric mucosa as efficiently and more efficiently, respectively than omeprazole in protecting rat from HCl-ethanol-induced gastric ulcers (11).

Antioxidant activity and chemopreventive activity

Consumption of an aqueous extract of fenugreek seeds concurrently with ethanol for 60 days reduced liver and brain damage in rats compared with use of alcohol alone.

The aqueous extract had an in vitro antioxidant potential in liver cells comparable to vitamin E and glutathione (12). Ethanol-induced lipid peroxidation was prevented to rise in rats by an aqueous extract of fenugreek seeds. Similarly, during 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-induced rat colon carcinogenesis the circulatory lipid peroxidation was decreased and chemoprevention was exerted by adding fenugreek to the diet (13). A water extract of fenugreek seeds showed chemopreventive activity against 7,12-dimethylbenz-(a)-anthracene (DMBA)-induced breast cancer in rats (14).

A polyphenolic extract was capable to prevent ethanol-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis in Chang liver cells (15). The same extract was also shown to protect erythrocytes from H2O2-induced oxidative damage (16).

Antidiabetic activity

The studies reported the Trigonella foenum-graecum have antidiabetic properties when its combine with sodium orthovanadate. The low dose in vanadate is mixed with fenugreek seed to prevent toxicity and antidiabetic effects are evaluated on membrane-linked functions and antioxidant enzymes in diabetic rat brains. Vanadium salts frolic a role as mimic of promoting effects of insulin. The previous study has reported diabetes reduced Na+/K+ ATPase activity in brain microsomal membrane.

The 21 days after effectiveness treatment of Trigonella and 0.2mg/ml vanadate was restored the reduced activity of Na+/K+ ATP, altered membrane fluidity and increased lipid peroxides. This alternative treatment can be explored further as a means of diabetic control. (39)

Immunomodulatory activity

Fenugreek seeds showed some stimulatory effect on immune functions in mice (17).

Antiobesity activity

A laboratory animal study found that T.

foenum-graecum is useful as antiobesity properties. The result reported that the body weight acquire induced by high-fat diet in obese mice was decreased. It also has been elucidated the potential of fenugreek in inhibition of lipid accumulation in the liver without affected tissue weights of the kidney and spleen, where as this process not involve toxicity activity of the extract. The absorption of triglyceride in the intestine also was investigated by a lipid-loading test to indicated reduction of body weight mechanism. The resulted was representing the corn oil istration caused reduction of plasma triglyceride. Also, 4-hydroxyisoleucine has the potential to decrease the plasma triglyceride acquire by the same cause without reduce body weight acquire induced by a high-fat diet.

(38) In other study, the extract of sapogenins in the seeds of fenugreek is used to decrease the level of cholesterol as its potential to increase biliary secretion. (42)

Toxicities

Fenugreek seeds are considered as essentially non-toxic, either in acute or sub-chronic studies (18), (10). There is a report that links fenugreek (whole plant) with myopathy in ruminants (19).

Genotoxicity and Mutagenicity Studies

No genotoxicity found when fenugreek seeds were evaluated by the standard battery of tests recommended by the US FDA for food ingredients (20).

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia Halba
English Fenugreek

Synonyms

Trigonella foenugraecum

References

  • Pandian, R.S., Anuradha, C.V., Viswanathan, P.

    Gastroprotective effect of fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum graecum) on experimental gastric ulcer in rats. J. Ethnopharmacol. 2002; 81: 393-397

  • Ruby, B.C., Gaskill, S.E., Slivka, D., Harger, S.G. The addition of fenugreek extract (Trigonella foenum-graecum) to glucose feeding increases muscle glycogen resynthesis after exercise. Amino Acids . 2005; 28: 71-6
  • Thompson Coon, J.S., Ernst E. Herbs for serum cholesterol reduction: a systematic view. J. Fam. Prac. 2003; 52: 468-478
  • Darwish R. M., Aburjai T. A. Effect of ethnomedicinal plants used in folklore medicine in Jordan as antibiotic resistant inhibitors on Escherichia coli.

    BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine.

  • Herbal Medicines in Pregnancy and Lactation — An Evidence-Based Approach . 2006, Taylor & Francis, London.
  • Sowmya, P., Rajyalkshmi, P. Hypocholeserolemic effects of germinated fenugreek seeds in human subjects . Plant Foods Hum. Nutr. 1999; 53: 359-365
  • Izzo, A.A.. Herb-drug interactions: an overview of the clinical evidence. Fundam. Clin. Pharmacol. 2004; 19: 1–16
  • Sauvaire, Y., Petit, P., Broca, C., Manteghetti, M., Baissac, Y., Fernandez-Alvarez, J., Gross, R., Roye, M., Leconte, A., Gromis, R., Ribes, G.

    4-Hydroxyleucine – a novel amino acid potentiator of insulin secretion . Diabetes. 1998; 47: 206-210

  • Bessot, J.C., Gourdon, C., Pauli, G. Allergie respiratoire au fenugrec. Rev. Franc. Allergol. 1996; 36: 510-512
  • View Abstract: Bordia A, Verma SK, Srivastava KC. Effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) and fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum L.) on blood lipids, blood sugar and platelet aggregation in patients with coronary artery disease.

    Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. May1997;56(5):379-84.

  • Thirunavukkarasu, V., Anuradha, C.V., Viswanathan, P. Protective effect of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum) seeds in experimental ethanol toxicity. Phytother. Res. 2003; 17: 737-743
  • Sharma, R.D., Raghuran, T.C. Hypoglycaemic effect of fenugreek seeds in non-insulin depednent diabetic subjects. Nutr. Res. 1990; 10: 731-739
  • Shlosberg, A., Egyed, M.N. Examples of poisonous plants in Israel of importance to animals and man. Arch. Toxicol. Suppl. 1983; 6: 194-196
  • Korman, S.H., Cohen, E., Preminger, A.

    Pseudo-maple syrup urine disease due to maternal prenatal ingestion of fenugreek. J. Paediatr. Kid Health . 2001; 37: 403-404

  • Gupta, A., Gupta, R., Lal, B. Effect of hydroalcoholic extracts of fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum-graecum) on insulin resistance and glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. J.

    What is a fenugreek allergy

    Assoc. Phys. India. 2001; 49: 1057-1061

  • Vats V, Grover JK, Rathi SS. Evaluation of anti-hyperglycaemic and hypoglycaemic effect of Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn, Ocimum sarctum Linn and Pterocarpus marsupium Linn in normal and alloxanized diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacology. 2002;79(1):95-100.
  • Patil, S.P., Niphadkar, P.V., Bapat, M.M. Allergy to fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum). Ann. Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1997; 78: 297-300
  • Rao, P.U., Sesikeran, B., Rao, P.S., Naidu, A.N., Rao, V.V., Ramachandran, E.P. Short term nutritional and safety evaluation of fenugreek.

    Nutr. Res. 1996; 16: 1495-1505

  • Devasena, T., Menon, V.P. Enhancement of circulatory antioxidants by fenugreek during 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-induced rat colon carcinogenesis. J. Biochem. Mol.

    What is a fenugreek allergy

    Biol. Biophys. 2002; 6: 289-292

  • Siddiqui M.

    What is a fenugreek allergy

    R., et al. Amelioration of altered antioxidant status and membrane linked functions by vanadium and Trigonella in alloxan diabetic rat brains. Jour. Biosci. Sept 2005;4(30):483-490 – siddiqui 2

  • Hannan, J.M.A., Rokeya, B., Faruque, O., Nahar. N., Mosihuzzaman, M,, Azad Kha,n A.K., Ali, L. Effect of soluble dietary fibre part of Trigonella foenum graecum on glycemic, insulinemic, lipidemic and platelet aggregation status of Type 2 diabetic model rats. J. Ethnopharmacol. 2003; 88: 73 -77
  • Kaviarasan, S., Vijayalakshmi, K., Anuradha, C.V.

    Polyphenol-rich extract of fenugreek protect erythrocytes from oxidative damage .

    What is a fenugreek allergy

    Plant Foods Hum. Nutr. 2004; 59: 143-147

  • Natural Standard Herb & Supplement Reference — Evidence-Based Clinical Reviews. 2005, St Louis: Elsevier Mosby.
  • Amin, A., Alkaabi, A., Al-Falasi, S., Daoud, S.A. Chemopreventive activities of Trigonella foenum graecum (Fenugreek) against breast cancer. Cell. Biol. Int. 2005; 29: 687-694
  • Thakran, S., Siddiqui, M.R., Baquer, N.Z. Trigonella foenum graecum seed powder protects against histopathological abnormalities in tissues of diabetic rats. Mol. Cell Biochem. 2004; 266: 151-159
  • Sauvaire, Y., Petit, P., Broca, C., Manteghetti, M., Baissac, Y., Fernandez-Alvarez, J., Gross, R., Roye, M., Leconte, A., Gromis, R., Ribes, G.

    4-Hydroxyleucine – a novel amino acid potentiator of insulin secretion . Diabetes. 1998; 47: 206-210

  • Nair, S., Nagar, R. Antioxidant flavonoids in common Indian foods. South Asian J. Prev. Cardiol. 1997; 1: 33-35
  • Swafford, S., Berens, B. Effect of fenugreek on breast milk production. . ABM News & Views 6(3): Annual meeting abstracts . 11 — 13 / 9 / 2000.
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Trigonella foenum-graecum

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is an annual herb with yellow flowers and seed-containing pods that are native to Asia and the Mediterranean. The seeds own been used throughout history for cooking, flavoring, and healing.

Fenugreek has a strong flavor of maple, so much so that it's a common flavoring in imitation maple syrup. In their raw form, however, fenugreek seeds taste bitter; heating or roasting reduces the bitterness and brings out the sweetness.


Health Benefits

For centuries, fenugreek has been taken to promote health and well-being. It was used to treat digestive and respiratory ailments, and it has a endless history of use in women's health—to induce labor and assist with childbirth, and as a treatment for gynecological issues love painful menstruation and uterine problems.

While other benefits are being studied, today fenugreek is most widely used and researched for two purposes: as a galactagogue, something that can help a breastfeeding mom increase her breast milk supply, and as a way to reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Breast Milk Supply

Fenugreek is the most favorite herbal remedy used around the world for increasing the production of breast milk. When 124 lactation consultants were surveyed in 2012 about folk remedies to promote lactation, fenugreek was the most commonly recommended method. Although it's employed by millions of women to stimulate breast milk, only a few studies own investigated fenugreek for this use.

In one 14-day study, researchers reported that new mothers taking fenugreek tea increased breast milk production that helped babies acquire more weight. In another study, the volume of pumped milk from mothers who consumed fenugreek tea doubled compared to that of other mothers—2.5 ounces compared to 1.15 ounces. In another study, mothers taking 600-milligram capsules of fenugreek seeds three times daily for a month had an increase in breast milk production of 20 percent—although that wasn't a significant difference compared to the placebo group.

Fenugreek is thought to boost the production of breast milk due to an effect on the stimulation of sweat production, and mammary glands are sweat glands that own been modified by hormonal stimulation.

Blood Sugar Reduction in People With Diabetes

Numerous animal studies and preliminary trials in humans show fenugreekmay assist to lower blood sugar.

In a two-month, double-blind study of 25 people, use of fenugreek (one gram a day of a standardized extract) significantly improved some measures of blood sugar control and insulin response as compared to placebo. Triglyceride levels decreased and HDL “good” cholesterol levels increased, most likely due to the enhanced insulin sensitivity.

Another study where 18 people with type 2 diabetes took 10 grams a day of powdered fenugreek seeds mixed with yogurt or soaked in boiling water, those taking the seeds soaked in boiling water saw a 25 percent decrease in fasting blood sugar, a 30 percent decrease in triglycerides, and a 31 percent decrease in very-low-density lipoprotein, a type of fat that carries cholesterol and triglycerides through your bloodstream. Those who consumed powdered fenugreek seeds mixed with yogurt saw no significant changes.

Fenugreek may also assist prevent the onset of diabetes.

One three-year study found that people with prediabetes who took five grams of fenugreek powder twice a day before meals were significantly less likely to develop diabetes, possibly due to a decrease in insulin resistance. LDL "bad" cholesterol was also significantly reduced.


Possible Side Effects

Fenugreek does pass into the breast milk, but it's believed to be safe for both mom and baby when used in moderation. The U.S. Food and Drug istration has rated fenugreek as Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS). Still, always consult a doctor, lactation consultant, or herbal specialist before taking any herbal treatments.

Herbs are similar to medications. They can own side effects, and they can be dangerous for you and your baby.

You should be aware that fenugreek can cause your breast milk, urine, and sweat to smell love maple syrup. And since it passes to the baby, it can also cause your baby’s urine and sweat to smell love maple syrup. Be certain to tell your baby’s doctor that you're taking fenugreek. There's a serious illness that's characterized by a maple syrup smell, and if your doctor doesn't know that the maple syrup smell is from the fenugreek, he can misdiagnose your kid with maple syrup urine disease.

The most common side effect of taking fenugreek is diarrhea.

Diarrhea can affect both you and your kid if you start high doses of fenugreek too quickly. But, you can generally avoid stomach issues if you start this herb at a low dose and gradually increase it.

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Selected Publications Prof.Dr.

Vera Mahler

Authors from the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut are highlighted in bold face type. Where online abstracts or full texts are available of the publications, there is a link to these texts.

Dickel H, Mahler V (2020): Leitliniengerechte Diagnostik der Kontaktallergie in der Praxis.
Der Hautarzt Jan 16 [Epub ahead of Print].
Online-Abstract

Apfelbacher CJ, Ofenloch RF, Weisshaar E, Molin S, Bauer A, Mahler V, Heinrich A, von Kiedrowski R, Schmitt J, Elsner P, Diepgen TL (2019): Chronic hand eczema in Germany: 5-year follow-up data from the CARPE registry.
Contact Dermatitis 80: 45-53.
Online-Abstract

Aurich S, Spiric J, Engin A, Simon JC, Mahler V (2019): Report of a Case of IgE-Mediated Anaphylaxis to Fenugreek.
J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 29: 56-58.
Text

Bennike NH, Heisterberg MS, White IR, Mahler V, Silvestre-Salvador JF, Giménez-Arnau A, Johansen JD (2019): Quality of life and disease severity in dermatitis patients with perfume allergy — A cross-sectional European questionnaire study.
Contact Dermatitis 81: 89-96.
Online-Abstract

Bonertz A, Mahler V, Vieths S (2019): Manufacturing and quality assessment of allergenic extracts for immunotherapy: state of the art.
Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol 19: 640-645.
Online-Abstract

Jacob T, von Loetzen CS, Reuter A, Lacher U, Schiller D, Schobert R, Mahler V, Vieths S, Rösch P, Schweimer K, Wöhrl BM (2019): Identification of a natural ligand of the hazel allergen Cor a 1.
Sci Rep 9: 8714.
Text

Mahler V, Esch RE, Kleine-Tebbe J, Lavery WJ, Plunkett G, Vieths S, Bernstein DI (2019): Understanding Differences in Allergen Immunotherapy Products and Practices in North America and Europe.
J Allergy Clin Immunol 143: 813-828.
Text

Mahler V, Zielen S, Rosewich M (2019): Year-round treatment initiation for a 6-grasses pollen allergoid in specific immunotherapy of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma.
Immunotherapy 11: 1569-1582.
Online-Abstract

Oosterhaven JAF, Uter W, Aberer W, Armario-Hita JC, Ballmer-Weber BK, Bauer A, Czarnecka-Operacz M, Elsner P, García-Gavín J, Giménez-Arnau AM, John SM, Krecisz B, Mahler V, Rustemeyer T, Sadowska-Przytocka A, Sanchez-Perez J, Simon D, Valiukeviciene S, Weisshaar E, Schuttelaar MLA, ESSCA Working Group (2019): European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA): contact allergies in relation to body sites in patients with allergic contact dermatitis.
Contact Dermatitis 80: 263-272.
Online-Abstract

Wilkinson M, Goncalo M, Aerts O, Badulici S, Bennike NH, Bruynzeel D, Dickel H, Garcia-Abujeta JL, Gimenez-Arnau AM, Hamman C, Isaksson M, Johansen JD, Mahler V, Niklasson B, Orton D, Pigatto P, Ponyai G, Rustemeyer T, Schuttelaar MLA, Spiewak R, Thyssen JP, Uter W (2019): The European baseline series and recommended additions: 2019.
Contact Dermatitis 80: 1-4.

Cazzaniga S, Apfelbacher C, Diepgen T, Ofenloch RF, Weisshaar E, Molin S, Bauer A, Mahler V, Elsner P, Schmitt J, Ballmer-Weber BK, Spring P, Naldi L, Borradori L, Simon D, CARPE study groups of Germany and Switzerland (2018): Patterns of chronic hand eczema: a semantic map analysis of the CARPE registry data.
Br J Dermatol 178: 229-237.
Text

Geier J, Bauer A, Becker D, Brehler R, Breit R, Dickel H, Hofmann S, Kapp A, Lehmann P, Mahler V, Molin S (2018): Recommendations for photopatch testing by the Photopatch Test Working Group of the German Contact Dermatitis Research Group (DKG).
J Dtsch Dermatol Ges 16: 1363-1364.

Grabenhenrich LB, Dölle S, Ruëff F, Renaudin JM, Scherer K, Pföhler C, Treudler R, Koehli A, Mahler V, Spindler T, Lange L, Bilò MB, Papadopoulos NG, Hourihane Occupation, Lang R, Fernández-Rivas M, Christoff G, Cichocka-Jarosz E, Worm M (2018): Epinephrine in Severe Allergic Reactions: The European Anaphylaxis Register.
J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 6: 1898-1906.
Online-Abstract

Maurer M, Metz M, Brehler R, Hillen U, Jakob T, Mahler V, Pföhler C, Staubach P, Treudler R, Wedi B, Magerl M (2018): Omalizumab treatment in patients with chronic inducible urticaria: A systematic review of published evidence.
J Allergy Clin Immunol 141: 638-649.
Online-Abstract

Wohlrab J, Staubach P, Augustin M, Eisert L, Hünerbein A, Nast A, Reimann H, Strömer K, Mahler V (2018): S2k-Leitlinie zum Gebrauch von Präparationen zur lokalen Anwendung auf der Haut (Topika).
J Dtsch Dermatol Ges 16: 376-392.
Online-Abstract

Worm M, Francuzik W, Renaudin JM, Bilo MB, Cardona V, Hofmeier KS, Köhli A, Bauer A, Christoff G, Cichocka-Jarosz E, Hawranek T, Hourihane JO, Lange L, Mahler V, Muraro A, Papadopoulos NG, Pföhler C, Poziomkowska-Gęsicka I, Ruëff F, Spindler T, Treudler R, Fernandez-Rivas M, Dölle S1 (2018): Factors increasing the risk for a severe reaction in anaphylaxis: An analysis of Data from The European Anaphylaxis Registry.
Allergy 73: 1322-1330.
Online-Abstract

Grosch E, Mahler V (2017): Allergic contact dermatitis caused by a catheter system containing sodium metabisulfite.
Contact Dermatitis 76: 186-187.

Mahler V, Dickel H, Diepgen TL, Hillen U, Geier J, Kaufmann R, Kreft B, Schnuch A, Szliska C, Bender A (2017): Statement of the German Contact Dermatitis Research Group (DKG) and the German Dermatological Society (DDG) on liability issues associated with patch testing using a patient's own materials.
J Dtsch Dermatol Ges 15: 202-204.
Online-Abstract

Alfonso JH, Bauer A, Bensefa-Colas L, Boman A, Bubas M, Constandt L, Crepy MN, Goncalo M, Macan J, Mahler V, Mijakoski D, Ramada Rodilla JM, Rustemeyer T, Spring P, John SM, Uter W, Wilkinson M, Giménez-Arnau AM (2017): Minimum standards on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of occupational and work-related skin diseases in Europe — position paper of the COST Action StanDerm (TD 1206).
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 31: 31-43.
Online-Abstract

Erfurt-Berge C, Geier J, Mahler V (2017): The current spectrum of contact sensitization in patients with chronic leg ulcers or stasis dermatitis - new data from the Information Network of Departments of Dermatology (IVDK).
Contact Dermatitis 77: 151-158.
Online-Abstract

Erfurt-Berge C, Mahler V (2017): Contact Sensitization in Patients With Lower Leg Dermatitis, Chronic Venous Insufficiency, and/or Chronic Leg Ulcer: Assessment of the Clinical Relevance of Contact Allergens.
J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 27: 378-380.
Text

Giménez-Arnau AM, Deza G, Bauer A, Johnston GA, Mahler V, Schuttelaar ML, Sanchez-Perez J, Silvestre JF, Wilkinson M, Uter W (2017): Contact allergy to preservatives: ESSCA* results with the baseline series, 2009-2012.
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 31: 664-671.
Online-Abstract

Klimek L, Mahler V, Vieths S (2017): Interview auf dem 15.

Internationalen Paul-Ehrlich-Seminar – Teil 1: Abteilung Allergologie: Staffelstab-Übergabe im PEI.
Allergo J 26: 72-74.
Online-Abstract

Mahler V, Aalto-Korte K, Alfonso JH, Bakker JG, Bauer A, Bensefa-Colas L, Boman A, Bourke J, Bubaš M, Bulat P, Chaloupka J, Constandt L, Danielsen TE, Darlenski R, Dugonik A, Ettler K, Gimenez-Arnau A, Gonçalo M, Johansen JD, John SM, Kiec-Swierczynska M, Koch P, Kohánka V, Krecisz B, Lare Filon F, Ljubojevic S, Macan J, Marinovic B, Matura M, Mihatsch PW, Mijakoski D, Minov J, Pace J, Pesonen M, Ramada Rodilla JM, Rast H, Reljic V, Salavastru C, Schuster C, Schuttelaar ML, Simon D, Spiewak R, Jurakic Tončić R, Urbanček S, Valiukevičienė S, Weinert P, Wilkinson M, Uter W (2017): Occupational skin diseases: actual state analysis of patient management pathways in 28 European countries.
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 31: 12-30.
Online-Abstract

Mahler V (2017): Umweltassoziierte dermatologische Erkrankungen.
Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz 60: 605-617.
Online-Abstract

Mahler V, Klein C, Sager A, Zimmermann J (2017): Home dust mite-specific immunotherapy with two licensed vaccines: Outcome under clinical routine conditions.
Immun Inflamm Dis 5: 132-140.
Text

Maronna A, Psaier S, Erfurt-Berge C, Geier J, Mahler V (2017): Allergenic and microbiological hazards caused by skin markings during medical procedures?.
J Dtsch Dermatol Ges 15: 1034-1036.

Maurer M, Staubach P, Raap U, Richter-Huhn G, Bauer A, Ruëff F, Jakob T, Yazdi AS, Mahler V, Wagner N, Lippert U, Hillen U, Schwinn A, Pawlak M, Behnke N, Chaouche K, Chapman-Rothe N (2017): H1-antihistamine-refractory chronic spontaneous urticaria: it's worse than we thought — first results of the multicenter real-life AWARE study.
Clin Exp Allergy 47: 684-692.
Online-Abstract

Uter W, Amario-Hita JC, Balato A, Ballmer-Weber B, Bauer A, Belloni Fortina A, Bircher A, Chowdhury MMU, Cooper SM, Czarnecka-Operacz M, Dugonik A, Gallo R, Giménez-Arnau A, Johansen JD, John SM, Kieć-Świerczyńska M, Krecisz B, Larese Filon F, Mahler V, Pesonen M, Rustemeyer T, Sadowska-Przytocka A, Sánchez-Pérez J, Schliemann S, Schuttelaar ML, Simon D, Spiewak R, Valiukeviciene S, Weisshaar E, White IR, Wilkinson SM (2017): European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA): results with the European baseline series, 2013/14.
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 31: 1516-1525.
Online-Abstract

Warburton KL, Uter W, Geier J, Spiewak R, Mahler V, Crépy MN, Schuttelaar ML, Bauer A, Wilkinson M (2017): Patch testing with rubber series in Europe: a critical review and recommendation.
Contact Dermatitis 76: 195-203.
Online-Abstract


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