Fenugreek, A Potent Hypoglycaemic Herb Can Cause Central Hypothyroidism Via Leptin - A Threat To Diabetes Phytotherapy

Anyone particularly keen on South Asian food might care to read through this and think. :-)

The amount used sounds as if it is far more than food would have - but I could be entirely wrong on that. Nevertheless, it does suggest that we need to be as careful over "natural" medicines as over "synthetic" ones.

Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2017 Apr 13. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-103458. [Epub ahead of print]

Fenugreek, A Potent Hypoglycaemic Herb Can Cause Central Hypothyroidism Via Leptin - A Threat To Diabetes Phytotherapy.

Majumdar J1, Chakraborty P1, Mitra A2, Sarkar NK3, Sarkar S1.

Author information

1 Department of Zoology, City College, 102/1 Raja Rammohan Sarani, Kolkata, Affiliated to University of Calcutta, West Bengal, India.

2 School of Medical Science & Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, Kharagpur, West Bengal, India.

3 Department of Biological Sciences, Presidency University, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.


Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum), a medicinal herb with potent antihyperglycaemic and hypoglycaemic effects, is used to treat diabetes. This study is aimed to explore the interaction of fenugreek seed extract (FSE) and HPT (hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid) axis in context of leptin secretion which have important role in normal and type-1 diabetic subjects. FSE (confirmed to contain trigonelline, diosgenin, 4 hydroxyisoleucine) was gavaged (0.25 gm/kg body weight/day) to normal and alloxan-induced type-1 diabetic rats for 4 weeks. Expression of hypothalamic prepro-TRH (Thyrotropin releasing hormone) mRNA, serum levels of TRH, TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone), fT3, fT4, insulin, leptin, glucose; thyroperoxidase activity and growth of thyroid gland, food intake, adiposity index were also studied FSE significantly down regulated prepro-TRH mRNA expression; decreased serum TRH, TSH, fT3, fT4 levels, and regressed thyroid gland in FSE-fed normal and diabetic rats than those observed in normal diet-fed control and diabetic rats. FSE decreased (p<0.005-0.001) adiposity index and leptin secretion, increased food intake and body weight in all FSE-fed rats. FSE improved insulin secretion, decreased glucose level but impaired HPT axis in diabetic rats, indicating insulin-independent central hypothyroidism. Results suggested that the dominant signal to hypothalamus suppressing HPT axis is the fall in leptin level which i resulted from decreased adiposity index following FSE feeding. Fenugreek simultaneously having hypoglycaemic and hypothyroidal actions raises questions whether it can be safely used to treat diabetes and/or hyperthyroidism as was suggested by many workers.

Β© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart Β· New York.

PMID: 28407664

DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-103458


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Yikes I just broadcast a goodly amount of fenugreek seed on my allotment as a green manure

Good idea. But you won't be eating it, so that's okay.

gabkad i just hope it does go in through the skin from seeds or that what I grow afterwards does not absorb any nastiest it produces!

The amounts mentioned in the original article are pretty large.

I wouldn't worry at all.


Good to know that - it was only an area of about 3 poles

Why did you choose fenugreek? What about buckwheat?

I put down Red Clover seeds to see if they'll outcompete some of the weeds. They are in a long narrow bed with the tulips etc. beside the fence.... I planted flowering Sweet Peas as well to climb. Should look stunningly gorgeous in a couple of months....... she taps her toes impatiently.

The radishes are up, those cute little things. I don't like eating radishes particularly, but other people do. If they are the mouth burning type, I pass.

gabkad oh yes buckwheat went down too and mustard - the fenugreek was just to avoid mono culture and to mark out the rotational plots really plus it establishes quite quickly. I find clover is very slow to take - sadly because it is gorgeous but I wanted fast stuff. I will try it on the tulip and iris area the tulips are nearly done now they have looked fab. Thanks for that handy idea😊 Lupins are great too but again can be slow to take on mine. I am a bit radish shy eating wise too, but use them to mark out my parsnips! Trying multi coloured beetroot this year 🌈

Sweet peas are a great choice I tried starting mine in autumn and kept them in greenhouse as they are supposed to do better Than spring started ones - will let you know. So many fab types. I grow those asparagus peas the flowers are very pretty pods are variable must be picked early to taste good. You need a fair old lot of rows to get a good harvest but tee really keep the weeds at bay they are quite sprawling! Oh boy do I love my plants


We need a hypo subforum for hypos with allotments. LOL!

gabkad Ha ha you can count me IN! I am an allotment addict I have three plots a greenhouse and two sheds

My job? A gardener honest!



Amazing! Nothing even remotely close to what you have.

How many square feet does three allotments add up to? Are they something like 30 by 100 feet each? I've noticed from freebasing YouTube channels of Brit allotments that they are much larger than what most of us have here.

I want the red clover to take over in spots that are awkward to reach (corners). Create colour and keep the bunnies happy. Fingers crossed they like red clover better than lettuce.

The fenugreek sounds like a fab idea. Come end of season, I'll strew them about liberally in beds that are done for the year. Mustard would become a free for all for flea beetles! Someone suggested oats or barley except I think the rabbits and mice will eat them before they germinate.

I'm 'no till'. Not quite 'Charles Dowding' or 'Back to Eden' but close enough. I've got bazillions of earthworms this year. Last year was my first time and at the end of the season I put in 2,000 pounds of compost, sheep manure, chicken manure, bone meal, seaweed, shrimp compost.... Wow! Just by looking at all the creatures, it's paying off. Healthy soil = healthy plants.

gabkad up north the plots are big probably15 -20 poles (pole us 100 x1 yards I think) in the south 5 poles is a plot so I have a northernsize in the south it is not massive but feels like it at tough times. I'd love to do no dig - big fan of Charles Dowding- but I cannot get hold of enough mulchingmaterial to do it . If I could find someone with a trailer I could get free horse muck by the ton, but so far so bad on that front - can only get a few bags at a time ☹️ Buying it in is too expensive for decent stuff. I got pig muck once and it was awful - full of grot weeds and stones and really hard to work it simply never broke down and stunk to high heaven the horse muck smells sweet.

No dig is deffo the way to go if you can!

That's massive! I'm greedy but my back probably wouldn't be able to handle it.

I hear you. I had to buy stuff in bags. Donkey poop is even better because they chew things up more thoroughly. You don't get seeds usually. Any donkey sanctuary near you?

I'm making leaf mould compost on my balcony in one of those gigantic black barrels. It's getting fed with kitchen veg scraps now.

Charles Dowding is market gardening and writing books. I don't know about you, but for me it's just personal gardening and giving to friends and family. Last summer that little garden produced incredible amounts of vegetables. I'm putting in lots of flowers for pollinators and something for hummingbirds too.

How wonderful you get humingbirds! That is interesting re donkey poop when I can afford it I get organic from the Shetlandpony sanctuary it really is wonderful lots of earthworms because they sell it really well rotted. I do beechleaf mould at work it is very good stuff. Great you are making some you will not be disappointed. Yes I do my allotment purely for enjoyment nothing commercial about it 😊 I give a lot of produce away to friends

Yes, we get some hummingbirds and supposedly Crocosmia attracts them. Bright red flowers. Lots of flowers. We goldfinches, swallows, and woodpeckers. Now we have American robin males (the females haven't migrated yet). They are sussing out my worm situation. And later the birds take bits of straw from my plot for nest building. Later in the summer, the birds come around for the sunflower seeds. It's a busy little ecosystem.

This year if produce is plentiful, i will buy a small chest freezer (5.5 cubic feet). Last year I had no idea what will happen.

At some point during the heat of summer, I'll empty the barrel onto a tarp, mix it up and reload. I put the leaves in last year October but wasn't adding veg scraps until two months ago.

What is it? 2 or 3 parts brown and 1 part green? Something like that. Once in a while I pour pee in it (that's 'green'... ha ha.... urea = nitrogen.)

gabkad 25-50% green to brown is good. You can't beat urine as a compost activator 😊 Great biodiversity you are supporting there πŸ˜‰

I believe fenugreek is also used to stimulate lactation in nursing mothers. Isn't this the supplement that can make you smell like maple syrup?

New to me!


What does maple syrup smell like? So long since I came across any, I really cannot remember. :-)

It smells lovely, especially on hot porridge! :)

That's how I use it too usually (I used to like it on a buckwheat pancake too but haven't really treated myself to that sort of thing for a long time). :-)

Might have those this weekend! :)

Hopefully, the smell won't have any thyroid impact! :-)

Nothing's safe!


It is a smell all its own helvella, a bit like vanilla or toffee and, er, soil? or mushrooms? It's musky in the way blackberries taste musky, not an animal smell but a bit like leaf mould or something.

Now I wish I had some in front of me so I could actually get a whiff.

That must be very subjective, I definitely don't smell leaf mould, & hope I never do!

There is definitely an earthy note, but I'm going by memory and don't have any here. How would you describe the smell?

Sweet & fragrant in a woody sense.

I get earthy from beetroots which are very wholesome, & a nice alternative to carrots in cake. :)

As a handmade local product (and one graded at four levels of depth) all maple syrups taste slightly different, the darker grades being more earthy than the lighter ones.

What flour(s) do you use in your beetroot cake? I used to make one w quinoa flour which my partner requested for his birthday. Also have made chocolate buckwheat cake. Buckwheat makes a good crumb. :-)

I get the dark syrup, but would still describe it as woody, rather than earthy. I could happily drink it!

I use brown flour for cakes, as wholemeal is a little too chewy. I've not tried quinoa flour yet, though I like buckwheat for pancakes. Oat & cottage cheese pancakes are tasty & high in protein if you want to avoid gluten. I make enough for 2 & have one with salad & a sprinkle of cheddar, & one with maple syrup. :D

BadHare good leaf mould is black gold and smells deliciously earthy it is the best soil conditioner ever! Mind you I would not suggest eating it πŸ˜‚

I'm quite familiar with soil science, but not as a condiment!

You sound like a wine buff puncturedbicycle!

I guess if you try to describe a smell things are going to get a bit Jilly Goolden. :-)

Nah. It smells like maple syrup. LOL! You wouldn't want to smell like maple syrup because then it means you have a disease.


Great description πŸ„πŸβ€οΈ

@helvella a sort of sweet nutty with an almost smoky flavour. Very lovely. Ray Mears showed it being tapped from maple 🍁 trees on one of his programmes. You can get it in Waitrose. Bet it is good on ice cream🍦

A relative in Canada taps for Maple Syrup from trees that grow on his land.

j_bee that is really cool 😍 I would love to see it being done

Me too TSH110. I have never been there, but I understand it is still snowy when they tap the trees and they then prepare it by boiling it while on site and make sweet lollies out of it (on a stick) which they cool by covering it with snow. Bet it tastes nice too.

j_bee I just bought some - organic 😍🍁❀️ Those lollies sound fab!

TSH110 maple walnut ice cream is one of my mum's faves. :-)

puncturedbicycle That sounds divine!

It definitely makes you smell good - which is probably why it is often recommended to menopausal women who sweat a lot.

What a great idea. :-)

What? Maple syrup or fenugreek?

I thought grapefruit was the scent for us women of a certain age. Ages.

Fenugreek tea is what is often recommended for menopausal women.


Who needs to be menopausal to sweat a lot...I still have hot flushes πŸ™„πŸ‘ΉπŸŽƒ

Maple syrup and Greek yogurt for me 😊

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