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Thread: Is there such a thing as too much Fennel?

  1. #1

    Question Is there such a thing as too much Fennel?

    We believe our son has been experiencing gas when I take more than one 610mg capsule of Fenugreek. It seems like if I take two fennel capsules(480mg each) with two capsules of fenugreek, it reduces(maybe eliminates) his gas. So the question is, if I want to get up to taking 6 capsules, 3 times a day (18 total per day), would it be OK to increase the dosage to 6 capsules of Fennel?

    I'm also taking
    (2) - 350mg of Goats Rue - 3 times daily
    (2) - 800mg of Blessed Thistle - 3 times daily
    (1) - Probiotic - 1 time daily
    Last edited by @llli*sjj918; August 2nd, 2016 at 11:33 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is there such a thing as too much Fennel?

    It's really hard to say, unfortunately. There's very little research on the safety and effectiveness of herbal medicines in general, and especially during breastfeeding.

    According to the Natural Medicines Database, the side effects of fennel haven't been studied in any systematic way and there's no standard dosage. I can't find any information about what a safe maximum dose would be.

    There are some theoretical issues:

    • There were a couple of reports of toxicity in breastfed babies whose mothers were drinking large amounts of tea containing fennel, anise, licorice, and goat's rue. Fennel and anise both contain anethole, which was suspected to be the cause of the toxicity. BUT, the anethole levels were not measured, in either the tea or the milk, so that wasn't confirmed. Licorice can also be toxic in large amounts.

    • Fennel contains chemicals that may have an effect like estrogen in the body. Estrogen is known to suppress milk production when it is used in birth control pills, but we don't know whether fennel can harm milk production, or if so, what amount you'd have to consume for it to have an effect.

    • Animal studies suggest fennel may slow blood clotting, which could lead to increased bleeding and bruising, especially if fennel is taken in combination with other medications or herbs that can also slow clotting, like fenugreek, goat's rue, aspirin, or ibuprofen.

    Again, that's all theoretical! You're probably more likely to see side effects from the fenugreek than the fennel.

    The amount of fenugreek actually seems pretty high... 610mg x6 , 3 times a day, so a total of 11 grams per day? The dose usually recommended for increasing milk supply is 6 grams per day, but I'm not sure what it's based on. Just watch for nausea, diarrhea, bleeding gums, weird bruising, or feeling like you have low blood sugar.

    Sorry I don't have more definite info!

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