Side effects of Aliv/Halim/Garden cress seeds
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Aliv/Halim/Garden cress seeds is a less familiar, under-utilized food, rich in several nutrients and antioxidants. From the ancient time, it is a well-known medicinal plant. It has several health benefits for which it is used as a medicine in Ayurveda. In the Unani system of medicine, Halim seeds are also used to treat many diseases [1]. But it has a few side effects for which you should not consume them a small amount, not in liberal amount.

What are the side effects of taking Aliv/Halim/Garden cress seeds

Side effects of Aliv/Halim/Garden cress seeds 1

Aliv should not be taken by those young women planning for a baby.

It is wise for young women not to take garden cress seeds if they are planning for a baby because it has adverse effects on them. Aliv/ Halim seeds increase the rate of conception but adversely affect fetal growth.

New research suggested that phytoestrogen and goitrogenic substances present in Halim seeds increases the plasma levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) but decrease thyroid hormone secretion. The hormonal change adversely affects the outcome of pregnancy[2].

Pregnant women should not take Aliv seeds.

Intake of Aliv seeds may cause abortion of pregnant women. So, expecting mothers should always avoid these seeds in all forms. Aliv/ Halim seeds have the ability to induce uterine contractions and thus trigger spontaneous abortion [3].

These seeds have teratogenic effect on the foetus [2]. It causes

  • Reduction of the size of the baby
  • A decrease in the birth weight of the new-born.
  • Increase the risk of premature delivery.
  • Increases the rate of stillbirth.

Those patients suffering from hypothyroidism should not take Aliv/ Halim seeds.

Hypothyroidism is a hormonal disorder, affecting a large number of people. It is more common among women than men. In India, it mostly occurs among elderly women [4]. In this condition, the thyroid gland of our body secretes fewer amounts of thyroid hormones. Since thyroid hormones largely control our body metabolisms, a decrease in hormone level results in many symptoms like-

  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin
  • Puffy face
  • Increased tendency of a cold and cough
  • Constipation

Aliv seeds should not be taken by those suffering from hyperthyroidism because these seeds contain goitrogenic compounds that[3]

  • prevent iodine absorption from the food.
  • iodine uptake by the thyroid gland.
  • decrease thyroid hormone secretions.
  • aggravates the condition of hypothyroidism.

People living in the Himalayan mountain area should not eat Aliv/ Halim seeds.

The iodine content of the soil in the Himalayan mountain region is deficient and thus the incidence of goiter (enlarged thyroid gland) is high in this area.

Aliv contain goitrogens which reduce the iodine uptake by the thyroid gland and thus reduces synthesis and secretion of thyroid hormones and thus increase the risk of developing goiter [5].

Side effects of Aliv/Halim/Garden cress seeds 2

Aliv/ Halim seeds should not be taken with diuretic medicine.

Since Aliv seeds have a strong diuretic effect, it should not be taken by the patients on diuretic medicines like “hydrochlorothiazide”[5].

Aliv/ Halim seeds should not be taken by those suffering from an electrolyte imbalance.

Aliv seeds have a strong diuretic property, it increases the excretion of water along with electrolytes like sodium and potassium. For this reason, the excessive intake of Aliv seeds may cause water and electrolyte imbalance in susceptible individuals [5], [6].

Aliv seeds should be avoided by those suffering from flatulence (intestinal gas) and hyperacidity.

Aliv seeds contain a high level of fiber, making them difficult to digest. So excess consumption may cause acidity and indigestion [3], [7]. 

Aliv/Halim seeds may cause hypoglycemia in persons taking medicine for diabetes.

Aliv seed is an anti-diabetic food, it reduces blood sugar levels. The medicines used to treat diabetes also reduces blood glucose level. So, the use of anti-diabetic medicines and eating Aliv seeds may reduce the blood sugar level of patients lower than the desirable level, leading to hypoglycemic shock. So, if you are diabetic, then please consult with your doctor before aking Aliv seeds [8]

Aliv/ Halim seeds may invite unintentional health issues in hypertensive individuals taking BP medicine.

BP medicine reduces the blood pressure of those suffering from high pressure. Aliv seeds have an anti-hypertensive property and thus reduce blood pressure. So, simultaneous administration of both BP medicine and aliv seeds may reduce the blood pressure below the desirable limit, leading to hypotension (low blood pressure). So, if you are taking medicine for high blood pressure, please consult with your doctor before taking Aliv seeds [9], [10].

What amount of Garden cress/ Aliv/ Halim seeds should be taken?

For getting maximum health benefits, you should take a small amount of Aliv seeds on a regular basis. The intake of 5-15g (that is 1 to 3 teaspoons) in a day is good for the health of an adult. For children do not give more than a teaspoon of seeds in a single day.

Is it safe to consume a teaspoon of Aliv/ Halim seeds daily?

Animal studies indicated that the intake of a small number of Aliv seeds had no side or toxicity [11], [12], [13].

Why we should consume Aliv/ Halim seeds?

We should consume aliv seeds regularly because it is rich in several nutrients and it has many health benefits like-

1.It is rich in iron and helps to cure anemia.

2. It is rich in phytoestrogen which helps to –

  • Increase milk secretion of lactating women
  • Regulate menstrual cycle of those having irregular periods
  • Treat menopausal symptoms of middle-age women
  • Reduces the risk of breast cancer in women.

3. Garden cress seed intake improves the nutritional status of growing children and adolescent girls because-

  • It is a high energy food, providing 454Kcal per 100g.
  • It is rich in protein, containing 25.3g of protein per 100g.
  • It is a good source of fat, having 24.5g of fatper100g.
  • It is the richest source of iron, providing 100mg of iron per100g.

4. It is a good source of antioxidants.

5. It has many medicinal properties like –

  • Hypoglycemic effect
  • Anti-hypertensive effect
  • Anti-diabetic effect
  • Diuretic effect
  • Anti-cancer effect
  • Hypocholesterolemic activity
  • hypolipidemic effect.
Side effects of Aliv/Halim/Garden cress seeds 4

Who can consume Garden cress/ Aliv/ Halim seeds?

  • Growing children
  • Lactating women
  • Non-pregnant Women
  • Adolescent girls
  • Post-menopausal women
  • Elderly man

How can we consume Aliv/ Halim seeds?

Halim seeds can be used to prepare several yummy recipes like-

  1. Refreshing aliv drink with lemon
  2. Herbal tea with aliv seeds and honey
  3. Sandwich with Halim seeds sprouts
  4. Raita with Halim seeds sprouts
  5. Salads with a sprinkle of roasted Halim seeds
  6. Roasted aliv seeds laddu with dates
  7. Healthy multi-seed mix with Halim seeds
  8. Halim coconut barfi
  9. Halim seeds kheer
  10. Halim seeds halwa

For detail recipes, click the link below

Bottom Line

Aliv seeds or Halim seeds is a well-known medicinal plant. It is extensively used in Ayurveda and Unani system of medicine. These seeds are rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and phytoestrogen. It is a good source of energy, protein, fat, and minerals. It has several health benefits. It is good for those suffering from diabetes, cardiac disease, abnormal lipid profile, high cholesterol level. But if it is consumed in excess amount, it may cause certain negative effects on your health.

If you are taking medicine for hypertension, diabetes, or hypothyroidism, you should not consult with your doctor before consuming it. If you are pregnant or planning for pregnancy, then you should avoid intake of aliv seeds because it may cause abortion and/ or increases the risk of premature delivery.

If you have goiter or hypothyroidism, you should not take garden cress seeds because Halim seeds contain goitrogenic substances that prevent absorption of iodine from the food and its utilization. For getting maximum health benefits, you should regularly consume Halim seeds in small amounts.



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Dr. Sagarika Chakraborty was awarded her doctorate in Food and Nutrition from University of Calcutta (C.U.) in 2017. She is an experienced Researcher, working in the field of Food Science for more than 12 years and published papers in international and national journal. She has also presented papers in national conferences.

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  • Paula C , 20th January 2022 @ 5:23 am

    I am experiencing huge hair loss most likely due to having covid about six monthes ago at the same time as my husband to covid (stress, as he went on ventilator and survived). I read about the alvi (asorio) seeds and bought them for hair loss. I also take levothyroxine for thyroid. Should I NOT take the seeds?

    • Dr. Soma Chakrabarty , 20th January 2022 @ 10:27 pm

      Keep having it in moderation like a tsp in a day.

    • Monica , 21st August 2022 @ 11:19 pm

      I am under medication for hypothyroid can I have halim seeds 3times a week?

      • Dr. Soma Chakrabarty , 22nd August 2022 @ 4:44 pm

        yes, but make sure you have it after soaking for a few hours and 1 tsp is enough.

  • Shanthi , 11th April 2022 @ 10:09 am

    Does Aliv seeds cause hyperacidity?. I had very few seeds, less than a teaspoon and had severe stomach pain after that.

  • Rahul , 5th May 2022 @ 9:20 pm

    Excellent article!! I take 8-10 seeds every day after soaking in water. I am prediabetic and have noticed that it has helped stabilize the blood sugar levels and also increased my hair growth. Is 8-10 seeds enough or can I take more and how for long?
    Can I also give it to my 10 year old son? Is it safe for kids?

    I also wanted to give it to my wife but she has a family history of thyroid. Right now we routinely monitor her and her blood work is normal and TSH/T3 levels are normal. Can she take Halim seeds?



  • Lata , 7th December 2022 @ 11:14 pm

    I am diagnosed with breast cancer which is estrogen positive. I have been put on estrogen blocking drug. I was feeling very tired so I started taking aliv ladoos. I am feeling better but my question is that does aliv has estrogenic effect which can be harmful in my condition. Please advise

  • Shivanjali Batra , 7th February 2023 @ 12:22 pm

    i have been operated for papillary carcinoma thyroid, full thyroid gland removal.
    Can i consume Aliv seeds for weight loss and better health growth?

  • Nisha , 25th February 2023 @ 10:38 pm

    Is it ok to soak 1 tsp of Halim seeds and 2 tbsp of chia seeds with milk and yoghurt overnight and have it next day with berries and other seeds.

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