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Using fennel in herbal medicine

Fennel tastes like anise

Fennel (Feoniculum vulgare or officinale) - Fennel tastes like anise (which is used in licorice candy). Fennel is used to flavor pickles, candies, breads, and liqueurs.

Fennel seeds, bulbs, and stems are used to reduce gas and increase milk flow

As a medicinal herb, the seeds, bulbs, and stems of fennel are used to reduce flatulence, aid digestion, regulate appetite, fight infection, increase flow of milk in nursing mothers, and to heal snake bites. The active ingredients in fennel help sooth and protect the small and large intestines. Anyone eating fast food on a regular basis should consume lots of fennel.

Fennel seeds help indigestion and fennel root helps gout

Fennel seeds are good for colic, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, and coughs due to colds. Fennel is also used to treat gum disorders, loose teeth, laryngitis, and sore throats. Fennel root decoctions (strong teas) are effective in preventing kidney stones and reducing high uric acid content which makes it good for fighting gout. Fennel is a mild diuretic. It also increases bile production, reduces pain, and cools a fever.

Fennel seed tea is easy to make

Fennel seed tea is easy to make. Just crush or grind a tablespoon of the seeds, then simmer them in two cups of water for five to ten minutes. Keep the pot covered. Cool, strain, and drink a cup three times a day.

Fennel is rich in volatile oils that have estrogen like qualities. These oils calm smooth muscle spasms. Fennel essential oil is often added to chest rubs along with thyme essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil, and almond oil. This rub is an effective treatment for coughs.

In medieval times people chewed fennel seeds to subdue growling stomachs. Fennel infusions were used to tighten wrinkled skin and to bathe tired eyes.

Using fennel seeds and bulbs in the kitchen

The tasty seeds can be chewed or added to food. The bulbous stems are used like celery. Eat raw, cooked, in sauces, in soups, and in stews. Fennel leaves are good with fish and make a fine sauce for pork chops. To make fennel sauce, add 5 tablespoons of chopped fennel leaves to 1 cup cream, lightly whipped. Stir in 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over cooked chops and return to oven until hot.

Fennel plants

Fennel is originally from Europe and is known to have been cultivated in Asia and Egypt for thousands of years. Fennel is a perennial that does well here in North Georgia. One planting will last for several years if not dug for the roots. The plant reaches 3-7 feet tall and resembles a feathery fern or dill weed. The bright green stems produce flat clusters of golden flowers. Sow seeds directly into the garden. Grow in full sun and light, well-drained soil.

* Do not use fennel tincture or capsules for more than six weeks. Avoid fennel during pregnancy. Do not use high doses of fennel in cases of estrogen dependent cancers.

See more about fennel essential oil

Fennel tea helps nursing mothers produce more milk.

© Vladimir Surkov | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Fennel helps nursing mothers produce more milk.