Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare, is hardy, perennial, umbelliferous herb indigenous to the shores of Mediterranean but has become naturalized to other parts of the world especially in countries colonized by the Romans. The herb has yellow flowers and feathery leaves, and can be found growing on dry soils near the river-banks and sea coast. Its small fruits are mistakenly called seeds because of their seed-like appearance especially when dried. Accounts of fennel use are found in Greek mythology, showing that the herb is used in ancient times.
All parts of fennel plant (leaves, stalk, bulb, flowers, and roots) are edible and can be used in cooking and treating illnesses. Dried fennel seeds are usually used in making tea but any part of the plant can be used. Different cultures use fennel in different ways. With regards to nutritional value, fennel contains carbohydrates, dietary fibers, fats, proteins, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, manganese, vitamin C, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9. It also contains antioxidants and essential oils that are all beneficial to our body.
Medicinal Uses of Fennel Seed Tea
- Fennel seed tea has carminative property or the ability to relieve flatulence or colic by expelling glass. Fennel seeds tea has been very important in relieving infant colic. The tea is also a remedy for indigestion, dyspepsia, constipation, and vomiting.
- Like green tea, fennel seed tea contains powerful antioxidants that scavenge free radicals – unstable and highly reactive molecules that can damage cells and cause cancer. Antioxidants isolated from fennel include caffeoylquinic acid, rosmarinic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol.
- Fennel seeds tea is used to stop diarrhea and kill intestinal worms.
- Fennel seeds tea helps in proper digestion by enhancing the peristaltic movement of the intestines.
- Fennel is also used to eradicate or prevent bad breath. Fennel is used as breath-freshener in India.
- Fennel seed tea is used to stimulate milk production in breastfeeding mothers.
- Fennel seed tea is used as herbal remedy for premenstrual syndrome, dysmenorrhea, menopausal symptoms, and low libido.
- Fennel seed tea is used to treat cold, cough, bronchitis, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses.
- Fennel seed tea is used as treatment for eye diseases such as conjunctivis, sore eyes, and macular degeneration.
- Fennel seed tea has anti-inflammatory properties; thus it can be used as analgesic.
Note that besides from dried seeds, other parts of fennel plant can be used in making tea.[ad#afterpost]