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Fennel Seed

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Fennel Seed - Foeniculum vulgare

Fennel water has properties similar to those of anise and dill water: mixed with sodium bicarbonate and syrup, these waters constitute the domestic 'gripe water', used to ease flatulence in infants; it also can be made into a syrup to treat babies with colic or painful teething.

On account of its aromatic and carminative properties, Fennel fruit is chiefly used medicinally with purgatives to allay their tendency to griping and for this purpose forms one of the ingredients of the well-known compound Liquorice Powder. Fennel water has properties similar to those of anise and dill water: mixed with sodium bicarbonate and syrup, these waters constitute the domestic 'Gripe Water,' used to correct the flatulence of infants. Volatile oil of Fennel has these properties in concentration.

Fennel tea, formerly also employed as a carminative, is made by pouring half a pint of boiling water on a teaspoonful of bruised Fennel seeds.

Syrup prepared from Fennel juice was formerly given for chronic coughs.

It is one of the plants which is said to be disliked by fleas, and powdered Fennel has the effect of driving away fleas from kennels and stables. The plant gives off ozone most readily.

In the Indian subcontinent, fennel seeds are also eaten raw, sometimes with some sweetener, as it is said to improve eyesight.[citation needed] Ancient Romans regarded fennel as the herb of sight. Root extracts were often used in tonics to clear cloudy eyes. Extracts of fennel seed have been shown in animal studies to have a potential use in the treatment of glaucoma.

There are historical anecdotes that fennel is a galactogogue, improving the milk supply of a breastfeeding mother. This use, although not supported by direct evidence, is sometimes justified by the fact that fennel is a source of phytoestrogens, which promote growth of breast tissue. However, normal lactation does not involve growth of breast tissue. There is a single case report of fennel tea ingested by a breastfeeding mother resulting in neurotoxicity for the newborn child

Fennel seed is antiseptic and secretolytic, that is, encouraging secretion of saliva and gastric juices. It also stops stomach cramps, often added to laxatives to ensure gentle action. Fennel seed teas break up congestion caused by colds and allergies. There are preliminary studies that suggest that regular consumption of fennel (as well as regular consumption of green beans, mushrooms, oranges, prunes, and celeriac) might slow the progression of osteoporosis.

Fennel Oil has a sweet licorice scent. It promotes confidence and strength in times of adversity. When used in massage, it helps encourage the release of toxins.

The essential oil may be helpful in assisting digestion - the seeds are offered in Indian tradition after meals. It can be used for indigestion; a drop taken by mouth brings a nice feeling to the digestive system.

Fennel essential oil may stimulate estrogen production (and is contraindcated for estrogen-mediated breast cancer for this reason) and increase lactation, as well as act as a stimulant to the circulatory and digestive systems. It may also act to break up and flush out toxins, cleansing the tissues. It is best applied topically diluted in carrier oil.

The bulb, foliage, and seeds of the fennel plant are widely used in many of the culinary traditions of the world. Fennel pollen is the most potent form of fennel, but also the most expensive. Dried fennel seed is an aromatic, anise-flavoured spice, brown or green in colour when fresh, slowly turning a dull grey as the seed ages. For cooking, green seeds are optimal. The leaves are delicately flavored and similar in shape to those of dill. The bulb is a crisp, hardy root vegetable and may be sauteed, stewed, braised, grilled, or eaten raw. Fennel seeds are sometimes confused with those of anise, which are very similar in taste and appearance, though smaller. Fennel is also used as a flavouring in some natural toothpaste.

Fennel seed teas are helpful for colicky infants, but fennel seed oil should never be given to infants or young children because of the danger of spasms of the throat.
This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.