Fennel Foeniculum vulgare
Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Fennel Seed
How to Use: Fennel
Fennel also acts as an excellent digestive aid to relieve abdominal cramps, gas and bloating. The fresh stems of fennel can be eaten much like celery, the seeds add a lovely anise flavor to fish and other dishes. If you expect to eat a vegetable that you have trouble digesting, like cabbage, try adding fennel seeds to your recipe. 335
Fennel seeds (as well as anise) contain creosol and alpha-pinene, chemicals that help to loosen congestion and make coughs more productive. Fennel also calms the dry, hacking cough of bronchitis. 1662
The Greek name for fennel was marathon was derived from "maraino", to grow thin, reflecting the widely held belief that fennel affected weight loss, a belief that was echoed by William Coles, in "Nature's Paradise" (1650)
both the seeds, leaves and root of Garden Fennel are much used in drinks and broths for those that are grown fat, to abate their unwieldiness and cause them to grow more gaunt and lank.
Women who are going through menopause or are experiencing menstrual problems may benefit from the estrogenic properties of fennel. It has a balancing effect on the female reproductive system and increases the flow of body energy. Extracts of fennel have estrogenic properties that may benefit women going through the hormonal imbalances caused by menopause.1661
Preparation Methods & Dosage : Fennel is well known to cooks, all parts of the plant are edible. The fresh stems of fennel can be eaten much like celery, and the seeds add a lovely anise flavor to fish and other dishes. Fennel seeds are most often taken as a tea, the essential oil is used in massage oils and diffusers.
Fennel : Essential Oil Profile
Sweet fennel oil has a very sweet, earthy aroma almost identical to anise. Oil of fennel relieves muscular or rheumatic pains and is especially effective in massage blends.
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Fennel seed flowers
Regional Traditions :European *
How to Grow Fennel
Fennel will thrive anywhere, but needs its own space to grow, apart from the main garden. Fennel plants release a chemical, (anethole) that impairs the growth of some other plants, so it should not be grown very close to beans, tomatoes or cabbage family plants. Fennel grows well in its own big container in a rich soil. It is easily propagated by seeds, sown early in the year, and is frost resistant. You can direct sow, or transplant, about a foot or so apart. Fennel thrives in dry and sunny places that remind it of it's mediterranean home. Harvest the leaves anytime, and the bulbs when large enough. Keep flower heads cut to insure a supply of green leaves, or let flower heads mature to harvest seeds when ripe.
History and Traditions & Folklore
In medieval times, Fennel was employed together with St. Johns Wort and other herbs as a preventative of witchcraft and other evil influences, being hung over doors on Midsummers Eve to warn off evil spirits