Fennel: Snapshot


Fennel’s effects have a warming, respiring and loosening nature. I prefer a strong Fennel infusion (tea) for quick results and the incredible taste.

It warms and stimulates the digestive organs, especially when they become sluggish. This relieves gas and headaches that are related to improper digestion. An excellent stomach and intestinal remedy for treating flatulence and colic conditions, while also stimulating healthy appetite and digestion. Russian scientists recently discovered that one serving of fennel a day can soothe even chronic cases of belly cramps, bloat and indigestion by 65% in just one week.

Fennel frees the respiratory system, rendering a calming anti-spasmodic effect on coughs and bronchitis. It gives a delicious flavour and aromatic lift to herbal blends and cough syrups. Helpful for cancer patients after radiation and chemotherapy.

Fennel may increase milk flow in nursing mothers.

Used externally, the essential oil eases muscular and rheumatic pains.

Fennel infusion may be used as a compress to treat conjunctivitis and blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids).

Botanical Name

Foeniculum vulgare

Part Used

Seed

Common Names

Sweet fennel; wild fennel, King Cumin, Large Cumin, Sweet Cumin; Koper wioski, Koper Lekarski (Polish); Dill, Gurkenkraut, Fenchel (German); fenouil (French); finocchio (Italian); Shatapushpa; marathon (Greek); hinojo (Spanish); samouk- saba (Burmese); wooi heung, hui xiang, xiao hui xiang hui hsiang (Chinese); barisaunf, madhurika, sonf, saunf (Indian); adas (Indonesian); jintan manis (Malaysian); maduru (Sinhalese); yira (Thai); shouikyo (Japanese); sohoehyang (Korean)

Brief History

Fennel flowers

The plant received its name from the Latin foeniculum (hay) because of the appearance of the finely divided leaves also perhaps because of its use as feed for goats to increase the quality and fat content of their milk.

Like dill, fennel water, obtained from the seeds is a carminative and for 2000 years it has been used slightly warm, to bathe the eyes, removing any inflammation and tiredness and giving them brightness.

Anglo-Saxons who settled England around the 5th century used fennel both as a spice and digestive aid. By the 17th century, fennel was a mainstay of herbal healing and a standard seasoning for fish.

Folk healers mixed fennel with strong laxatives, such as buckthorn, senna, rhubarb and aloe, to counteract the intestinal cramps they often caused.

Cultivation

Fennel prefers full sun and low to moderate amounts of water, and it does best in well-worked, well-drained soil.

Constituents

Beta-carotene, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, silicon, zinc, essential oils (anethole, fenchone, pinene, limonene, safrole), phenolic ether, flavonoids, coumarins, stigmasterol

Edible

Fennel seed is a traditional culinary seasoning. It makes for sweet breath, with a flavour similar to that of aniseed and licorice.

Therapeutic Properties

Carminative, appetite stimulating, antispasmodic, hepatic. galactagogue, oestrogen modulating. antimicrobial. expectorant

Vitalist Properties

Flavour: sweet

Temperature: warm

Moisture: moist

Polarity: yang

Therapeutic Indications

Amenorrhea, asthma, bloating, bronchitis, colic, cough, diabetes, dyspepsia, endometriosis, fatigue, fever, flatulence, gout, halitosis, hangover, heartburn, hernia, hiccups, hypertension, indigestion, jaundice, kidney stones, laryngitis, low libido, malabsorption, menstrual cramps, nausea, obesity, premenstrual syndrome, rheumatism, stomachache, teething, weak vision (including floaters), and vomiting.

Primary Uses

Asthma, bronchitis, coughs

Fennel has a calming, antispasmodic effect on coughs and bronchitis. The Ancient Greeks used teas made from fennel and anise for asthma and other respiratory ailments.

Colic, Dyspepsia

Fennel relaxes the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract to aid in digestion and also helps in expelling gas. It is a primary herbal tea for infantile colic and very effective.

Lactation

Fennel increases the libido of both male and female rats. Fennel has compounds that act like the female hormone oestrogen and has been used for centuries to promote milk flow in nursing women. As an estrogenic herb, it has been used as a breast enlarger.

Don’t use the oil, however, because in pregnant women, the oil can cause miscarriage. And in doses greater than about a teaspoon, Fennel oil can be toxic.

Dosage (Divided Daily)

• Dried Seed: 1,000 – 6,000mg

• Tincture: 3 – 6mL (1:5)

Contraindications

• Contraindicated in patients who suffer from “celery-carrot-mugwort- spice” syndrome.

Side effects

In rare cases, it may cause allergic reactions of the skin and respiratory tract.

Interactions with other drugs

• No interactions reported


Link to Fennel Seed @ Herbosophy

Dried Fennel Seed


Bibliography

Balch, Phyllis A. and Stacey J. Bell. Prescription for Herbal Healing. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: Avery, 2012.

Bone, Kerry. A Clinical Guide to Blending Liquid Herbs: Herbal Formulations for the Individual Patient. St. Louis, MI: Churchill Livingstone, 2003

British Herbal Medicine Association. Scientific Committee. British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Consolidated ed. West Yorkshire: British Herbal Medicine Association, 1983.

Herbalpedia 2013 (CD-ROM)

Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, Vt.: Healing Arts Press, 2003.

Mars, Brigitte. The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine: The Ultimate Multidisciplinary Reference to the Amazing Realm of Healing Plants, in a Quick-Study, One-Stop Guide. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Pub., 2007.

Skenderi, Gazmend. Herbal Vade Mecum: 800 Herbs, Spices, Essential Oils, Lipids, Etc., Constituents, Properties, Uses, and Caution. Rutherford, N.J.: Herbacy Press, 2003.

Ulbricht, Catherine E. and Natural Standard (Firm). Natural Standard Herb & Supplement Guide: An Evidence-Based Reference. 1st ed. Maryland Heights, Mo.: Elsevier/Mosby, 2010.


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