Ancient Egyptians already knew about fennel seeds benefits, which they used to treat bad digestion. In India, a tradition says that this plant is “the pearl among aphrodisiacs.” Thus it is part of potions that allegedly arouse sexual desire. However, its main current applications relate to the digestive and respiratory systems.
Fennel Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name – Foeniculum vulgare Mill.
- Other Names – Large fennel, wild fennel, sweet fennel.
- French – Fenouil.
- Spanish – Hinojo.
- Environment – Native to Mediterranean countries, it is nowadays widespread all over Europe and America. It grows on dry slopes and uncultivated soils.
- Description – Vivacious plant of the Umbelliferae family, which grows from 80 to 140 cm high, with thick, green-bluish stems, finely divided leaves with a typical aroma, and yellow flowers growing in terminal umbels.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally – The seeds.
Fennel Seeds Benefits
The entire fennel plant, especially the seeds, contains an essence rich in annetol, estragol, and terpenic hydrocarbons. Let us see its properties and indications:
- Carminative – Fennel eases the expulsion of intestinal gas and stimulates the peristaltic movements of the intestine. It has mild laxative properties.
- Digestive – It promotes the emptying of the stomach and digestion. The plant produces good results with a bloated stomach, slow digestion, and excess gas in the stomach and belches.
- Expectorant – Fennel is recommended for bronchial catarrh and colds.
- Galactogenic – It increases the production of milk in breastfeeding women.
- In external applications, the plant is used for eye irritation or eye baths for chronic conjunctivitis.
Do not exceed the recommended dose since the essence fennel contains can produce convulsions.
How to use Fennel
- Infusion with one teaspoonful of seeds per cup of water. Drink three or four cups a day after meals. In the case of a cold, sweeten this infusion with honey.
- Essence – The usual dose is from one to three drops twice daily.
- Eye washing with the same infusion used internally.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 360. Print. [fennel seeds benefits]