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What is Fennel Seed?

Fennel's small yellow umbel's seem to dance in the breeze off the coast of the Mediterranean. The plant is only native in that part of the world but now grows in most places as a naturalized herb.

In early Greek history fennel was widely used as a weight control product. British herbalist Culpeper wrote fennel plant "are much used in drink or broth to make people lean that are too fat". Before you run out to the store to buy fennel seed it has not been studied to see if it actually has any appetite suppressant qualities to it.

All parts of the fennel plant are considered safe for human consumption and it is widely used in culinary dishes for a nutty flavoring. Fennel tea has a soothing effect on the stomach, making it widely used for a multitude of digestion issues.

In fact, many herbalist will recommend that fennel be used along with flax seed as part of a daily regime to a healthy body. Due to the nutty flavoring it suits itself well to be sprinkled on salads and soups for an easy way to add fennel to your diet.

The only known side effect of fennel being ingested is with nursing mothers. It is believed it will help increase the flow of milk when nursing. It has been used in this way since the days of Hippocrates and Dioscorides.

They recommended that nursing mothers chew on the seeds as you would celery to keep the flow of milk progressing as the baby required more milk. It was also believed during the medieval time that fennel would help break up kidney stones, cure the hiccups, prevent gout and nausea, clear the liver and lungs of mucus, and was an antidote to poisonous mushrooms.

Fennel tea water was used to help the digestive systems of infants, especially colicky ones. It was brewed and steeped for 20 minutes then strained and allowed to cool to a room temperature. Mothers of infants with colic may wish to try the fennel water in a bottle during periods of extreme gas and digestive problems.

The tea is also thought to expel worms. The tea is suggested to drink one cup every four hours to expel the parasite. It is also used as a gargle to freshen breath and as an eye wash to clear up many forms of eye irritants.

Fennel Seed -
Fennel has been used for centuries as both food and medicine. It was used traditionally to increase the flow of breast milk in nursing women, enhance libido, and increase menstrual flow.

Fennel Seeds (Sauf) are very effective for digestive problems. These seeds can be chewed upon or had as a tea decoction for beneficial effects upon the stomach. In India, these are routinely chewed upon after meals to aid in digestion after a rich meal while acting as a herbal mouth freshener.

Fennel seeds often provide quick and effective relief from many digestive disorders. They help to overcome gas, cramps, acid indigestion, and many other digestive tract maladies.

What Fennel seeds contain?
These seeds are very rich in minerals including magnesium. Two of its main constituents are Anethol and Fenchone. Anethol and other terpenoids may inhibit spasms in smooth muscles such as those in the intestinal tract. Fenchone may be responsible for the medicinal properties associated with Fennel.

Recent studies have found that consumption of fennel can increase the production of bile and may also possess diuretic, pain-reducing and anti-microbial activities.

Seeds taste like licorice when chewed upon.

How to consume?
Fennel seeds may be chewed upon after every meal or even more often. About 2-3 gms may be had at a time and chewed upon. Daily intake about 7 gms. (or 1 teaspoon).

Fennel may be also had as a tea decoction. For this, boil about 3 gms. (1/2 teaspoon) of seeds in 250 ml. of water. Let the water boil for about 5 minutes while keeping the pot covered. Cool the mixture and then sip as required. 2-3 cups may be had daily in this manner.

If had lukewarm with a few drops of Amritdhara Digestive Drops, this decoction is very effective in stimulating digestion and as a wonderful treatment for stomach gas, pains and flatulence.

Make fennel seeds a part of your daily routine for better digestive health.

How to choose?
Fennel seeds may be yellowish or green in appearance. While the yellow variety is usually used in cooking, the greener variety is softer, naturally sweeter and much better as an oral digestive and a mouth freshener.

Nature's Way's Fennel Seed

Solaray's Fennel Seeds

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