|FENNEL SEED (Foeniculum vulgaris)
Fennel plants are very common around the United States. You can easily recognize their feathery fresh
green leaves and strong, pleasant, anise like aroma. The aroma acts upon the mind to promote mental clarity and alertness.
Most people think of fennel as "licorice", however licorice is another type
of plant. The confusion started when someone created a "black licorice candy" and flavored it with anise and fennel.
The Romans believed that serpents sucked the juice of the plant to improve their eyesight. The Greeks used Fennel as a "slimming" aid.
In Medieval times, chewing the seeds was a favorite way to stop gastric rumbling during many long hours of church sermons.
Fennel, used as a spice, has strong warming properties; however, fennel seeds are a gentle warming spice. It combines well with cumin
and coriander in cooking and is a good spice combination for the summer.
The seeds of fennel are among the best digestive aids.
They help stop abdominal pains and spasms, increase peristalsis of the stomach and intestines, and bring up phlegm from the lungs. If you
have gas, bloating, or burping, take some fennel seeds or fennel extract for quick relief. Fennel can stop cramping, dispel gas, and
calms the nerves. Fennel is excellent for digestive weakness in children and the elderly.
For urinary problems, fennel seeds combine well with coriander. Put a
tablespoon of each herb into a cup of boiling water and drink three cups per day until the urinary problem clears up. Nursing mothers
and babies will benefit from fennel seeds as well. The seeds promote milk flow, and the herb helps the baby from developing colic.
Fennel seeds are safe to use and have no counter-indications.