Scientific Name:Foeniculum vulgare
About this Herb:Though native to the Mediterranean region, Fennel is now cultivated in many parts of the world. One of the oldest medicinal herbs, it produces large golden yellow flower clusters between July and September. These blooms produce new seeds which are harvested and dried. Fennel seed is used to flavor foods with a licorice like taste similar to Anise.
Common Names:Dog Fennel, Hog's Fennel, Sweet Fennel, Water Fennel
Uses:Dried seeds can also be crushed and brewed into a highly potent medicinal tea. Used as an antispasmodic, Fennel tea is used to relieve cramps and tension headaches. It also has a relaxing effect on the colon which gives relief to those suffering from gastric disruptions. As an appetite stimulant it promotes good digestion. Fennel tea is used as an expectorant too which is great for bronchitis, chest colds etc.
Applications:Tea: Pour ¾ cup of boiling water over freshly crushed seeds, steep for 5 to 10 minutes and strain. You may warm tea if it has cooled but do not boil. For digestive relief drink 1 cup 3 times a day between meals. Children older than 5 years should take only half and infants only a 1/8 of the adult dosage.
Powder: Dried and crushed to a powder, Fennel seeds are used to drive away fleas from kennels and stables.
Warnings:If you are allergic to carrots, celery or Mugwort, it would be best to avoid using Fennel.
Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Fennel might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, do not use fennel.