Fennel seeds are sweet and add a delightful flavour to your meals. Also, they are full of many health benefits from helping with poor digestion to having anticancer properties. They are a wonderful tasty super food.
East Indian meals will often have these tiny fennel seeds in them. People in India eat these seeds after meals in the same way many cultures use mints.
Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds
They stimulate digestion while having calming effects. This makes them very good for soothing the digestive system and keeping nausea at bay. Chewing a teaspoon of seeds after meals or drinking fennel seed tea helps with digestion, stomach pains and bloating. For more extreme nausea its best used ground up in capsules with ginger, as they work together well.
For the ginger and fennel, do not exceed dosage recommendations. Be sure to consult with your doctor if you are pregnant, nursing or taking any medication.
Lowers Excess Hair Growth
In a study, researchers found a cream containing 2 percent extract of fennel helps reduce excessive hair growth in women diagnosed with idiopathic hirsutism.
Menopause Symptoms Reduced
Extracts of fennel have estrogen properties that help balance the female reproductive system. The hormonal imbalance caused by menopause has been shown in to be reduced with consumption of the extract.
Helps to Reduce Menstrual Discomfort
At the Islamic Azad University in Toyserkan, a study was performed with 80 female students and the results showed fennel to help reduce menstrual discomfort and duration.
- They are a good source of minerals (copper, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc and magnesium).
- They also contain small amounts of many vitamins and even protein.
- Fennel seeds are full of essential oil compounds (anethole, limonene, anisic aldehyde, pinene, myrcene, fenchone, chavicol and cineole). These oils are known to have digestive, carminative and anti-flatulent properties.
Note: It is best that pregnant women not use them for medicinal remedies or while nursing. Small amounts as a food flavoring is thought to be safe. Also, for some sensitive people, they may cause contact dermatitis.
While there are many benefits that are certainly interesting enough, it also has an interesting history. From the Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine:
- They are native to the Mediterranean. It’s called ‘marathon’ in Greece, originating from the word ‘mariano’ which means to grow thin.
- They were considered a magic herb in the Middle Ages and were draped over doorways to protect from evil spirits. As an added measure of protection, the tiny seeds were stuffed into keyholes to keep ghosts from entering the room.
- These seeds came to North America with the Spanish missionaries; they grew it in their medicinal gardens. It was taken to help with digestion by the Puritans.
- In Ancient Greece, they were considered a symbol of success.
- Powdered Fennel has the effect of driving away fleas from kennels and stables.
- They are widely used in India as an after-dinner breath freshener and to help in the digestion process.
- Ancients thought they were helpful for eyesight.
Now that you have learned the many benefits of fennel, you will want to make sure you have some in your kitchen cupboard to make your meals extra yummy. Or make some fennel tea.
Learn more about some of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will always want to have in your pantry or growing on your deck.
READ: Superfoods – Over 100 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Have in Your Diet and learn more about the variety of Superfoods we think you should have in your diet.