Although Fennel is mainly used for flavor, it has some impressive medicinal uses as well.
Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare, is a flowering plant species in the carrot family. It is a hardy perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is a tall fragrant herb that grows 4 to 5 feet, and is bright green and the stems are smooth. It has feathery masses of very fine leaves and the flowers are golden with produce large, flat terminal umbels. The whole plant has a light licorice or anise like fragrance when bruised.
Historical Use of Fennel
The ancient Greeks consumed fennel to obtain courage and a long life, the Romans to keep their waistlines trim. Historically, Fennel has been used to soothe the stomach and intestines, to relieve flatulence, to expel worms, to sweeten the breath, to improve eyesight, and to increase milk in nursing mothers. The seeds are made into a tea that is drunk two to three times a day.
Fennel has also been used for culinary purposes. In Italy, the young stalks are harvested and served fresh in salads, or steamed and sauteed with a little garlic and olive oil. 
The active properties of fennel are:
carminative – stimulating effect on the gastrointestinal mucus membrane and used to aid digestion and expel wind from the stomach and bowels.
aromatic – having a fragrant, pungent, or spicy smell. They have a stimulating effect on the gastrointestinal mucus membrane and used to aid digestion and expel wind from the stomach and bowels. Used to mask the taste or smell of other herbs.
anti-spasmodic – relieve nervous irritation, involuntary ticks, twitches and tremors, muscular spasms, hacking coughs convulsions, and cramps.
anti-inflammatory – reduce inflammation, and relieve the associated swelling and pain. They can be applied topically or taken internally.
stomachic – promote the flow of digestive juices throughout the body, and stimulate the peristaltic action of the digestive tract.
galactogogue – promote and enrich the production of milk from the nursing mother.
hepatic – strengthen, tone and stimulate the metabolic and secretive functions of the liver.
The whole plant can be used: stalk, leaves, roots, and seeds.
At Herbs4You, we use fennel in our Detox tea, Liver tincture, and Serotonin tea and tincture. We also have Fennel essential oil available.
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Amy Willis M.H., CN
About the Author
Amy Willis M.H.