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Common Name: Fennel | Scientific Name: Foeniculum Vulgare

Family Name: Umbelliferae


Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet

Parts Used: Seeds

Remember This: Increases Secretion

History and Traditional Uses
Long loved for their culinary uses, fennel seeds are used to flavor pickles, liqueurs, breads, and candies. Its use in the food is not accidental. Since the beginning of time fennel has been used to increase the digestive secretions necessary for proper digestion and absorption of food.

Roman physicians used it to relieve the discomfort of over eating. Sixteenth-century herbalists used fennel to increase a nursing mother’s milk a use still favored today. In modern Jamaica, a tea is used to relieve colds. In African countries, fennel tincture serves as a remedy for cramps, diarrhea, and stomachaches.

Though it may not be apparent, there is a theme to these cultural uses. They all involve using fennel to increase glands secretion. It is used to increase the secretion of digestive juices, mothers milk, and mucous.

Scientific Back Up
Fennel seed is known as a carminative, meaning that it eases gas and gas pains. When there is insufficient digestive juice to process the food sitting in the gut, the food ferments and produces gas. Rich in volatile oil, fennel seed gets the digestive juices flowing and fermentation does not occur. In fact, simply chewing on the seed will result in saliva pouring out of the salivary glands. According to experts, one of fennel’s volatile oils, anethole, increases milk gland production and results in more breast milk. The same oils are excreted in the lungs and result in watery mucous production that in turn makes expectoration easier .

Herbalists Use It To…
Boost milk yields
First time mothers and indeed some second time mothers do not produce sufficient breast milk to keep junior satisfied. The midwife of yesteryear kept a bag of fennel seed on hand when this occurred. Contemporary herbalists recommend the same. Milk flow will increase within 24 hours of its use.

Loosen hard to move chest grunge
Sometimes a person has to cough and cough to get mucous out of the chest. It’s called difficult to expectorate mucous. Fennel will quickly loosen mucous and make it easier to pass. Its oils are anti-microbial and will kill trouble causing bugs clinging to the clinging mucous.

Pop the clutch on digestive function
For some people having suffered a shock or a traumatic illness, the digestive tract all but shuts down. The appetite disappears. Digestive juices do not flow. Food sits in the stomach and causes unpleasant sensations. Fennel seed will kick start the glands to produce all the digestive secretions essential to proper digestion and absorption.

Take the wind out of a persons’ sails
Incomplete digestion leads to gas production, which, can be a social liability. This simple remedy has been found to resolve the most serious case of nasty and profuse gas production. Indeed, you will find bowels of fennel seeds offered in Indian restaurants to reduce the windiness of a bean based meal.

Shopping Tips
Fennel seed can be purchased at the grocery store, though, they are usually cheaper at the health food shop. The tinctures are generally available at health shops. Make certain the tincture states it was made with fennell seed! Do not purchase products containing other herbs.

Generally recognised as safe.

Excessive Gas: Peppermint(Mentha piperita)
Poor milk production: Chamomile(Matricaria recutita)
Mucous congestion: Eucalyptus(Eucalyptus globulus)

Disclaimer: The author makes no guarantees as to the the curative effect of any herb or tonic on this website, and no visitor should attempt to use any of the information herein provided as treatment for any illness, weakness, or disease without first consulting a physician or health care provider. Pregnant women should always consult first with a health care professional before taking any treatment.