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Fennel is a perennial Eurasian herb (Foeniculum vulgare) that has clusters of small yellow flowers and aromatic leaves and seeds and includes numerous cultivated forms. [1]

General History of Fennel

Fennel history go back to Pliny, the Roman author of The Naturalis Historie. He thought that snakes ate and rubbed against fennel since it had the ability to enhance their vision after shedding their skins. Following that observation, Pliny believed fennel was so effective that he used the fragrant herb to deal with 22 different ailments.

In our fennel history timeline, we concern the 1300s. We understand that fennel was a staple in the family of King Edward I of England. His wardrobe account books from 1281 noted a purchase of 8 1/2 pounds of fennel seed– a month’s supply. Why so much? Fennel seed was utilized as a condiment and an appetite suppressant. On Church mandated ‘Fastying dayes’, the faithful utilized fennel to make it through the day, a custom brought to the United States by the Puritans. They would bring handkerchiefs with fennel seed to munch on throughout long services to fend off hunger; which resulted in fennel seeds typically being described as ‘meetin’ seeds’.

Throughout medieval times, evil spirits were thought to stroll freely as the sun turned southwards. Fennel, when hung over doorways, was believed to protect those within from the spirits. Fennel seeds placed into keyholes were believed to safeguard a home from ghosts on any night however especially Midsummer’s Eve.

Fennel History– Medicinal Utilizes

Hippocrates (yes, he’s the fellow the physician’s oath is named for) recommended fennel might help wet nurses to increase their milk supply.

One physician from the thirteenth century kept in mind in the Book of Physicians of Myddvai “he who sees fennel and collects it not, is not a guy but a devil.” A contrary opinion led to the traditional saying that “sowing fennel is sowing sadness” that forecasted disaster to anybody distributing fennel. In the mid 15th Century, it was said of fennel …” The juice of fenell took into a mans eares, killeth the wormes therein.”.

When soaked into a tea it was thought that fennel was also a treatment for slimming down. The Greeks called it Marathron which is originated from a word meaning to grow thin.

History of Fennel as an Antidote.

Fennel is frequently used with preparing fish. In the mid 1600s, one noted doctor, Nicholas Culpepper, authorized of it’s use stating, “it takes in that phlegmatic humour, which fish most plentifully afford and irritate the body with, though few that use it know wherefore they do it; I expect the reason for its advantage in this manner is since it is an herb of Mercury and under Virgo, and therefore bears antipathy to Pisces.” Fennel was utilized as an antidote to poisons by the Romans, Chinese, and Hindus. Culpepper also thought fennel to be a reliable antidote for dangerous mushrooms and snake bites. A plaster of fennel roots was a standard treatment for the bites of mad pet dogs.

In a publication from the late 1880s, Alphonse Karr, for whom the dahlia was called, attempted to put claims of fennel’s recovery residential or commercial properties to rest with his statement, “At the end of 3 or four hundred years, it began to be viewed that it (fennel) had never cured anyone.” [2]

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition info is supplied by the USDA for 1 cup (87g) of chopped fennel.

  • Calories: 27
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Salt: 45mg
  • Carbohydrates: 6.3 g
  • Fiber: 2.7 g
  • Sugars: 3.4 g
  • Protein: 1.1 g
  • Carbohydrates

Half of the carbohydrates in fennel originated from fiber and half originate from naturally-occurring sugars. The glycemic index of fennel is 16, making it a very low glycemic food.


There is really little fat in raw fennel. Cooked fennel likewise supplies hardly any fat aside from what’s included while cooking. Although fennel is not a major contributor to total fat intake, the fat it does include is comprised of a wide range of fats. The fatty acids in fennel are mainly polyunsaturated (and heart-healthy).


Fennel is not a high protein food, but you will get a little, 1 gram boost of protein if you consume a complete cup serving.

Vitamins & Minerals

Fennel is an excellent source of potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. When it concerns vitamins, fennel is greatest in vitamin C and folate. Fennel likewise provides vital minerals like manganese, chromium, copper, iron, and zinc.


Fennel is grown in a couple of different varieties. Florence fennel is the most typical type you’ll discover in the supermarket. The stalks on Florence fennel are short and green (like celery) with dark green, feathery fronds. The bulb is cream-colored and round. A smaller, more tender version of Florence fennel is called infant fennel or young fennel. Wild fennel, on the other hand, has various feathery fronds and a smaller, flatter bulb. You ‘d be more likely to find young fennel or wild fennel at boutique and farmer’s markets.

Fennel seeds are likewise edible and utilized to include taste to dishes. Fennel seeds are derived from a bulb-free range of fennel called typical fennel. Common fennel is grown solely for harvesting the seeds.

Storage and Food Security

Select fennel with company, undamaged bulbs that are free of brown areas. The stalks need to be straight and reasonably close together. Flowers on the stalks of fennel are a sign that it is overripe.

The same basic food safety guidelines ought to be applied to fennel as other veggies. Wash fennel completely under running water to eliminate dirt and bacteria before cutting into it. Once cut, fennel needs to be kept cold in the fridge and consumed within a couple of days. Prepared fennel meals ought to likewise be cooled and consumed within 5 days.

How to Prepare

Usage fennel in dishes to add a mouthwatering sweet taste to foods, both cooked and raw. Fennel sets well with seafood and is typically utilized in roasting fish dishes, such as salmon or cod. It’s likewise a favorite in salads for extra texture and flavor. Fennel’s slightly sweet anise-flavor can be softened by slicing the bulb really thinly and soaking in ice water for a few minutes. Although the white bulb of fennel is most commonly consumed, the stalks, seeds, and leaves are also edible. [3]

15 Excellent Benefits Of Fennel

Let us look at the leading health advantages of fennel in detail:.

Perhaps Abundant source of Vitamin C

One cup of fennel bulb is understood to contain nearly 20 percent of the day-to-day requirement of vitamin C, making it rather an abundant source of this useful vitamin of our diet. Vitamin C improves general immune system health, produces and repairs skin tissues, assists form collagen, and safeguards the capillary walls as an antioxidant versus the harmful results of complimentary radicals that can often lead to heart diseases.

May Assist Prevent Anemia

Iron and histidine, an amino acid found in fennel, are both useful in the treatment of anemia. Whereas iron is the chief constituent of hemoglobin, histidine promotes the production of hemoglobin and also helps in the formation of numerous other components of the blood.

May Relieve Indigestion

It is a common practice, especially in the Indian Subcontinent, to chew fennel seeds after meals. This has been done for several years as it is believed to assist in food digestion and to get rid of halitosis.

Some of the elements in the fennel important oil are most likely the stimulants as they motivate secretion of digestion and stomach juices, reduce inflammation in the stomach and intestines, and help with proper absorption of nutrients from the food. Furthermore, it can get rid of constipation and secure the body from a large range of intestinal tract problems that can come from being obstructed up. It likewise has anti-acidic (fundamental) residential or commercial properties and is extensively used in antacid preparations. In cooking applications, it is likewise used as the main ingredient in many appetizers.

May Reduce Flatulence

Fennel is preferred as an antiflatulent, due to the carminative properties of the aspartic acid found in it. Its extract can be used by many, from babies to the elderly, as a method to decrease flatulence and to expel excess gas from the stomach. It is commonly used in medications to minimize signs of non-ulcer dyspepsia and flatulence in babies and young children.

May Reward Constipation

Fennel seeds, especially in powdered kind, are believed to serve as a possible laxative, particularly in Ayurvedic medicine. The roughage helps clear the bowels, whereas its revitalizing result helps keep the correct peristaltic motion of the intestinal tracts, thereby assisting promote excretion. Fennel is likewise commonly discovered in medicines that deal with abdominal pain, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other digestive tract concerns.

May Reduce Heart Diseases

Fennel can be an excellent source of fiber, as mentioned above, but besides the benefits to food digestion that fiber offers, it also assists preserve healthy levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream, according to research performed, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This indicates that it can stimulate the removal of damaging LDL or bad cholesterol, which is a significant factor in heart problem, atherosclerosis, and strokes.

May Have Anticancer Potential

The raw veggie itself hasn’t been extensively studied with regards to cancer defense. However but the fennel seed extract has been explored a bit more, and the findings of one study relating to cancer protection were rather remarkable. It shows that, in animal topics, the extract can not just hinder the development of tumors, thanks to its concentrations of flavonoids, alkaloids, and phenols, but it even has the prospective to be chemoprotective versus the damaging effects of radiation throughout cancer treatment. According to the exact same research study, fennel seed extract displays anticancer potential against breast cancer and liver cancer.

May Manage Blood Pressure

Fennel is a really abundant source of potassium, which can be a vital nutrient in our bodies and is essential for a variety of essential procedures as per a report published in the Journal of Hypertension. One of the qualities of potassium is its quality as a vasodilator, which means that it unwinds the stress of blood vessels, therefore minimizing blood pressure. Hypertension is connected to a wide range of health problems, consisting of cardiac arrest, stroke, and atherosclerosis. Also, for diabetics, blood pressure concerns can make the management of their insulin and glucose levels really challenging and can be the cause of lots of possibly lethal issues. Integrating a cup of fennel bulb in your everyday diet can increase your potassium levels and all the benefits that come along with it.

May Improve Brain Function

Potassium, discovered in high levels in fennel bulbs and seeds, is an electrolyte, which suggests that it can assist in increased electrical conduction throughout the body. This is according to research released in the Yale University School of Medication in 1939. This includes connections within the brain, which is a veritable switchboard of electric currents. Potassium can help increase brain function and cognitive capabilities through this quality. Also, fennel is a vasodilator, which means more oxygen reaches the brain and neural activity can work at optimum performance.

Possibly Efficient Diarrhea Treatment

Fennel is useful in treating diarrhea caused by bacterial infections, as it might have some parts such as anethol and cineole which may have disinfectant and anti-bacterial properties. Some amino acids, such as histidine, can help in digestion and the correct functioning of the gastrointestinal system, therefore assisting to remove diarrhea due to indigestion. Fennel has long been used by native cultures as a method to get rid of diarrhea.

May Alleviate Manifestations of Colic

There are studies that suggest that herbal tea used various herbs consisting of fennel and fennel oil has the prospective to ease signs of colic. Fennel has certain antispasmodic qualities which also assist it relax muscles and decrease the discomfort associated with the colic. Polymeric and heavy particles work in the treatment of kidney colic. Such polymers, likewise called phytoestrogens, are found in anethole, an element of the fennel necessary oil. Nevertheless, more scientific research study is needed to examine the benefits and effects on humans.

May Boost Immunity

Fennel being rich in numerous nutrients consisting of vitamin C helps enhance the immune system and protects the body against infections and damage caused by free radicals.

May Regulate Menstruation

Fennel is also an emmenagogue, indicating that it is thought to reduce and manage menstruation by properly managing hormonal action in the body. Additionally, fennel is utilized in a number of customer items to lower the results of PMS, and it is also utilized traditionally as a calming painkiller and relaxing agent for menopausal ladies.

May Aid in Eye Care

Incorporating fennel into meals can help safeguard the eyes from swelling, along with help in reducing disorders connected to premature aging and macular degeneration. This is because of the abundance of antioxidants (vitamin C and amino acids like arginine are really useful for renewal of tissues and the avoidance of aging), detoxifiers, and stimulants. They are specifically discovered in fennel essential oil, in addition to minerals like cobalt and magnesium. Lastly, the juice of its leaves and the plant itself can be externally applied to the eyes to decrease inflammation and eye tiredness.

Fennel is likewise an abundant source of flavonoids, which are extremely useful in securing versus pigment cells passing away due to oxidative-stress-induced death. By safeguarding against this destruction of the pigment cells, fennel can securely be categorized as efficient in eye health for various reasons.

May Reward Breathing Conditions

Fennel works in respiratory conditions such as blockage, bronchitis, and cough due to the presence of cineole and anethole, which are expectorant in nature, amongst their lots of other virtues. Fennel seeds and powder can assist separate phlegm and timely loosening of the contaminants and accumulation of the throat and nasal passages for elimination from the body to make sure quick healing from breathing conditions.

Other Benefits & Utilizes

Fennel is a diuretic, which indicates that it can increase the quantity and frequency of urination, thus helping the removal of harmful substances from the body and helping in rheumatism and swelling. It is likewise touted as increasing the production and secretion of milk in breast feeding mothers; given that this milk includes some residential or commercial properties of fennel, it is an anti-flatulent for the infant, also. It reinforces hair, avoids loss of hair, relaxes the body, sharpens memory, and has a magnificent cooling effect in summer. This can be attained if the pale, greenish-yellow water, in which it is soaked, is ingested with a little bit of sugar and black salt.

Words of Care: You need to keep in mind that typically, too much of anything is harmful. Certain components of the fennel essential oil such as anethol, and a couple of other chemicals present in the plant itself can be hazardous if ingested in too big a quantity. You should keep in mind that the compounds which can eliminate bacteria and microorganisms in low doses can be harmful to you too. Excess use of fennel can trigger difficulty breathing, increased palpitations, irregular heartbeat, and different neural issues. So, enjoy fennel’s impressive advantages in moderation. If you have any concerns, talk with a health care specialist. [4]

How Can I Use It?

If you’re using raw fennel in a salad, attempt making thin ribbons with a peeler or shaving it on a box grater. You can also run each half of the bulb over a mandoline. Here are a few fennel salads to attempt:.

Combined Lettuce, Fennel & Orange Salad with Black Olive Vinaigrette: The sweetness of fennel plays well with the salty olives, and the bright citrus brings it all together.

Tomato & Fennel Salad: Peak summer tomatoes match well with fennel’s distinct licorice taste in this bright salad.

Fennel & Grapefruit Salad (visualized above): Fennel’s robustness makes it a terrific option for winter season salads like this one with grapefruit.

Roasted Fennel & Farro Salad: This gratifying salad would work well for either a celebration or as a bring-to-work lunch option, since it can be made up to 2 days ahead. The fennel is tossed with olive oil and then roasted with bell peppers.

Apple & Fennel Salad with Blue Cheese: Along with thinly sliced fennel bulb, this salad has a quarter-cup of fennel fronds mixed in for extra taste.

Scorched Salmon with Sugar Snap-Fennel Slaw: Sliced fennel and sugar snap peas get blended together for a fresh take on coleslaw. Marinading the slaw briefly in vinaigrette (while the salmon is cooking) helps soften the raw fennel’s fibrous texture.

How to Prepare Fennel

The dishes below show that both fennel bulbs and fronds can be used in a range of ways.

Broiled Fennel with Parmesan Cheese (imagined above): In this simple 15-minute side, fennel’s sweet taste is complemented by nutty, salty Parmesan cheese.

Braised Fennel with Tomatoes & Potatoes: Braising fennel assists tenderize it and extract its sweet taste. In this dish, the addition of Pernod (an anise-flavored liqueur) and fennel seed offers the completed dish a more complicated taste.

Roast Chicken & Fennel: Attempting to eat a range of veggies? Instead of timeless roast chicken and potatoes, try this variation with fennel. The diced bulb is first roasted on its own prior to it’s combined with pine nuts and browned chicken drumsticks for a second turn in the oven.

Mediterranean Sautéed Shrimp & Fennel: The fennel is first sautéed and combined with canned tomatoes, and after that quick-cooking shrimp are included toward completion. Although the addition of feta and capers offer this meal an advanced feel, it’s basic to pull together on a hectic weeknight.

Fennel & Pork Stew: In this hearty stew, fennel and onions develop a bed for juicy, slow-cooked pork. The fronds are reserved and utilized as a garnish.

Fennel & Chicken Flatbread: Fennel is used two ways on this flatbread. The bulb is sautéed with chicken and used as a topping, and the fronds are sprayed on at the end. [5]

Interesting facts about fennel

Fennel is a blooming plant types in the carrot household.

It is grown for its edible bulbs, shoots, leaves, and seeds.

Fennel is belonging to southern Europe and Asia Minor.

Today, it is cultivated in temperate regions worldwide and is thought about an intrusive species in Australia and parts of the United States.

The cultivated plant depends on 2.5 metres (8 ft) high, with hollow stems.

The leaves mature to 40 centimetres (16 in) long. It is made up of many direct or awl-shaped sectors.

The flowers are produced in terminal compound umbels from 5to 15 centimetres (2 to 6 in) broad, each umbel area having 20– 50 tiny yellow flowers on short pedicels.

The little dry fruits are greenish brown to yellowish brown oval ovals about 6 mm (0.25 inch) long with 5 popular longitudinal dorsal ridges.

The seeds contain 3 to 4 percent essential oil; the primary elements are anethole and fenchone.

All parts of the plant are aromatic and utilized in flavouring, and the bulblike stem base of Florence fennel and the blanched shoots are consumed as a vegetable.

The seeds and extracted oil are suggestive of anise in aroma and taste and are used for scenting soaps and perfumes and for flavouring sweets, liqueurs, medicines, and foods, especially pastries, sweet pickles, and fish.

There are 345 calories in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of fennel fruits.

It is an abundant source of protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins and numerous dietary minerals, specifically calcium, iron, magnesium and manganese.

Fennel is crispy and slightly sweet, including a rejuvenating contribution to the ever popular Mediterranean food.

Frequently associated with Italian cooking, be sure to add this to your choice of fresh vegetables from the autumn through early spring when it is readily offered and at its best.

It is called marathon in Greece, a name stemmed from the word maraino, meaning to grow thin.

Fennel was presented to North America by Spanish missionaries for cultivation in their medical gardens. Fennel left cultivation from the mission gardens, and is now known in California as wild anise.

Fennel was advised as an herb for weight reduction, “to make individuals more lean that are too fat,” according to the seventeenth century herbalist and astrologist Nicholas Culpeper.

In Chinese and Hindu cultures fennel was consumed to speed the elimination of toxins from the system, especially after snakebite and scorpion stings.

As one of the ancient Saxon people’s 9 spiritual herbs, fennel was credited with the power to treat what were then thought to be the nine reasons for disease.

Fennel was also valued as a magic herb. In the Middle Ages it was draped over entrances on Midsummer’s Eve to safeguard the home from evil spirits. As an included measure of protection, the small seeds were packed into keyholes to keep ghosts from going into the room.

Fennel is one of the main components of absinthe, an alcoholic mix which stemmed as a medicinal elixir in Switzerland and became, by the late 19th century, a popular alcohol in France and other countries.

The word “fennel” developed from Middle English fenel or fenyl. This originated from Old English fenol or finol, which in turn came from Latin feniculum or foeniculum, the diminutive of fenum or faenum, meaning “hay”.

Dill, coriander, and caraway are similar-looking herbs, however shorter-growing than fennel, reaching only 40– 60 cm (16– 24 in).

The necessary oil, extracted from the seeds, is toxic even in small amounts.

Pregnant women need to not utilize the herb, seeds, cast, or vital oil of fennel in medical remedies. [6]

What are negative effects related to utilizing fennel?

Negative effects of Fennel consist of:.

  • difficulty breathing
  • tightness of chest/throat
  • chest pain
  • nausea
  • throwing up
  • hives
  • rash
  • itchy or swollen skin
  • mild boost in menstrual flow
  • sun level of sensitivity
  • Severe side effects of Fennel consist of:
  • seizures

This file does not consist of all possible negative effects and others might take place. Talk to your physician for extra information about adverse effects.

What other drugs interact with fennel?

If your medical professional has directed you to utilize this medication, your doctor or pharmacist might already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine before talking to your physician, healthcare supplier, or pharmacist initially.

Moderate Interactions of Fennel include:.

This info does not include all possible interactions or adverse effects. For that reason, before utilizing this item, inform your medical professional or pharmacist of all the items you utilize. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this details with your medical professional and pharmacist. Contact your healthcare expert or doctor for additional medical recommendations, or if you have health questions, concerns, or to learn more about this medicine. [7]

Unique Preventative Measures and Cautions

  • Pregnancy: Fennel is potentially risky to utilize when pregnant. Routinely utilizing fennel has actually been linked to preterm birth.
  • Breast-feeding: Fennel is potentially unsafe. There are some reports of breast-feeding infants with damage to their nervous systems after they were exposed to herbal tea including fennel through breastmilk.
  • Children: Fennel is potentially safe when used at appropriate dosages for up to one week in young babies with colic.
  • Allergy to celery, carrot or mugwort: Fennel may trigger an allergy in people who are sensitive to these plants.
  • Bleeding disorders: Fennel may slow blood clotting. Taking fennel may increase the risk of bleeding or bruising in individuals with bleeding disorders.
  • Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Fennel may act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be worsened by estrogen, do not utilize fennel. [8]
  • Some spices, consisting of coriander, fennel, and caraway, might cause severe allergic reactions in some individuals. Those who are allergic to these spices should not eat them.
  • Beta-blockers, a heart problem and stress and anxiety medication, can trigger potassium levels to increase in the blood. One 2016 research study reported that individuals taking beta-blockers had a 13% greater chanceTrusted Source of developing hyperkalemia, or high blood potassium levels.
  • Individuals taking these medications may wish to discuss their consumption of high-potassium foods such as fennel with their physician. Nevertheless, dietary changes are not generally necessary.
  • High potassium levels in the body can present a severe risk to people with kidney damage or kidneys that are not completely practical. Harmed kidneys may be not able to filter excess potassium from the blood, which could be fatal. [9]


This ancient solution is under study and we are finding out more about the manner ins which fennel can treat and recover our bodies. For many people, fennel tea has possible to be a safe and efficient remedy for everything from digestive problems to insomnia. Introduce fennel tea into your regular gradually, making certain to bear in mind of any negative effects that it seems to create in your body. [10]


  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fennel
  2. http://www.ourherbgarden.com/herb-history/fennel.html
  3. https://www.verywellfit.com/carb-info-for-fennel-2241773
  4. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-fennel.html
  5. https://www.eatingwell.com/article/7874205/fiber-and-gut-health-protect-your-heart/
  6. http://justfunfacts.com/interesting-facts-about-fennel/
  7. https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_fennel/drugs-condition.htm
  8. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-311/fennel
  9. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/284096#risks
  10. https://www.healthline.com/health/fennel-tea#takeaway
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