Fennel, scientifically called Foeniculum Vulgare Miller, besides being widely used around the world in mouth fresheners, toothpastes, desserts and antacids, has got numerous medicinal uses and health benefits. For centuries, it has been used as traditional herbal medicine. Every part of this plant is edible and has medicinal values. Fennel seed is widely used in India as an after-dinner mouth freshener and also as a promoter of digestion. It is used as an important component in essential oils. It is a great boon to women as it balances their blood pressure, enhances libido, promotes lactation, and hastens menstruation.
Health benefits of fennel
1) Fennel, a great boon to increase libido
Fennel stimulates the effects of estrogen and fennel tea has traditionally been used to treat premenstrual syndrome, poor lactation, menopausal symptoms, and low libido. Fennel can relax the smooth muscles in the uterus and relieve menstrual cramps.
Besides being a boon to women, it has been believed that fennel has a rejuvenating effect on man.
2) Good for digestion and elimination of waste
Fennel helps treat constipation, soothe an upset stomach, and relieve abdominal cramps. The mixtures and infusions made from dry fennel seeds eliminate stomachaches and stimulate digestion. Fennel tea controls stomach disorders and people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome find much relief from drinking fennel tea.
3) A rich mine of minerals
Fennel is rich in minerals and vitamins. It contains vitamin C, fibers, manganese, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, vitamin B3 etc. The volatile oil is antiseptic, sedative, carminative, expectorant and it is used in the making of cosmetic items.
4) Loosens and expels phlegm from the bronchial passages
Fennel is good for loosening and expelling phlegm from the bronchial passages. The steam coming from the boiling water with fennel leaves alleviates asthma and bronchitis.
5) Gives great relief in common cold and cough
Fennel contains Cineole and Anetol which are expectorant in nature and is useful in respiratory disorders such congestion, bronchitis, cough etc. Fennel helps eliminate the common cold and reduce the bouts of cough due to its expectorant nature
6) Powerful immunizer
The vitamin C from the bulb of the plant is antibacterial and is very useful to the immune system. Furthermore the fennel bulb is an important source of fibers which help reduce the cholesterol level.
7) Helps in treating anemia
Fennel contains the iron amino acid called, Histidine, which is helpful in the treatment of anemia. Histidine stimulates production of hemoglobin and helps treating anemia.
8) Eliminates worms in the intestines
Children are often affected with worms in intestines. These intestinal worms can be eliminated by administering light infusions of fennel leaves and seeds. The tea from fennel leaves and seeds is beneficial for removing intestinal worms and bacteria.
9) Prevents cancer
The fibers from this fennel can prevent intestinal cancer owing to the fact that they can eliminate toxins and cancerous substances from intestines.
10) Heals eye troubles
The fennel mixture is said to sharpen the eyesight and alleviate eye irritations. Fennel tea has a cooling effect and can help relieve conjunctivitis and sore eyes. Keep the fennel tea until it is cooled and then soak a cotton pad in it and place it over the eyelids for ten minutes to have a cooling effect in the eyes.
Though fennel is good for women, pregnant women are recommended to stay away from mixtures containing fennel since fennel is a uterine stimulant. Excessive consumption of fennel is is not advisable as it may lead to muscular convulsions. Generally it does not cause any side effect if it is taken along with meals.