benefits of fennel seeds
Fennel is an aromatic herb
. Fennel is an aromatic herb belonging to the parsley family. It is used as a spice and possesses a sweet taste that is similar to anise. It is an essential ingredient in the Mediterranean cuisine. It is native to the South European region but is consumed well in all of the European regions. It is a two meter plant with dark green leaves and yellow flowers. Fennel seeds are generally eaten for the taste but also very healthy owing to the nutrition
. Fennel is a symbol of strength and longevity. It was also believed by ancient Greeks to increase one
. It is also used for various health benefits that are derived from its anti oxidants. These anti oxidants are essential to curb unwanted free radical reactions in the body. This phenomenon also prevents many diseases that can get serious at a later stage. Some of the anti oxidants listed in these seeds are kaemoferol and quercetin that are known to prevent degenerative reactions.
. Fennel seeds contain a good amount of dietary fibre that is essential for the body. The fibre content helps improve digestion in the body, by facilitating timely breaking down of food molecules that make energy reactions possible.
. The carcinogenic diseases should be treated at the right stage so that their effect can be curbed or eliminated in the future. This is made possible by the anti oxidant capabilities of the fennel seeds.
Neurological diseases prevention
. Another effect of prevention of free radical reactions by fennel seeds
. Cholesterol absorption in the arteries is prevented by the action of the fibre binding to the bile salts. Fibre present in fennel seeds decreases reabsorption of cholesterol thereby preventing any heart related diseases.
. A number of volatile oil compounds like myrcene, fenchone, chavicol, cineole are present in these seeds that assist in digestive, carminative and anti oxidant reactions in the body.
Red blood cells
. Production of Red Blood Cells is enhanced by the consumption of Fennel Seeds. Copper, which is required by the body for the production of red blood cells, is present in these seeds.
Growth and development
. The growth and development of the body is geared up. Zinc, found in the fennel seeds, promotes regular growth and development.
Heart rate and blood pressure
. It is very important to maintain the blood pressure and keep the heart rate balanced. Fennel Seeds help a lot in this process. The potassium content helps in maintaining the blood pressure and hence the heart rate is also maintained.
Fennel seed nutrition facts
. Sweet, anise flavored fennel seed together with thyme, nettle, mugwort, etc., has been revered as one of nine Anglo Saxon sacred herbs for its health benefits. The spice is one of the most sought after ingredients in many popular cuisines all over the Mediterranean regions.
Fennel is a perennial herb
. Fennel is a perennial herb plant belong to parsley or Umbelliferae family, a broad family of herbs and spices, which includes some common members such as caraway, dill, anise, cumin
Fennel is native
. Fennel is native to Southern Europe and grown extensively all over Europe, Middle Eastern, China, India, and Turkey. This herbaceous plant reaches up to 2 meters (about 6 feet) in height with deep green feathery (lacy) leaves and bears golden yellow flowers in umbels. In general, fennel seeds are harvested when the seed heads turn light brown. The seeds, which resemble to anise seeds in appearance, feature oblong or curved (comma) shape, about
Source of dietary fiber
. Fennel seeds too are rich source of dietary fiber. 100 g seeds provide 39.8 g of fiber. Much of this roughage is metabolically inert insoluble fiber, which helps increase bulk of the food by absorbing water throughout the digestive system and easing constipation condition.
Anti flatulent properties
. Fennel seeds compose of health benefiting volatile essential oil compounds such as anethole, limonene, anisic aldehyde, pinene, myrcene, fenchone, chavicol, and cineole. These active principles in the fennel are known to have antioxidant, digestive, carminative, and anti flatulent properties.
Concentrated source of minerals
. Fennel seeds are concentrated source of minerals like copper, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and magnesium. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Zinc is a co factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling he
. The seeds indeed are the storehouse for many vital vitamins. Vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C as well as many B complex vitamins like thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and niacin particularly are concentrated in these seeds.
Selection and storage
. Store dry fennel seeds as you do in case of other seeds like caraway, dill, etc. Place whole seeds in a clean air seal container and store in cool, humid free and dark place. Ground and powdered fennel should be stored inside the refrigerator in airtight containers and should be used sooner since it loses flavor quickly due to evaporation of its essential oils.
. Fennel has long been used as a remedy for flatulence and indigestion in traditional medicines. Fennel seed decoction or added as spice in food has been found to increase breast milk secretion in nursing mothers.
Help for newborn babie
. Fennel water is used in newborn babies to relieve colic pain and help aid digestion. Fennel seed oil is used to relieve coughs, bronchitis and as massage oil to cure joint pains.
. Fennel seeds exude anise like sweet fruity aroma when rubbed between fingers. Its herb parts, including tender growing tops, root bulb, dried stalks, and seeds are used extensively in a wide variety of cuisines all over the world. its seeds are being used as part of curry powder (Bengali paanch pooran). In addition, sugarcoated fennel seeds (saunf) have been used as a condiment after food to improve digestion in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
. Fennel seed should be avoided in large doses. Compounds in fennel may be neuro toxic in higher concentrations and may cause hallucinations and seizures. It may exacerbate estrogen receptor linked cancer conditions like endometrial, breast, ovarian... etc., due to high concentration of estrogenic compounds in it. Pregnant women may be advised to avoid eating fennel in large amounts.
Pleasant smelling herb
. Fennel is a perennial, pleasant smelling herb with yellow flowers. It is native to the Mediterranean, but is now found throughout the world. Dried fennel seeds are often used in cooking as an anise flavored spice. But don
Used for various digestive problems
. Fennel is used for various digestive problems including heartburn, intestinal gas,bloating, loss of appetite, and colic in infants. It is also used for upper respiratory tract infections, coughs, bronchitis, cholera, backache, bedwetting, and visual problems.
Increasing sex drive
. Some women use fennel for increasing the flow of breast milk, promotingmenstruation, easing the birthing process, and increasing sex drive.
Blood Pressure and Occular Pressure Reduction
. These preliminary results indicate that fennel seed shows potential as a natural means of preventing or treating a vision impairing disease known as glaucoma, a form of which is associated with elevated pressure in the eyes.
. Researchers concluded that the bone strengthening benefits of fennel seed may be due to its ability to inhibit production and activity of bone destroying cells.
. One of the primary essential oils in fennel seeds, has caused liver cancer in animal studies and might promote some forms of cancer in humans, according to the Health & Consumer Protection Directorate General of the European Commission.
Female reproductive system
. Women who are going through menopause or are experiencing menstrual problems may benefit from the estrogenic properties of fennel. It has a balancing effect on thefemale reproductive system and increases the flow of body energy. Extracts of fennel have estrogenic properties that may benefit women going through the hormonal imbalances caused by menopause.
Preparation Methods & Dosage
. Fennel is well known to cooks, all parts of the plant are edible. The fresh stems of fennel can be eaten much like celery, and the seeds add a lovely anise flavor to fish and other dishes. Fennel seeds are most often taken as a tea, the essential oil is used in massage oils and diffusers.
In the Kitchen
. All parts of fennel are edible, stalks, leaves and bulbs. Fresh leaves can be used as flavoring in soups and sauces. The bulbs can be used in Italian dishes. Fennel seeds make an excellent tea.
. Fennel increases the digestive fire without aggravating pitta. Its energy is in dispute some say warming, others cooling, most likely neutral. It calms the nerves, is the premier carminative herb for adults, and promotes mental clarity.
Fennel Side Effects
. Fennel has virtually no side effects when used as a food, or as a seed tea. The essential oil should be avoided in pregnant and nursing mothers.
How to Grow Fennel
. Fennel plants release a chemical, (anethole) that impairs the growth of some other plants, so it should not be grown very close to beans, tomatoes or cabbage family plants. Fennel grows well in its own big container in a rich soil. It is easily propagated by seeds, sown early in the year, and is frost resistant. You can direct sow, or transplant, about a foot or so apart. Fennel thrives in dry and sunny places that remind it of it's mediterranean
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What Fennel seeds contain
. These seeds are very rich in minerals including magnesium. Two of its main constituents are Anethol and Fenchone. Anethol and other terpenoids may inhibit spasms in smooth muscles such as those in the intestinal tract. Fenchone may be responsible for the medicinal properties associated with Fennel.
How to consume
. Fennel seeds may be chewed upon after every meal or even more often. About 2 3 gms may be had at a time and chewed upon. Daily intake about 7 gms. (or 1? teaspoon). Fennel may be also had as a tea decoction. For this, boil about 3 gms. (1/2 teaspoon) of seeds in 250 ml. of water. Let the water boil for about 5 minutes while keeping the pot covered. Cool the mixture and then sip as required. 2 3 cups may be had daily in this manner.
How to choose
. Fennel seeds may be yellowish or green in appearance. While the yellow variety is usually used in cooking, the greener variety is softer, naturally sweeter and much better as an oral digestive and a mouth freshener.
Culinary Uses of Fennel Seeds
. Fennel leaves and seeds are used in Indian, Italian, Mediterranean, Arabic and Middle Eastern cuisines. Fennel seeds are widely used in Indian cuisine to flavor curries, chutney and pickles. Saunf is an essential ingredient in the making of Rogan Josh, a Kashmiri meat delicacy. In Bengali cooking, it is an important spice as part of the mix of 5 spices
Ayurveda and Fennel Seeds
. Fennel seeds are known as Mishi in Ayurveda and have numerous health benefits. In Ayurveda, saunf is considered to be light, non unctuous, dry (ruksa) and cold. It is appetizer, carminative/purgative, an anti spasmodic, an anti emetic and a hepatic herb. It alleviates vata, pitta and ama dosa, promotes strength (Balya). Fennel seeds play a major role in Ayurveda for gas, stomach and respiratory related problems.
Eliminates cold and the inhaling of steam
. Fennel seeds eliminates cold and the inhaling of steam from boiling fennel leaves provides relief in respiratory infections like asthma and bronchitis.Fennel improves milk production in nursing mothers.
make Fennel Tea
. Drink two to three cups a day for relief of gastrointestinal issues like bloating, gas and indigestion. If the problem is severe or persistent, visit your doctor. Drinking fennel tea regularly helps in detoxifying body and helps prevents water retention. There are 2 methods to prepare Fennel tea.
As a Coolant
. Fennel seeds work as a coolant and is popular in India to drink fennel seed tea as a home remedy to overcome heat during summers. Soak 3 tbsps of fennel seeds/saunf in half a cup of water for 2 hours. Strain the water and grind the seeds along with sugar candy or mishri. Add the strained water to the ground saunf mixture and pass through a sieve. Store the strained fennel seeds water in the refrigerator and serve chilled.
Fennel Seeds and Weight Loss
. Fennel seeds are a natural appetite suppressant and help in weight maintenance and weight loss. Fennel seeds help suppress hunger and it has been used since ages during fasting periods.
confusion between fennel seeds and anise
. There is a lot of confusion between fennel seeds and anise which are similar in appearance. Foeniculum vulgare is the botanical name of Moti saunf aka Fennel seeds and Pimpinella anisum is the botanical name of Patli saunf or Anise. The thin seeds or Anise are light green in color.
. The name foeniculum is from the Latin word for
. Fennel has been used as a flavoring agent, a scent, and an insect repellent, as well as an herbal remedy for poisoning and stomach conditions. It has also been used as a stimulant to promote milk flow in breast feeding and to induce menstruation. However, clinical evidence to support the use of fennel for any indication is lacking.
. Fennel oil was found to damage DNA. Estragole, present in the volatile oil, has been shown to cause tumors in animals.
. The plant originated in the Mediterranean countries and it was introduced to Europe, North America and Asia in the middle ages. The leaves of the plant resemble feathers and the flowers are yellow in colour. The flowering of the plant generally starts during the peak summer period. In India, it is being cultivated in regions such as Punjab, Assam, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
. Fennel seeds are used as spice and for their medicinal properties. The seeds of Fennel consist of about 90% of volatile oil consisting of anethole, fenchone, methyl chavicol, flavonoids, coumarins like bergapten, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid and sterols were found in fennel seeds.
. The volatile oils present in fennel seeds can protect the liver. Studies have shown that fennel seeds can protect liver from various chemicals that can attack liver. The study concluded that fennel essential oil has potent hepatoprotective properties.
Good for gastric troubles
. Fennel seeds are also good for gastrointestinal issues. Studies on fennel seeds suggest that they possess anti ulcerogenic properties and healing of gastric lesions.
Anti bacterial properties
. The volatile extracts from fennel seeds have anti bacterial properties. Tests on various harmful bacteria such as Bacillus subtilis, Aspergilus niger and Cladosporium cladosporiodes yielded positive results.
Unique Phytonutrients with Antioxidant
. The phytonutrients in fennel extracts compare favorably in research studies to BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), a potentially toxic antioxidant commonly added to processed foods. the anethole in fennel has repeatedly been shown to reduce inflammation and to help prevent the occurrence of cancer. Researchers have also proposed a biological mechanism that may explain these anti inflammatory and anticancer effects.
. Fennel bulb is an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is the body's primary water soluble antioxidant, able to neutralize free radicals in all aqueous environments of the body. If left unchecked, these free radicals cause cellular damage that results in the pain and joint deterioration that occurs in conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
For Folate and Potassium
. Fennel is a very good source of folate, a B vitamin that is necessary for the conversion of a dangerous molecule called homocysteine into other, benign molecules. At high levels, homocysteine, which can directly damage blood vessel walls, is considered a significant risk factor for heart attack or stroke. Fennel is also a very good source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower high blood pressure, another risk factor for stroke and heart attac
. Fennel's aromatic taste is unique, strikingly reminiscent of licorice and anise, so much so that fennel is often mistakenly referred to as anise in the marketplace. Fennel's texture is similar to that of celery, having a crunchy and striated texture.
. Fennel is not a commonly allergenic food, is not known to contain measurable amounts of oxalates or purines and is also not included in the Environmental Working Group's 2010 report "Shopper's Guide to Pesticides" as one of the 12 foods most frequently containing pesticide residues.
In Depth Nutritional Profile
. In depth nutritional profile for Fennel is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.
High In Antioxidants
. Fennel seeds are high in the antioxidant known as flavonoids. Research have found that flavonoids are effective combatants of free radical damage to cells in the body, a known cause of many different types of cancer. Flavonoids can also help reduce oxidative stress to the cardiovascular system and protect from neurological disease.
. Fennel seeds have anti inflammatory properties. They may be an effective treatment for arthritis and Crohn's disease, however more research is still needed to confirm these reports.
. Chewing fennel seed may help to reduce the symptoms of asthma, clear sinuses, and stabilize breathing. More research is needed to confirm the connection between fennel and healthy breathing.
Benefits to the Skin
. Fennel seeds also have essential oils like anethol, fenchone, limonene, pinene, myrcene, chavicol, and cineole. We don
Decreasing colic in babies
. One natural way to reduce the intensity of colic in infants is by administering fennel seed oil orally! Fennel seeds have some amazing benefits! From improving the symptoms of colic in infants to reducing your flatulence, fennel seeds provide a natural alternative that is worth a try! So if you feel like your digestion is acting up and there may be a gas buildup occurring, grab a pinch of fennel seeds!
. Fennel root contains 23 micrograms of folate in every cup of raw slices. For healthy adults over 19 years old, this supplies almost 6 percent of the recommended daily intake. Also known as folic acid or vitamin B 9, folate is required to support the health and function of the nervous system.
Fennel is a vegetable
. Fresh fennel is a vegetable that is fully edible, from the base to the leaves. You can slice the bulb and stalks and eat them raw in salads, or you can saut
. Potassium is vital nutrient that helps create muscle, break down carbohydrates and build protein. Insufficient potassium can cause symptoms such as irregular heartbeat and weakness in your muscles.
Widely used in Greek cooking
. Fennel leaves are widely used in Greek cooking both as an herb and as a green. Large quantities are added to stews and ragouts, as well as fricassee dishes and fritters. Fennel is generally used to flavor meat, seafood, and vegetable dishes, and is also an ingredient in delicious savory pies (pites).
. Fennel leaves look a lot like fresh dill. The stalks have small feathery dark green leaves. Fennel is a perennial herb native to the Mediterranean region, and grows in the wild in most temperate climate regions. Fennel has a definite anise (or licorice) flavor.
At the market
. The most commonly used fennel leaves in Greek cooking are fresh, sold in bunches or attached to the root. It is sometimes sold under the name "anise" because of the similarity in tastes, but anise and fennel are different. Dried fennel leaves, flowers, and seeds are also available, packaged in a variety of containers.