Foeniculum vulgare or fennel, which is a perennial plant with yellow flowers and feathery leaves from the carrot family, is often mistaken for celery since they both look similar. However, this herb has a distinctive sweet taste that is quite similar to anise or licorice. It is often used as food since all parts of this plant are edible.
History and Tradition of Fennel
The fennel plant which originated in the Mediterranean region and southern Europe has been used since ancient times for culinary and medicinal purposes. Many people in the ancient world believed that evil spirits that caused diseases could be defeated using this herb. In Greece, it was more than a medicinal plant. It was a symbol of courage, victory, and success. While in Rome, it was used as a spice and vegetable aside from its medicinal uses.
Some notable ancient physicians were known believers of this plant. Dioscorides who wrote a 5-volume Greek encyclopedia about herbal medicine prescribed it for nausea and heartburn, for bladder and kidney ailments, for the bites of poisonous animals, as an eye medicine, as a remedy for menstrual problems, and “to fill women’s breasts with milk”. Galen who was one of the most accomplished medical researchers of antiquity believed that it purified “bad fluids” and like Dioscarides, he also noted that it increased milk flow and facilitated menstruation.
During the middle ages in Europe, fennel was used as a condiment and an appetite suppressant. It continued to become popular not only in Europe, but also in the United States, where Puritans nibbled fennel seeds during long church services to stave off hunger.
Today, fennel plants are now being cultivated in temperate regions worldwide. This herb been naturalized in different areas which include many countries in Asia, Northern Europe, North America, and Australia.
Health Benefits of Fennel Tea
Fennel tea is a relaxing and delicious beverage with antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties. It has many health benefits which include the following:
- It can help increase milk production
Since ancient times, fennel is believed to be a galactagogue or a substance that aids in increasing breast milk. Though more studies are needed to prove its effectiveness, some researchers suggest that it may increase milk supply in nursing mothers because of its natural estrogen-like properties.
- It can help freshen one’s breath
Fennel tea contains anti-microbial properties that fight bacteria. These cleanse the pathogens inside the mouth. Thus, drinking it before bed or when waking up in the morning can help freshen the breath.
- It is good for the digestive system
Fennel can help calm the muscles of the gastrointestinal system, relieve bloating, reduce gas, and treat stomach cramps. Since it relaxes the digestive muscles, it may relieve constipation and maintain regular bowel movement. This tea can also help flush out excess fluid in the body because it has a diuretic effect.
- It helps increase libido
Fennel tea is a natural aphrodisiac that can help stimulate sexual desire and maintain sexual drive in both men and women. It can help balance hormones in women and may prolong orgasms, increase sexual endurance, relieve bladder, and promote a healthy prostate in men.
- It can help improve sleep
This herb is a good source of melatonin, a chemical that can help one fall asleep. For this reason, fennel tea may treat insomnia or reduce the effects of jet lag. It is also rich in magnesium, a mineral that can help fix sleep latency, improve sleep quality, reduce anxiety, relieve depression, and improve the mood by helping the body increase its levels of dopamine.
- It can help improve respiratory health
Fennel tea is useful in treating respiratory disorders and may give comfort to people suffering from asthma, bronchitis, cough, bacterial infections, and viral infections. Since this drink helps eliminate phlegm and mucus, it can be used as a natural expectorant. It can also relieve sinus pressure and sore throats because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
The fennel herb is undoubtedly a plant with many uses. Make your purchase now via this link and enjoy its benefits.