Fennel

Other Names

Foeniculum vulgare and Anethum Foeniculum, Bari-Sanuf, Bitter Fennel, Carosella, Common Fennel, Fennel Oil, Fennel Seed, Finnochio, Florence Fennel, Foeniculi Antheroleum, Foeniculum Officinale, Foeniculum Capillaceum, Garden Fennel, Large Fennel, Sanuf, Shatapuspha, Sweet Fennel, Wild Fennel, Brotsamen, Enis, Femis, Fenikl, Fenis, Fenkel, Finchel, Frauenfenchel, Anethum Foeniculum, Anethum piperitum, Bari-Sanuf, Bitter Fennel, Carosella, Common Fennel, Fennel Essential Oil, Fennel Oil, Fennel Seed, Fenouil, Fenouil Amer, Fenouil Bulbeux, Fenouil Commun, Fenouil de Florence, Fenouil des Vignes, Fenouil Doux, Fenouil Sauvage, Finnochio, Florence Fennel, Foeniculi Antheroleum, Foeniculum Capillaceum, Foeniculum Officinale, Foeniculum piperitum, Foeniculum Vulgare, Foeniculum Vulgare Fruit, Garden Fennel, Graine de Fenouil, Hinojo, Huile Essentielle de Fenouil, Huile de Fenouil, Large Fennel, Phytoestrogen, Phyto-œstrogène, Sanuf, Shatapuspha, Sweet Fennel, Wild Fennel, Xiao Hui Xiang, Mouri (Bengali), Mauri, Sweet Cumin, Fenouil (French), Aneth doux (French), Fenchel (German), Finokio, Maratho, Φινόκιο, Μάραθο (Greek), Finocchio (Italian), Anethum Foeniculum, Common Fennel, Fennel oil, Bitter Fennel, Fenouil Amer, Carosella, Fenouil Bulbeux, Fenouil des Vignes, Finnochio, Garden Fennel, Wild Fennel, Hinojo, Graine de Fenouil, Essentielle de Fenouil, Large Fennel, Huile de Fenouil, Sweet Fennel, Xiao Hui Xiang

Description

Fennel is a cooking herb and is perennial and hardy with yellow flowers. Its leaves are particularly feathery. It originates from the Mediterranean shores and is today naturalized in many parts of the world. Fennel can be found on dry soils near beaches, river banks and known sea coasts.

It is valued because of its flavour and aroma as a culinary herb and also its medicinal applications. Its counterpart Florence Fennel is swollen and has a stem resembling a bulb that is used as a vegetable. 

Ingredients

The essential oil contains anethole (50 to 80%), limonene (5%), fenchone (5%), estragole (methyl-chavicol), safrole, a-pinene (0.5%), camphene, b-pinene, b-myrcene and p-cymene. The seed also contains fiber and complex carbohydrates.

Collection period

June to September 

Used Parts

Fruit, leaves, seeds, roots 

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root;  Seed;  Stem.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

The “fruit” or seed dried and used whole or ground.

Uses

  • Colic in breast-fed infants. 

  • Airway Swelling,

  • Antibacterial,

  • Antispasmodic,

  • Asthma,

  • Biliary Colic,

  • Blepharitis,

  • Bloating,

  • Bronchitis,

  • Bronchitis,

  • Cold,

  • Conjunctivitis,

  • Cough,

  • Diuretic,

  • Dry Cough,

  • Epilepsy (Supporting)

  • Expectorant,

  • Headache,

  • Heart Failure,

  • Indigestion,

  • Insect Bites,

  • Insomnia,

  • Intestinal Gas (Flatulence),

  • Loss Of Appetite,

  • Menopausal Symptoms,

  • Menstrual Promoting,

  • Migraine

  • Mild Spasms Of The Stomach And Intestines,

  • Milk Production,

  • Relaxing,

  • Stomach Pain,

  • Stomach Upset And Indigestion,

  • Three Month Colic (In Babies)

  • Throat Infections,

  • Toning,

  • Ulcers,

  • Upper Respiratory Tract Infection,

  • Whooping Cough.

Properties

  • Carminative

  • Antibacterial 

Application

Leaves – raw or cooked. A delicious aniseed flavour, the young leaves are best since older ones soon become tough. They are often used as a garnish on raw or cooked dishes and make a very pleasant addition to salads.

Used in cooking whole or ground as an excellent spice, also used to make herbal teas and in laxative preparations. For convenience, or if you do not like the flavor, it may be taken as an extract or capsule.

Fennel seeds are ground and can be made into a tea to treat snake bites and counter food poisoning. It increases the flow of urine and can reduce obesity. Also it can be an excellent gargle for sore throat and hoarseness.

Fresh sprigs of fennel can be mixed into a tea and the infusion is a good carminative to treat colic and gas. Its essential oil is widely used in medicine. 

Summary

Fennel is a cooking herb with many diverse uses and its seeds have been used as flavouring and garnishes because of its similarity to anise. It is also a domestic solution to digestive and respiratory issues. It contains anethole and its essence has been a primary partner for treating dysmenorrhea. 

Side Effects

Fennel in herbal teas should not be given to pregnant women to avoid complications during pregnancy. 

Fennel seed teas are helpful for colicky infants, but fennel seed oil should never be given to infants or young children because of the danger of spasms of the throat.

Some people can have allergic skin reactions to fennel. People who are allergic to plants such as celery, carrot, and mugwort are more likely to also be allergic to fennel. Fennel can also make skin extra sensitive to sunlight and make it easier to get a sunburn. Wear sunblock if you are light-skinned.  

References

  • WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-311-FENNEL.aspx?activeIngredientId=311&activeIngredientName=FENNEL

  • Pfaf.org, http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Foeniculum+vulgare

  • Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fennel

  • “Old English Plant Names”. Retrieved 2013-01-16.

  • Liddell and Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, s.v.

  • μάραθον. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project

  • Μαραθών. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project

  • Blamey, M. & Grey-Wilson, C. (1989). Flora of Britain and Northern Europe. ISBN 0-340-40170-2

  • Katzer’s Spice Pages: Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.)

  • Germplasm Resources Information Network: Foeniculum vulgare

  • Rombauer, Irma (1997). Joy of Cooking. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc. p. 375. ISBN 0-684-81870-1.

  • Ziedrich, Linda. The Joy of Pickling.

  • RHS Plant Finder 2008–2009, Dorling Kindersley, 2008, p280

  • Complete Herbal, Details, Fennel: http://www.complete-herbal.com/details/fennel.htm

  • Herb Wisdom, Herb Fennel: http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-fennel.html

  • Gernot Katzers Spice Pages, Foeniculum vulgare: http://gernot-katzers-spice-pages.com/engl/Foen_vul.html

Fennel

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