Fennel, known as Foeniculum Vulgare Miller (scientific name), is usually used in mouth fresheners, antacids, toothpastes, desserts, and in culinary. Fennel is slightly sweet and crispy, that adds a refreshing flavor to the most popular Mediterranean food. Mostly linked with Italian cuisine, fennel health benefits include relief from indigestion, anemia, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, respiratory disorders, eye care, and host of others.
Fennel Health Benefits
In addition to several uses of fennel, there are many medicinal uses, mainly because of the elements of essential oil, which can be discussed as under:
Fights Anemia : Fennel is a rich source of iron, and histidine, which is an amino acid, assists in treating anemia. Iron is prominent ingredient of haemoglobin and histidine, which triggers generation of haemoglobin and also assists in developing other ingredients of blood.
Combats Indigestion : Usually fennel is used to treat indigestion, especially in Indian subcontinent. It is chewed after meals for better digestion and keeping the bad breath at bay. The elements of essential oil found in fennel triggers the secretion of gastric and digestive juices and cut down the inflammation of intestines and stomach and assists in right extraction of nutrients from the meal. It is also equipped with anti acidic (basic) elements and is widely used in antacid preparations. Fennel health benefits are also known for its being an appetizer.
Anti -Flatulent : Fennel is generally known for its anti-flatulent properties. It is mostly popular for its carminative properties. This property is because of aspartic acid, which fennel in packed with. The extract can be administered on the infants and the adults, to treat flatulence and eliminate gases from the body.
Helpful in Constipation : Fennel seeds, especially in powdered form, works as laxative. Its roughage assists in clearing the bowels whereas the triggering effect assists in maintaining the right peristaltic activities of the intestines, thus helps in right excretion.
Treats Diarrhea : This is also instrumental in treating diarrhea if it is the result of bacterial action. It is effective due to the essential oil ingredients found in fennel, i.e. Anetol, Cineole and some others equipped with anti bacterial and disinfectant and properties. The amino acids like Histidine helps in digestion and right functioning of digestive system. This helps in treating diarrhea caused due to indigestion.
Combats Respiratory Disorder : Fennel is helpful in warding off any kind of respiratory disorders like bronchitis, congestion, cough etc. due to Cineole and Anetol, which are expectorant in nature.
Fights Menstrual Disorders : fennel is considered to be an Emenagogue, which reliefs and regulates menstruation by normalizing hormonal activities properly in the body.
Stimulates Colon and Cardiovascular Health : Fennel is a great source of fiber and it may assists in cutting down the elevated cholesterol levels. Fiber is also good in eliminating carcinogenic toxins out of the colon. Fennel bulb can also prevent against colon cancer. Apart from fiber, fennel is equipped with folate, a B vitamin, important for changing the harmful molecule called homocysteine into some other benign molecules. Having rich source of potassium, fennel can also help in lowering high blood pressure, which may lead to heart attack or stroke.
Great Source of Vitamin C : Vitamin C is quit an important element for the formation and repair of skin cells. It produces collagen, which is used for producing ligament, blood vessel and tendons. Vitamin C works as an antioxidant by guarding walls of blood vessel from oxidation that aids to cardiovascular disorder.
Great for Eye Care : Fennels health benefits are also popular for its potential to offer relief from inflammatory eyes, aging associated disorders, macular degeneration etc. All these benefits are available due to the anti oxidants, stimulants and detoxifiers found in fennel.
Some Other Fennel Health Benefits
Fennel is considered to be diuretic, which enhances the frequency and quantity of urination, thereby assisting in elimination of toxic elements from the body and in rheumatism and swelling. Fennel is also instrumental in enhancing the formation and secretion of milk in lactating mothers and because this milk is packed with some fennel, it offers its anti flatulent properties to the baby too. It prevents hair fall, consolidates hair, relaxes body, stimulates memory and offers a great cooling effect in hot season, if the water, in which it has been soaked, is consumed with some quantity of black salt and sugar.
How to Select and Store Fennel
The quality fennel should have bulbs that are firm, clean, and solid. It should not have signs of bruising, splitting, or spotting. These bulbs should manifest pale whitish or green color. There should not be any signs of flowering buds as it is the indication of its maturity, which may lose some of the nutritional values. It should have a pleasant fragrant aroma.
You should store fresh fennel in refrigerator to retain its crispiness and it can retain its freshness for nearly four days.
Warnings Using Fennel
It is advisable not to take fennel if you are under any type of medication for treating seizures. It may add to the risk of seizures. It may interact with blood-thinning drugs and increase the possibility of bleeding.
Too much of everything is harmful and fennel is no exception. Some components of essential oils like Anethol and few other chemicals, found in fennel, may be harmful if consumed in over-dose. If they can kill microbes and bacteria, they may be harmful to you as well, if consumed excess in quantity. It may develop some kind of breathing, increase palpitations and irregular the heart beats along with neurotic troubles.
Safe Fennel Dosage day
It is safe to take a reasonable dose of 1–1 1/2 teaspoons of seeds each day. It could be either capsules or tea. There are no safe doses of fennel in children, pregnant and nursing women and individual who are suffering from liver or kidney disorder has been proclaimed.
Fennel is equipped with multiple nutrients, proteins and minerals and it is also accepted and widely used in culinary purposes. If you want to avail maximum fennel health benefit, it is advisable to add it in your regular diet after consulting your family physician to ensure about the dosage and enjoy a healthy and long life.