Fennel is a perennial Eurasian herb (Foeniculum vulgare) that has clusters of small yellow flowers and fragrant leaves and seeds and consists of several cultivated kinds. [1]

General History of Fennel

Fennel history go back to Pliny, the Roman author of The Naturalis Historie. He believed that serpents consumed and rubbed versus fennel due to the fact that it had the ability to enhance their eyesight after shedding their skins. Following that observation, Pliny believed fennel was so powerful that he used the aromatic herb to treat 22 various conditions.

In our fennel history timeline, we pertain to the 1300s. We understand that fennel was a staple in the home of King Edward I of England. His closet account books from 1281 listed a purchase of 8 1/2 pounds of fennel seed– a month’s supply. Why so much? Fennel seed was utilized as a condiment and an appetite suppressant. On Church mandated ‘Fastying dayes’, the faithful utilized fennel to get through the day, a custom brought to the United States by the Puritans. They would bring scarfs with fennel seed to nibble on throughout long services to stave off hunger; which led to fennel seeds often being referred to as ‘meetin’ seeds’.

Throughout middle ages times, evil spirits were thought to stroll easily as the sun turned southwards. Fennel, when hung over entrances, was believed to safeguard those within from the spirits. Fennel seeds placed into keyholes were believed to secure a house from ghosts on any night but especially Midsummer’s Eve.

Fennel History– Medicinal Uses

Hippocrates (yes, he’s the fellow the doctor’s oath is called for) recommended fennel could help wet nurses to increase their milk supply.

One doctor from the thirteenth century noted in the Book of Physicians of Myddvai “he who sees fennel and collects it not, is not a male but a devil.” A contrary viewpoint caused the traditional stating that “sowing fennel is sowing sadness” that predicted catastrophe to anyone handing out fennel. In the mid 15th Century, it was stated of fennel …” The juice of fenell put into a mans eares, killeth the wormes therein.”.

When soaked into a tea it was believed that fennel was likewise a treatment for dropping weight. The Greeks called it Marathron which is derived from a word meaning to grow thin.

History of Fennel as an Antidote.

Fennel is frequently utilized with preparing fish. In the mid 1600s, one noted physician, Nicholas Culpepper, approved of it’s use stating, “it takes in that phlegmatic humour, which fish most plentifully pay for and irritate the body with, though few that use it know wherefore they do it; I suppose the factor for its benefit by doing this is because it is an herb of Mercury and under Virgo, and for that reason bears antipathy to Pisces.” Fennel was utilized as a remedy to toxins by the Romans, Chinese, and Hindus. Culpepper likewise thought fennel to be an effective antidote for harmful mushrooms and snake bites. A plaster of fennel roots was a traditional treatment for the bites of mad canines.

In a publication from the late 1880s, Alphonse Karr, for whom the dahlia was named, attempted to put claims of fennel’s recovery homes to rest with his statement, “At the end of 3 or four hundred years, it began to be viewed that it (fennel) had never treated anybody.” [2]

Nutrition Information

The following nutrition info is offered by the USDA for 1 cup (87g) of sliced up fennel.

  • Calories: 27
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Salt: 45mg
  • Carbohydrates: 6.3 g
  • Fiber: 2.7 g
  • Sugars: 3.4 g
  • Protein: 1.1 g
  • Carbs

Half of the carbs in fennel come from fiber and half come from naturally-occurring sugars. The glycemic index of fennel is 16, making it a really low glycemic food.


There is very little fat in raw fennel. Cooked fennel also provides hardly any fat aside from what’s added while cooking. Although fennel is not a major factor to total fat intake, the fat it does include is comprised of a large range of fatty acids. The fats in fennel are mainly polyunsaturated (and heart-healthy).


Fennel is not a high protein food, however you will get a small, 1 gram increase of protein if you consume a complete cup serving.

Vitamins & Minerals

Fennel is a great source of potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. When it comes to vitamins, fennel is greatest in vitamin C and folate. Fennel likewise uses important minerals like manganese, chromium, copper, iron, and zinc.


Fennel is grown in a few various ranges. Florence fennel is the most common type you’ll find in the grocery store. The stalks on Florence fennel are short and green (like celery) with dark green, feathery fronds. The bulb is cream-colored and round. A smaller, more tender version of Florence fennel is called baby fennel or young fennel. Wild fennel, on the other hand, has many feathery leaves and a smaller, flatter bulb. You ‘d be most likely to find young fennel or wild fennel at boutique and farmer’s markets.

Fennel seeds are likewise edible and used to add taste to meals. Fennel seeds are originated from a bulb-free variety of fennel called typical fennel. Common fennel is grown specifically for collecting the seeds.

Storage and Food Security

Choose fennel with firm, intact bulbs that are free of brown spots. The stalks must be straight and fairly close together. Flowers on the stalks of fennel are a sign that it is overripe.

The exact same general food safety guidelines ought to be applied to fennel as other vegetables. Wash fennel thoroughly under running water to eliminate dirt and germs before cutting into it. When cut, fennel should be kept cold in the fridge and taken in within a couple of days. Cooked fennel meals need to likewise be cooled and eaten within 5 days.

How to Prepare

Use fennel in recipes to add a tasty sweetness to foods, both prepared and raw. Fennel pairs well with seafood and is frequently utilized in roasting fish meals, such as salmon or cod. It’s also a preferred in salads for extra texture and taste. Fennel’s slightly sweet anise-flavor can be reduced by slicing the bulb really thinly and soaking in ice water for a couple of minutes. Although the white bulb of fennel is most typically eaten, the stalks, seeds, and fronds are likewise edible. [3]

15 Outstanding Advantages Of Fennel

Let us look at the top health advantages of fennel in detail:.

Potentially Abundant source of Vitamin C

One cup of fennel bulb is understood to contain nearly 20 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin C, making it rather an abundant source of this beneficial vitamin of our diet plan. Vitamin C improves basic body immune system health, produces and repairs skin tissues, assists form collagen, and safeguards the capillary walls as an anti-oxidant versus the harmful results of free radicals that can frequently result in heart diseases.

May Help Avoid Anemia

Iron and histidine, an amino acid discovered in fennel, are both useful in the treatment of anemia. Whereas iron is the chief constituent of hemoglobin, histidine promotes the production of hemoglobin and also assists in the development of different other parts of the blood.

May Relieve Indigestion

It is a typical practice, particularly in the Indian Subcontinent, to chew fennel seeds after meals. This has been provided for many years as it is believed to assist in food digestion and to remove bad breath.

Some of the parts in the fennel important oil are probably the stimulants as they motivate secretion of digestive and gastric juices, decrease inflammation in the stomach and intestinal tracts, and help with appropriate absorption of nutrients from the food. Furthermore, it can remove irregularity and safeguard the body from a wide variety of intestinal troubles that can come from being obstructed up. It likewise has anti-acidic (fundamental) properties and is thoroughly utilized in antacid preparations. In cooking applications, it is also used as the main ingredient in lots of appetizers.

May Reduce Flatulence

Fennel is popular as an antiflatulent, due to the carminative homes of the aspartic acid found in it. Its extract can be utilized by many, from infants to the senior, as a method to decrease flatulence and to expel excess gas from the stomach. It is typically utilized in medications to reduce signs of non-ulcer dyspepsia and flatulence in babies and children.

May Treat Irregularity

Fennel seeds, especially in powdered type, are believed to serve as a possible laxative, particularly in Ayurvedic medicine. The roughage helps clear the bowels, whereas its revitalizing effect helps preserve the appropriate peristaltic movement of the intestinal tracts, thus assisting promote excretion. Fennel is also frequently discovered in medicines that treat abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other intestinal tract concerns.

May Reduce Heart Diseases

Fennel can be an excellent source of fiber, as pointed out above, however besides the advantages to digestion that fiber supplies, it likewise assists preserve healthy levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream, according to research study performed, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This implies that it can promote the removal of damaging LDL or bad cholesterol, which is a major factor in cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, and strokes.

May Have Anticancer Potential

The raw vegetable itself hasn’t been thoroughly studied with regards to cancer defense. Nevertheless however the fennel seed extract has actually been checked out a bit more, and the findings of one study concerning cancer defense were quite impressive. It shows that, in animal topics, the extract can not just inhibit the development of growths, thanks to its concentrations of flavonoids, alkaloids, and phenols, however it even has the potential to be chemoprotective against the damaging effects of radiation throughout cancer treatment. According to the exact same study, fennel seed extract shows anticancer potential versus breast cancer and liver cancer.

May Control High Blood Pressure

Fennel is an extremely rich source of potassium, which can be a vital nutrient in our bodies and is essential for a variety of crucial processes as per a report published in the Journal of High blood pressure. Among the characteristics of potassium is its quality as a vasodilator, which indicates that it relaxes the tension of blood vessels, thereby minimizing high blood pressure. High blood pressure is connected to a wide variety of health concerns, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and atherosclerosis. Also, for diabetics, high blood pressure problems can make the management of their insulin and glucose levels extremely hard and can be the reason for numerous potentially deadly complications. Including a cup of fennel bulb in your day-to-day diet plan can increase your potassium levels and all the benefits that occur with it.

May Improve Brain Function

Potassium, found in high levels in fennel bulbs and seeds, is an electrolyte, which indicates that it can help with increased electrical conduction throughout the body. This is according to research released in the Yale University School of Medicine in 1939. This includes connections within the brain, which is a veritable switchboard of electrical currents. Potassium can assist increase brain function and cognitive abilities through this quality. Also, fennel is a vasodilator, which implies more oxygen reaches the brain and neural activity can work at ideal functionality.

Perhaps Effective Diarrhea Remedy

Fennel is helpful in treating diarrhea triggered by bacterial infections, as it might have some elements such as anethol and cineole which may have disinfectant and anti-bacterial properties. Some amino acids, such as histidine, can help in digestion and the correct performance of the digestion system, therefore assisting to remove diarrhea due to indigestion. Fennel has actually long been utilized by native cultures as a method to eliminate diarrhea.

Might Alleviate Symptoms of Colic

There are research studies that recommend that natural tea used various herbs including fennel and fennel oil has the possible to alleviate signs of colic. Fennel has particular antispasmodic qualities which also assist it relax muscles and reduce the pain connected with the colic. Polymeric and heavy molecules are useful in the treatment of renal colic. Such polymers, likewise called phytoestrogens, are discovered in anethole, an element of the fennel necessary oil. However, more scientific research study is needed to examine the advantages and impacts on people.

May Increase Immunity

Fennel being rich in numerous nutrients including vitamin C assists boost the immune system and safeguards the body against infections and damage triggered by complimentary radicals.

Might Regulate Menstruation

Fennel is likewise an emmenagogue, suggesting that it is thought to reduce and manage menstruation by effectively regulating hormone action in the body. Moreover, fennel is utilized in a number of consumer items to minimize the results of PMS, and it is also used traditionally as a relaxing painkiller and unwinding representative for menopausal females.

May Aid in Eye Care

Including fennel into meals can assist protect the eyes from swelling, as well as help reduce disorders associated with early aging and macular degeneration. This is because of the abundance of anti-oxidants (vitamin C and amino acids like arginine are really advantageous for renewal of tissues and the prevention of aging), detoxifiers, and stimulants. They are particularly discovered in fennel vital oil, along with minerals like cobalt and magnesium. Lastly, the juice of its leaves and the plant itself can be externally applied to the eyes to decrease irritation and eye tiredness.

Fennel is also a rich source of flavonoids, which are really helpful in securing against pigment cells dying due to oxidative-stress-induced death. By protecting versus this destruction of the pigment cells, fennel can safely be categorized as efficient in eye health for many factors.

May Reward Respiratory Disorders

Fennel is useful in breathing conditions such as congestion, bronchitis, and cough due to the existence of cineole and anethole, which are expectorant in nature, among their numerous other virtues. Fennel seeds and powder can assist break up phlegm and timely loosening of the toxic substances and accumulation of the throat and nasal passages for elimination from the body to guarantee quick recovery from respiratory conditions.

Other Advantages & Utilizes

Fennel is a diuretic, which suggests that it can increase the quantity and frequency of urination, thus helping the removal of harmful substances from the body and helping in rheumatism and swelling. It is also touted as increasing the production and secretion of milk in breast feeding mothers; because this milk includes some residential or commercial properties of fennel, it is an anti-flatulent for the child, also. It strengthens hair, avoids loss of hair, relaxes the body, hones memory, and has a marvelous cooling result in summer season. This can be attained if the pale, greenish-yellow water, in which it is soaked, is ingested with a bit of sugar and black salt.

Words of Care: You must keep in mind that frequently, excessive of anything is hazardous. Certain parts of the fennel essential oil such as anethol, and a couple of other chemicals present in the plant itself can be unsafe if ingested in too big an amount. You should remember that the substances which can eliminate germs and microbes in low doses can be damaging to you too. Excess use of fennel can trigger problem breathing, increased palpitations, irregular heart beat, and various neural issues. So, delight in fennel’s remarkable advantages in moderation. If you have any questions, talk to a healthcare professional. [4]

How Can I Utilize It?

If you’re utilizing raw fennel in a salad, attempt making thin ribbons with a peeler or shaving it on a box grater. You can likewise run each half of the bulb over a mandoline. Here are a couple of fennel salads to try:.

Blended Lettuce, Fennel & Orange Salad with Black Olive Vinaigrette: The sweet taste of fennel plays well with the salty olives, and the bright citrus brings everything together.

Tomato & Fennel Salad: Peak summer tomatoes combine well with fennel’s unique licorice taste in this sunny salad.

Fennel & Grapefruit Salad (envisioned above): Fennel’s heartiness makes it a fantastic choice for winter salads like this one with grapefruit.

Roasted Fennel & Farro Salad: This gratifying salad would work well for either a party or as a bring-to-work lunch option, because it can be made up to two days ahead. The fennel is tossed with olive oil and after that roasted with bell peppers.

Apple & Fennel Salad with Blue Cheese: Along with very finely sliced fennel bulb, this salad has a quarter-cup of fennel leaves mixed in for additional flavor.

Scorched Salmon with Sugar Snap-Fennel Slaw: Sliced fennel and sugar snap peas get mixed together for a fresh take on coleslaw. Marinading the slaw briefly in vinaigrette (while the salmon is cooking) assists soften the raw fennel’s fibrous texture.

How to Cook Fennel

The recipes below prove that both fennel bulbs and fronds can be utilized in a variety of ways.

Broiled Fennel with Parmesan Cheese (envisioned above): In this simple 15-minute side, fennel’s sweet taste is complemented by nutty, salty Parmesan cheese.

Braised Fennel with Tomatoes & Potatoes: Braising fennel assists tenderize it and draw out its sweet taste. In this dish, the addition of Pernod (an anise-flavored liqueur) and fennel seed provides the finished dish a more intricate flavor.

Roast Chicken & Fennel: Trying to consume a variety of veggies? Instead of traditional roast chicken and potatoes, try this variation with fennel. The diced bulb is first roasted by itself before it’s combined with pine nuts and browned chicken drumsticks for a second turn in the oven.

Mediterranean Sautéed Shrimp & Fennel: The fennel is first sautéed and mixed with canned tomatoes, and after that quick-cooking shrimp are added towards completion. Although the addition of feta and capers provide this meal a sophisticated feel, it’s basic to gather on a busy weeknight.

Fennel & Pork Stew: In this hearty stew, fennel and onions produce a bed for juicy, slow-cooked pork. The leaves are booked and used as a garnish.

Fennel & Chicken Flatbread: Fennel is used two ways on this flatbread. The bulb is sautéed with chicken and utilized as a topping, and the leaves are sprayed on at the end. [5]

Intriguing realities about fennel

Fennel is a flowering plant types in the carrot household.

It is grown for its edible bulbs, shoots, leaves, and seeds.

Fennel is native to southern Europe and Asia Minor.

Today, it is cultivated in temperate areas worldwide and is considered an invasive types in Australia and parts of the United States.

The cultivated plant depends on 2.5 metres (8 ft) tall, with hollow stems.

The leaves mature to 40 centimetres (16 in) long. It is made up of many direct or awl-shaped sectors.

The flowers are produced in terminal compound umbels from 5to 15 centimetres (2 to 6 in) wide, each umbel area having 20– 50 tiny yellow flowers on brief pedicels.

The little dry fruits are greenish brown to yellowish brown oval ovals about 6 mm (0.25 inch) long with 5 prominent longitudinal dorsal ridges.

The seeds contain 3 to 4 percent necessary oil; the principal elements are anethole and fenchone.

All parts of the plant are aromatic and used in flavouring, and the bulblike stem base of Florence fennel and the blanched shoots are eaten as a vegetable.

The seeds and extracted oil are suggestive of anise in fragrance and taste and are utilized for scenting soaps and fragrances and for flavouring sweets, liqueurs, medicines, and foods, especially pastries, sweet pickles, and fish.

There are 345 calories in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of fennel fruits.

It is a rich source of protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins and numerous dietary minerals, specifically calcium, iron, magnesium and manganese.

Fennel is crispy and somewhat sweet, adding a rejuvenating contribution to the ever popular Mediterranean cuisine.

Most often connected with Italian cooking, make sure to include this to your selection of fresh vegetables from the autumn through early spring when it is readily available and at its finest.

It is called marathon in Greece, a name originated from the word maraino, implying to grow thin.

Fennel was presented to The United States and Canada by Spanish missionaries for cultivation in their medical gardens. Fennel got away cultivation from the mission gardens, and is now understood in California as wild anise.

Fennel was advised as an herb for weight decrease, “to make individuals more lean that are too fat,” according to the seventeenth century herbalist and astrologist Nicholas Culpeper.

In Chinese and Hindu cultures fennel was consumed to speed the elimination of poisons from the system, particularly after snakebite and scorpion stings.

As one of the ancient Saxon people’s nine sacred herbs, fennel was credited with the power to cure what were then believed to be the nine causes of illness.

Fennel was likewise valued as a magic herb. In the Middle Ages it was draped over entrances on Midsummer’s Eve to secure the home from fiends. As an included procedure of protection, the small seeds were stuffed into keyholes to keep ghosts from entering the space.

Fennel is among the primary active ingredients of absinthe, an alcoholic mixture which originated as a medical elixir in Switzerland and became, by the late 19th century, a popular alcoholic drink in France and other nations.

The word “fennel” developed from Middle English fenel or fenyl. This originated from Old English fenol or finol, which in turn originated from Latin feniculum or foeniculum, the diminutive of fenum or faenum, indicating “hay”.

Dill, coriander, and caraway are similar-looking herbs, but shorter-growing than fennel, reaching just 40– 60 cm (16– 24 in).

The essential oil, extracted from the seeds, is toxic even in small amounts.

Pregnant females need to not utilize the herb, seeds, tincture, or vital oil of fennel in medicinal solutions. [6]

What are negative effects related to using fennel?

Side effects of Fennel consist of:.

  • trouble breathing
  • tightness of chest/throat
  • chest discomfort
  • nausea
  • throwing up
  • hives
  • rash
  • scratchy or inflamed skin
  • moderate increase in menstrual flow
  • sun sensitivity
  • Serious adverse effects of Fennel include:
  • seizures

This document does not consist of all possible adverse effects and others might occur. Check with your physician for additional details about side effects.

What other drugs connect with fennel?

If your physician has actually directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist might already understand any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine prior to checking with your medical professional, healthcare provider, or pharmacist first.

Mild Interactions of Fennel include:.

This details does not consist of all possible interactions or negative effects. Therefore, prior to utilizing this item, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the items you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this info with your doctor and pharmacist. Contact your health care professional or medical professional for extra medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns, or to learn more about this medicine. [7]

Special Precautions and Warnings

  • Pregnancy: Fennel is potentially hazardous to use when pregnant. Regularly utilizing fennel has actually been connected to preterm birth.
  • Breast-feeding: Fennel is possibly risky. There are some reports of breast-feeding babies with damage to their nervous systems after they were exposed to herbal tea including fennel through breastmilk.
  • Children: Fennel is perhaps safe when used at proper doses for as much as one week in young infants with colic.
  • Allergy to celery, carrot or mugwort: Fennel might trigger an allergic reaction in individuals who are sensitive to these plants.
  • Bleeding conditions: Fennel may slow blood clot. Taking fennel may increase the risk of bleeding or bruising in people with bleeding conditions.
  • Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Fennel may act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be intensified by estrogen, do not utilize fennel. [8]
  • Some spices, consisting of coriander, fennel, and caraway, might cause extreme allergic reactions in some people. Those who are allergic to these spices ought to not eat them.
  • Beta-blockers, a heart disease and stress and anxiety medication, can trigger potassium levels to increase in the blood. One 2016 research study reported that individuals taking beta-blockers had a 13% greater chanceTrusted Source of developing hyperkalemia, or high blood potassium levels.
  • Individuals taking these medications might want to discuss their intake of high-potassium foods such as fennel with their physician. Nevertheless, dietary modifications are not normally necessary.
  • High potassium levels in the body can position a major risk to people with kidney damage or kidneys that are not fully functional. Harmed kidneys might be unable to filter excess potassium from the blood, which could be deadly. [9]


This ancient solution is under study and we are finding out more about the manner ins which fennel can deal with and recover our bodies. For many people, fennel tea has potential to be a safe and efficient solution for everything from gastrointestinal problems to sleeping disorders. Present fennel tea into your regular slowly, making sure to bear in mind of any side effects that it appears to produce in your body. [10]


  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fennel
  2. http://www.ourherbgarden.com/herb-history/fennel.html
  3. https://www.verywellfit.com/carb-info-for-fennel-2241773
  4. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-fennel.html
  5. https://www.eatingwell.com/article/7874205/fiber-and-gut-health-protect-your-heart/
  6. http://justfunfacts.com/interesting-facts-about-fennel/
  7. https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_fennel/drugs-condition.htm
  8. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-311/fennel
  9. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/284096#risks
  10. https://www.healthline.com/health/fennel-tea#takeaway
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