Health Information and Buying Tips
Fennel tea has been used for thousands of years as a herbal remedy to aid digestion and assist with all forms of dyspepsia. The fennel plant originated in Europe and traders carried it to other areas, including Asia and Europe. Many cultures use the seeds for medicinal purposes.
Scientists have found that fennel can relieve mucus in the intestinal tract and assist with flatulence, acid stomach and related issues. Fennel is thought to be gentle enough to be used to assist infants with colic.
Fennel is also used as a natural treatment for upper respiratory disorders, as an aid in breast milk flow (particularly in Latin America), and as a diuretic.
Additionally, some cultures use it as a pain and fever reliever, appetite suppressant and an eyestrain soother and eyewash. The herb is thought to have antimicrobial actions.
The earthy tasting fennel (Latin name: Foeniculum vulgare) is a common spice generally used with fish and curries. Eating fennel seeds after a meal can prevent gas and upset stomach.
The active ingredient in fennel is found in the oil of the plant. The terpenoids in the oil have estrogen-like activity and this inhibits muscles spasms, particularly the muscles of the intestinal tract.
Combine fennel with peppermint, caraway seeds and wormwood for an effective treatment for upper abdominal complaints, including irritable bowel syndrome.
To make fennel tea, add a half teaspoon of crushed seeds to one cup of boiling water and then allow the mixture to steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not boil the water with the seeds in it. Instead, add seeds to the boiling water to preserve the natural oils.
Keep the pot covered while steeping. Cool the herbal brew, then strain. Drink three cups a day or use as a tincture three times a day.
There have been no reports of adverse side effects, but natural health experts suggest that pregnant or lactating women should not use fennel. Also, persons with estrogen-dependent cancer should avoid this herb but the product is sometimes useful to aid with stomach issues after chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer.
As with any herbal treatment, always check with your healthcare provider before using fennel to ensure it is appropriate for your medical situation.
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