Author Topic: All about Fennel [Foeniculum vulgare]...  (Read 6639 times)

YoopreMama

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All about Fennel [Foeniculum vulgare]...
« on: August 24, 2008, 07:28:46 AM »
I want to learn more about fennel from you all.   :)

I know it's good for a nursing mother's milk supply...and recently was reintroduced to its use w/ sausage on pizza (or in spaghetti sauce)...I *think* the tea can be used as an eyewash for conjunctivitis...

It's used to flavor teas that might otherwise be unpleasant (it tastes somewhat like licorice), and it good for digestion.  Looks like dill.

My initial research tells me it's one of our oldest cultivated plants...and very much valued by the Romans--victorious gladiators wore wreaths of it and took it for good health, while Roman ladies ate it to prevent obesity.   ::)

Every part of the plant is edible.

Offline floydian

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Re: All about Fennel [Foeniculum vulgare]...
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2008, 02:06:39 PM »
Fennel seed is absolutely wonderful on homemade pizza!  I don't know about the plant itself.

Recently it was the secret ingredient in Iron Chef.  (Heh, recently to me is sometime in the last two years.)  They even had fennel ice cream.
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Offline ~esposita~

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Re: All about Fennel [Foeniculum vulgare]...
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2008, 02:47:07 PM »
I put fennel seed in my sausage.  Mmmmm.

Growing up, we (italians) would often eat a hunk of fennel after supper "to cleanse the palate."  It is much like celery in texture and I thoroughly enjoy it, even now.  Very refreshing!  It does taste a bit like licorice. 

After my last C-Section I made catnip fennel tea to reduce any gas; I've also made a catnip/fennel/chamomile tincture for my children for when they are gassy. 

Yeah for fennel!
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YoopreMama

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Re: All about Fennel [Foeniculum vulgare]...
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2008, 10:26:18 PM »
Fennel was often used w/ anise, caraway and dill as "meetin' seeds":

Quote
In 18th century America, mothers distributed Sabbath-day bouquets of dill, fennel, caraway,and southernwood for their fidgety children to chew during long sermons, accordingly, these herbs were known as "Meetin' Seeds".

The Meaning of Herbs By Gretchen Scoble, Ann Field, Ann Fiery

Quote
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and Dill (Anethum graveolens) were carried to prayer meetings in Colonial times in small pouches. The seeds were used to curb the appetite. They were called "meeting seeds."

http://www.herbsociety-stu.org/bible_herbs.htm

Quote
Pliny, the ancient Greek historian, believed that fennel improved eyesight--evidenced, he said, by serpents that routinely ate fennel to restore their sight after being temporarily blinded when shedding their skins. Ever since, fennel tea and eyewash have been used to soothe strained eyes, improve eyesight, and treat cataracts. The Greek physicians Hippocrates and Dioscorides also recommended fennel--to increase the flow of milk in nursing mothers.

Historically, fennel is a symbol of flattery and heroism, an aphrodisiac and rejuvenator. Like the ancients, the Medievalists used it suppress appetite, but they also hung it over doorways on midsummer's eve to protect against witchcraft. Much later, the Puritans stuffed keyholes with the herb, to keep evil spirits out. It was also one of "the meetin' seeds," chewed during long church sermons to divert boredom and quiet noisy stomachs. Colicky babies of the time were often given fennel tea.

http://www.frontiercoop.com/learn/savvy/fennel.html

Quote
America’s 19th-century Eclectic physicians prescribed fennel as a digestive aid, milk and menstruation promoter, and to “conceal the unpleasantness of other medicines.”

Latin Americans still boil the seeds in milk as a milk promoter for nursing mothers. Jamaicans use it to treat colds. And Africans take fennel for diarrhea and indigestion.

Contemporary herbalists recommend fennel as a digestive aid, milk promoter, expectorant, eyewash, and buffer in herbal laxative blends.

http://www.greenpapaya.org/category/herbs/fennel/

Offline CarlyB

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Re: All about Fennel [Foeniculum vulgare]...
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2008, 03:39:09 AM »
We make a cream/lotion to milk our goats with (it helps them let down) that has fennel essential oil in it. It smells sooo great. I am pregnant and was told not to use it until after delivery so I can only smell it on hubby....I am restricted to the plan old udder cream.  :P The fennel cream works great!!!
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Offline daisey

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Re: All about Fennel [Foeniculum vulgare]...
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2008, 09:25:51 AM »
I love fennel!    :D    When my daughter was going to college in Canada she found candy coated fennel seeds at a large Super Store~~~I am running low on my supply because they are so nice to carry in my purse.   I have grown it in my garden but haven't really found a lot of use for it in my cooking.   I will have to cut some up and put it in my spaghetti sauce and see how it works.
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: All about Fennel [Foeniculum vulgare]...
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2008, 02:23:59 AM »
I've been reading up on this and tried some in tea (ground) with some valerian root.  I was astounded at how well this blended with valerian as valerian is very bitter and strong.  I threw some fennel and peppermint in there and it made a rich soothing tea which tasted of black licorice or flat root beer.

And it's anti-inflammatory properties would mix well with the relaxing and sleepy properties of valerian root.  ;D
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Offline hi_itsgwen

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Re: All about Fennel [Foeniculum vulgare]...
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2008, 05:16:10 AM »
Here are some interesting Fennel facts from: http://www.vitaminstuff.com/herbs-fennel.html
"Fennel has been used to treat digestive ailments since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Recent studies support the traditional use of fennel as a digestive aid. It has been shown to relieve intestinal spasms and cramping in the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract, which helps relieve uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms. Commission E, an expert panel in Germany that evaluates the safety and effectiveness of herbs, endorses fennel for the treatment of digestive upsets, including indigestion, gas pains, irritable bowel syndrome, and infant colic. Some studies have shown the effectiveness of fennel to be comparable to that of Mylanta and Gaviscon, and simethicone-containing medications such as Maalox.

The antispasmodic effect of fennel may help to relax other smooth muscles in the body, including the uterus. One study showed that fennel acts as a phytoestrogen in the body, simulating the effects of estrogen in the system. It has traditionally been used to stimulate menstruation and milk production in nursing mothers, and one study suggests that the herb does indeed have a mild estrogenic effect. Perhaps this is why the herb has also traditionally been used to treat conditions associated hormonal imbalance in women, including premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menopause, low milk production, and low libido.

Today, fennel is an active ingredient in many combination herbal formulas used to balance hormones in menopausal and premenstrual women. It is also included in some herbal formulas that claim to promote natural breast enhancement.

Fennel has also been used as a decongestant, and is said to help loosen phlegm in the bronchial passages. People suffering from bronchitis or unproductive coughs may want to try to ease their symptoms by drinking hot fennel tea. You can make your own by crushing 1 to 2 teaspoons of mashed fennel seeds (you can get them in the spice section of the grocery store) into a cup of hot water. Or, go to the health food store and get some fennel seed extract—1/2 teaspoon of this in a cup of hot water may do the trick.

Fennel has a reputation as an appetite suppressant and promoter of weight-loss. Some studies have shown that fennel does indeed have some diuretic effect, and may help reduce water retention.

Fennel is available in capsules, tinctures, and liquid seed extract. The usual dosage is 1 teaspoon of tincture three times a day or ½ teaspoon of liquid seed extract daily. You can easily grow your own fennel, but be sure to keep it away from your tomatoes or caraway—these plants won’t bear much (if any) fruit if they are grown too closely together. "

My milk supply has gotten low after getting rid of most of the soy sources in our diet.  So I'm thinking that Red Raspberry Leaf, Fennel and Peppermint tea would be a great place for me to start!
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Offline Julia

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Re: All about Fennel [Foeniculum vulgare]...
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2010, 03:44:29 PM »
Funny story about fennel: I felt like I was retaining water and I looked up diuretics and found fennel listed. I just chewed up about 10 of the seeds like you do in Indian restaurants and swallowed them, and did this 3 or 4 times. Later that night I thought I was coming down with a sore throat. The next morning my whole mouth felt weird and I realized my chewing side of my mouth was burned from the fennel. I couldn't taste on that side and still can't 48 hours later! So I'm just hoping my taste buds come back, I might as well take a lot of cayenne and garlic till then! Who knew fennel seeds were so strong!

Offline EllaBellaLynn

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Re: All about Fennel [Foeniculum vulgare]...
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2010, 03:19:47 PM »
I have a somewhat interesting story with fennel. I had been doing a garlic (extreme) regimen and had read that chewing fennel seed would help with the overpowering breath, which it did temporarily. But what i found very interesting is that a sore had been developing on my inner lower lip and it soothed it quite a bit. So instead of swallowing the seed right away i tucked it into my lip for about 20 mins or so.  The sore stoped growing.. and was totallyl gone the next day.
Might have been a fluke, but i am sure going to try it again if the sore comes back!

Offline floydian

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Re: All about Fennel [Foeniculum vulgare]...
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2010, 03:35:15 PM »
Oh cool, that's nice to know.  I get those when I eat a lot of  <sigh> chocoloate.  And when I'm under a lot of stress.

 I use fennel a lot when making pizza, so I almost always just have it on hand.
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

Offline amandas5boys

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Re: All about Fennel [Foeniculum vulgare]...
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2012, 11:57:31 PM »
Can fennel have a reverse action? I have eaten fresh wild fennel and I am hurting so bad in my tummy. This is the second time that it has happened to me. Everyone else in the family has had it without any problems. By the way I ate the leaves not the seeds.

Are you not supposed to eat the leaves?