By Jean Sumner
Not only is fennel very tasty, it is also good for you. This herb originated in the Mediterranean and has long been used for its culinary and medicinal effects. Let’s examine the benefits of this great tasting herb.
Fennel contains an amino acid that is helpful in the treatment of anemia. This herb is also very helpful with indigestion. Chew a few fennel seeds after a meal and aid your digestion and it also eliminate bad breath. It also has anti-acidic or basic properties and is extensively used in antacid preparations.
Some of the components of the essential oils in fennel are stimulants and they stimulate secretion of digestive and gastric juices, this reduces inflammation of the stomach and intestines, and facilitates proper absorption of nutrients from the food. Fennel can also eliminate constipation since it acts as a laxative.
Fennel is very popular as an anti-flatulent, due the aspartic acid found in fennel. Its extract can be used by everyone, from infants to the elderly, as a way to reduce flatulence and to expel excess gas from the stomach. Fennel is also commonly found in medicines that treat abdominal pain, diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and other intestinal issues.
Fennel is a great source of fiber; this fiber helps to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood stream. This makes fennel great in help with heart disease and stroke. Fennel is a very rich source of potassium, which is an essential nutrient in our bodies and is vital for a number of important processes.
One of the attributes of potassium is its quality as a vasodilator, which means that it relaxes the tension of blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure.
The raw vegetable itself hasn’t been extensively studied in regards to cancer protection, but the fennel seed extract has, and the findings regarding cancer protection are quite impressive. It shows that the extract can not only inhibit the growth of tumors but also it is protective against the harmful effects of radiation and chemo during cancer treatment. Fennel seed extract has been found to be preventative of various breast cancer and liver cancer strains.
Potassium, found in high levels in fennel bulbs and seeds, is an electrolyte, which means that it facilitates increased electrical conduction throughout the body. This includes connections within the brain, which is a veritable switchboard of electric currents. Potassium can help increase brain function and cognitive abilities through this quality. Also, fennel is a vasodilator, which means more oxygen reaches the brain and neural activity can work at optimal functionality.
Fennel can also enhance your immune system. 1 cup of fennel bulb contains 20% of the daily requirement of vitamin C. Vitamin-C improves general immune system health, produces and repairs skin tissue, helps to form collagen, and also protects the blood vessel walls as an antioxidant against the harmful effects of free radicals that can frequently lead to heart disease!
Fennel is also an Emenagogue, meaning that it eases and regulates menstruation by properly regulating hormonal action in the body. Furthermore, fennel is used in a number of products to reduce the effects of PMS, and it is also used traditionally as a soothing pain reliever and relaxing agent for menopausal women.
Fennel is useful in respiratory disorders such congestion, bronchitis, and cough due to the presence of Cineole and Anetol which are expectorant in nature. Fennel seeds and powder can help to break up phlegm and prompt loosening of the toxins and buildup of the throat and nasal passages for elimination from the body and quicker recovery from respiratory conditions.