Fennel is an aromatic herb belonging to the parsley family. It is used as a spice and possesses a sweet taste that is similar to anise. It is an essential ingredient in the Mediterranean cuisine. It is native to the South European region but is consumed well in all of the European regions. It is a two-meter plant with dark green leaves and yellow flowers.
Fennel seeds are generally eaten for the taste but also very healthy owing to the nutrition value attached to it. Fennel bulb is also eaten as a vegetable in some parts of the Mediterranean region.
|Binomial name||Foeniculum vulgare|
|Common Names||Common fennel, sweet fennel, bitter fennel, carosella, Florence fennel, finocchio, garden fennel, large fennel, wild fennel|
|Indian Names||Saunf (Hindi), Peddajeelakarra/Sopu/sompu (Telugu), Perunjeeragam (Tamil), Perumjeerakam (Malayalam), Sompu/Badi-Sopu/Dodda Jeerige/Dodda Sompu (Kannada), Panmohuri/Mauri/Methe (Bengali), Variari/Warjari (Gujarati), Saunf/Badishep (Marathi), and Badi Saunf/Shathapushpaa (Punjabi)|
Health Benefits Of Fennel Seeds
Fennel is a symbol of strength and longevity. It was also believed by ancient Greeks to increase one’s courage.
Apart from being used for adding flavor, it is also used for various health benefits that are derived from its anti-oxidants. These anti-oxidants are essential to curb unwanted free radical reactions in the body. This phenomenon also prevents many diseases that can get serious at a later stage. Some of the antioxidants listed in these seeds are kaempferol and quercetin that are known to prevent degenerative reactions.
3. Dietary Fiber
Fennel seeds contain a good amount of dietary fiber that is essential for the body. The fiber content helps improve digestion in the body, by facilitating timely breaking down of food molecules that make energy reactions possible.
The carcinogenic diseases should be treated at the right stage so that their effect can be curbed or eliminated in the future. This is made possible by the anti-oxidant capabilities of the fennel seeds.
5. Neurological Diseases
Another effect of prevention of free radical reactions by fennel seeds – Neurological diseases are helpfully kept at bay.
6. Cholesterol Absorption
Cholesterol absorption in the arteries is prevented by the action of the fiber binding to the bile salts. Fiber present in fennel seeds decreases reabsorption of cholesterol, thereby preventing any heart-related diseases.
7. Oil Compounds
A number of volatile oil compounds like myrcene, fenchone, chavicol, cineole are present in these seeds that assist in digestive, carminative, and antioxidant reactions in the body.
8. Red Blood Cells
Production of Red Blood Cells is enhanced by the consumption of Fennel Seeds. Copper, which is required by the body for the production of red blood cells, is present in these seeds.
9. Growth And Development
The growth and development of the body are geared up. Zinc, found in the fennel seeds, promotes regular growth and development.
10. Heart Rate And Blood Pressure
These days, when people face tensions in their day to day lives, it is very important to maintain the blood pressure and keep the heart rate balanced. Fennel Seeds help a lot in this process. The potassium content helps in maintaining the blood pressure and hence the heart rate is also maintained.
[ Read: Fenugreek Seeds Beauty Benefits ]
11. Nutritionally Rich
Fennel juice is an extremely nutritional beverage. It contains vitamin A, B, C, E, and beta-carotene. It is a rich source of minerals like magnesium, iron, cobalt, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, silicon, and zinc. It also provides high levels antioxidants, carotenoids, and flavonoids. It contains anethole, a phytonutrient that provides fennel juice its strong aroma. The high levels of antioxidants neutralize free radicals in the body, preventing cell damage.
Fennel juice has a calming effect on the intestine. The anti-spasmodic properties of fennel juice can reduce intestinal cramps, bloating, and flatulence. The essential oils present in fennel juice stimulate the secretion of digestive juice, reducing stomach inflammation. It also improves the absorption of nutrients from the foods we eat. Fennel juice is widely used as an antacid. The roughage in fennel juice balances the digestive tract, promoting regular bowel movements. Fennel also reduces bad bacteria and increases good bacteria in the gut.
The high concentration of iron and histamine in fennel juice makes it a good natural remedy for anemia. Regular consumption of fennel juice increases the production of hemoglobin in the body, reversing anemia. It also prevents the formation of blood clots in the body.
14. Eye Health
Fennel contains several essential nutrients, which helps to improve vision. The antioxidants and amino acids in fennel juice rejuvenate the eyes, preventing macular degeneration. Fennel juice, when applied to the eye, can reduce eye irritations and fatigue. The flavonoids present in fennel juice are very useful in preventing oxidative stress, which helps to prevent macular degeneration.
The diuretic properties of fennel juice help to remove the toxic substance from the body through frequent urination. This helps to reduce inflammation that causes rheumatism and swelling. It also prevents the formation of kidney stones.
16. Post Menopause Benefits
Fennel juice contains phyto-estrogen, a chemical that is similar to the hormone estrogen in structure. Thus, fennel juice is very useful for women suffering from menopause and pre-menstrual problems. It also contains folate, which prevents birth defects in unborn babies. Fennel juice eases menstruation problems by regulating hormonal actions in the body. Lactating mothers can regularly drink fennel juice to increase milk production.
17. Mental Health
Fennel juice is believed to release endorphins into the bloodstreams, which relieve depression associated with certain diseases and creates a mood of euphoria. Potassium in fennel juice increases brain function and the cognitive abilities of the brain. In addition to this, fennel juice is also a vasodilator, which increases oxygen supply to the brain and delays the onset of dementia.
Fennel essential oil is an aperitif. It helps boost appetite. So if you think you aren’t feeling hungry when it is required, fennel essential oil is what you should turn to!
Spasms are violent and involuntary contractions of the organs, respiratory tract, intestines, muscles, and nerves. It can lead to chronic cough and acute pain and inflammation. Severe cases of spasms can lead to fainting and even death. Fennel essential oil is an active antispasmodic agent, which relaxes the intestines, muscles and nerves. It provides instant relief from spasms.
Fennel essential oil contains many chemicals, which exhibit antiseptic and bactericidal characteristics. Fennel oil helps prevent wounds from turning septic. Fennel essential oil prevents tetanus and other post-surgical infections as well.
Fennel essential oil is an active carminative agent. It helps release gas from intestines and provides relief from stomach problems like pain, restlessness, heartburn and indigestion. It also inhibits the formation of gas and helps treat excessive flatulence.
22. Reduces Inflammation
Fennel bulb exhibits strong anti-inflammatory properties. Whether you talk of inflammation that is internal or external, fennel bulb cures both. This magic food contains anethole. Anethole serves as a very strong anti-inflammatory flavonoid. It easily cures inflammation caused in humans without causing any side-effects.
23. Reduces Acidity
Fennel bulb offers natural cooling and neutralizing benefits. Thus, it is used to treat the problem of acidity in the duodenum. It makes intestines active and eases the process of absorption. Hence, the toxins get separated from useful minerals. The separated toxins are easily flushed out of the body. Hence, the normal PH level is restored which results in relief from acidity.
24. Boosts Immunity
Vitamin C is a natural immunity boosting vitamin for humans. Fennel bulb is highly rich in vitamin C. Hence; its regular intake strengthens the immune system. It keeps the body safe from minor infections naturally. It also increases the body’s capacity to fight back major infections. This is because – stronger immune system means active WBCs. As soon as some infection enters the body, the WBCs engulf all the disease-causing bacteria and viruses and destroy them.
25. Eases Respiratory Disorders
Fennel bulb is a rich source of cineole. Cineole is an active agent that potentially clears nasal blockages. Thus, it is a boon for people suffering from congestion, asthma, and bronchitis. Cineol efficiently clears and controls the formation and accumulation of phlegm in the chest and nasal passage. Hence, it eases respiration.
26. Improves Concentration
Fennel bulb is a rich source of potassium. Potassium is an active component of cranial nerves. It is also an active compound that maintains the electrolytic balance of the brain. Moreover, potassium is also a memory charger. In short, fennel bulb ensures proper functioning of the human brain by regulating the levels of potassium. It sharpens the memory and improves focus and concentration.
27. Eases Menstrual Cramps
Fennel bulb can regulate hormonal changes in the human body. Its mild analgesic benefits work like a boon to control and cure menstrual pain in women.
Beauty Benefits Of Fennel Seeds
We all want to have healthy skin and hair but the mere thought of money and time involved in a beauty regime is enough to put us off. But what if I told you that you can stay beautiful with the help of a tiny thing called the fennel seed?
Fennel seeds not only impart a special flavor to those gastronomic delights brewing in your kitchen, but can also be utilized for achieving a flawless skin and healthy hair. Yes, you got that right! Fennel seeds can be beneficial for your skin and hair. Fennel seeds are inexpensive and readily available. Loaded with minerals like iron, copper, selenium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and even vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E, fennel seeds are also known to be a rich storehouse of dietary fibers, active compounds, and antioxidants.
Benefits Of Fennel Seeds For Skin
Fennel seeds offer amazing effects for the skin. Not only fennel seeds are antiseptic by nature, but also are loaded with antioxidants. As a result, they help prevent acne, cell damage, while keeping the skin toned. Using fennel seeds as a part of your skin care will help you delay the onset of lines, dark spots and wrinkles.
When you consume fennel seeds in one form or the other, you get glowing and flawless skin in return. Wondering about the skin care benefits of consuming fennel seeds? Here are the most amazing beauty benefits of saunf:
- When consumed, fennel imparts a cooling effect to the skin. It soothes inflammation and skin irritation.
- Fennel tea, when consumed on a daily basis, helps in improving the overall texture of the skin. It treats acne and makes your skin look youthful. While there is always an easier option of buying good quality readymade fennel tea, it is equally effective if you can make your own fennel tea by combining crushed fennel seeds and boiling water.
- Loaded with antioxidant properties, it is useful in fighting the signs of aging.
- Fennel seeds, when consumed daily, provide the body with minerals like iron, zinc, selenium and calcium. These minerals are effective in maintaining the oxygen balance, thus imparting healthy skin.
- Fennel seeds serve your skin by providing various vitamins, which in turn provides younger looking skin.
So, whether you consume it in the form of herbal tea or as a mouth-freshener after usual meals, ensure that you include a considerable portion of fennel seeds in your regular diet. Alternately, you may use fennels while garnishing some of your favorite salad recipes.
How To Use Fennel Seeds For Skin
Known for its therapeutic and healing properties, fennel seed has a wide application in the beauty industry. You can use it easily at home to treat your skin conditions in the following ways:
Fennel Seed Skin Toner
Take a handful of fennel seeds and add it to boiling water. The solution should be allowed to cool down. Then, add a few drops of fennel essential oil to the mixture. Filter it. Dab it on your face with the help of cotton balls as many times as you can throughout the day. Your skin feels thoroughly refreshed.
Fennel Seed Steam Facial
Add 1 spoon of fennel seeds to one liter of boiling water. Lean over it and cover your head and neck with a towel for 5 minutes. Let your facial skin benefit from the fennel steam to make it look clean and radiant. This can be done twice a week to clean the pores and make your skin glow.
Fennel Seed Face Mask
Prepare fennel seed infusion by adding a spoon of fennel seeds to half a cup of boiling water. Wait for 30 minutes and add the solution to a spoon of oatmeal and spoon of honey. Make a smooth batter and apply it on your face. Leave it on for 20 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water.
Benefits Of Fennel Seeds For Hair
Some of the best-known benefits that you expect your hair to reap from fennel seeds are as follows:
- Treat dandruff
- Treat itchiness and bumps on the scalp
- Prevent hair breakage
- Treat shedding of hair strands
How To Use Fennel Seeds For Hair
Let’s look at the various ways of using fennel seeds for hair care treatment:
Fennel Seed Tea
The best and the easiest way to use fennel seeds for hair care is by preparing fennel tea. Check out the easy step-by-step procedure to prepare fennel tea:
- Pound 3 spoons of fennel seeds, preferably by using the mortar and pestle. Alternately, you may choose to invest in readymade fennel seed powder.
- Boil 2 cups of water and add it to the powdered seeds.
- Leave it undisturbed for about 15 minutes.
- Use it as a last rinse after you have shampooed and conditioned your hair.
Fennel Seed-Vinegar Solution
You may also use apple cider vinegar and glycerin along with fennel seeds to prepare a solution to treat itchy and dry scalp. Try to prepare fennel seed-vinegar tonic by following the simple procedure given below:
- Boil 1 cup of water.
- Pour it over a spoon of crushed fennel seeds placed in a small bowl.
- Wait for half-an-hour.
- After that, add a spoon of vegetable glycerin and apple cider vinegar.
- Now the solution is to be filtered. You may use cheesecloth for the purpose.
- Use it on your hair and scalp. Massage it in and wait for some time. Rinse it off.
- The best part is that this tonic can even be stored in a glass container for weeks.
Try these simple beauty recipes and trust me, your skin will thank you for these pampering homemade treatments.
A Word Of Caution
No matter how natural a thing is, caution is a must when it comes to anything you use on your body. You must avoid using fennel seeds as a part of your beauty regime in case you are allergic to fennel seeds. Moreover, you must consult your doctor before you consume fennel seeds if you are pregnant, a breastfeeding mother or if you are suffering from hormone-sensitive conditions.
Taking care of your skin and hair is not as difficult as you think! With a few kitchen ingredients, you can pamper your body and let its beauty shine through. So, don’t keep your body starved for the pampering it deserves! Try fennel seeds and stay beautiful!
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