Mother Earth Living

Herb Basics: Fennel Seed Facts

Tips for the Beginner
By The Herb Companion staff
May/June 2003
Add to My MSN

Photo Courtesy of Herb Pharm

Content Tools

Common names: Fennel, fennel seed, wild fennel, sweet fennel
Latin name: Foeniculum vulgare
Family: Apiaceae
Part used: Fruit (commonly known as “seed”); the bulb is eaten in salads and other dishes.
Medicinal uses: Fennel helps soothe the digestive tract and relieves stomach bloating and flatulence; it’s also used for upper respiratory congestion, to help loosen and expel phlegm. A mild fennel tea can be used as an eye compress for conjunctivitis.
Forms commonly used: Seeds (fresh or dried), capsules, tinctures and teas.
Side effects: Fennel is a very safe herb, but rare allergic reactions have been reported. According to Steven Foster’s 101 Medicinal Herbs (Interweave, 1998), the herb has a potential estrogenic effect and medicinal use should be avoided during pregnancy (culinary use does not pose a problem).
Notes: Foster writes that fennel “is mentioned in virtually every European work on herbal medicines from ancient times to the present day.” The herb, which tastes similar to licorice and anise, is often mixed with fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) and peppermint (Mentha ¥piperita) for an effective digestion-soothing blend. To make fennel tea, steep 1 teaspoon of the seeds in 1 cup of boiling water for 15 minutes; strain and drink.

Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.

(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here