Fennel: benefits and virtues

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Very recognizable by its sweet aniseed scent, fennel is a biennial plant whose bulb is eaten for its culinary appeal but also its health benefits and virtues.

This aromatic vegetable native to the Mediterranean basin and the Caucasus, and very popular in Italy, belongs to the Apiaceae family and reaches more than 80 cm in height.

  •  Gardening: growing fennel well

Fennel and its health benefits

Rich in carbohydrates, vitamin C, potassium and calcium, fennel is a vegetable whose properties give it many health benefits and virtues.

  • Like anise, coriander and caraway, fennel is one of the “four warm seeds”, it is digestive , carminative and galactogenic (activates the rise of milk). Fennel promotes contractions, activates the secretion of the glands of the digestive tract and frankly fights well against flatulence.
  • Folk medicine recommends fennel seeds for nursing mothers, they promote lactation .
  • As a poultice, fennel leaves soothe engorgement of the breasts of breastfeeding women.
  • Fennel root stimulates the appetite . It is also diuretic . It effectively fights against water retention : swollen ankles, legs, feet, eyelids or stomach. We recognize its benefits on all parts of the body affected by water retention.

Did you know ?

Internal use:

Fennel is an aromatic plant that Provence is particularly fond of. Fennel delicately flavors fish, olives and snails. Chopped finely on dishes that are difficult to digest , the leaves help to assimilate them.

Fennel root decoction: 20 to 30 g of root per liter of water, as a diuretic or to whet the appetite .

Infusion of fennel seeds: use 15 to 30 g of seeds per liter of boiling water. Consume a cup after each meal. It is also possible to prepare a stimulating wine by macerating 30 to 50 g of seeds per liter for 15 days. Take a drink with big meals to help digestion and promote lactation.

External use:

Poultices of crushed fennel leaves or compresses soaked in a concentrated leaf decoction. Against breast engorgement .

fennel in the kitchen

When cooked, fennel is less caloric than when eaten raw. On the other hand, it loses vitamin C.

Fresh or dried, fennel leaves delicately flavor fish, salads and sauces. The fennel bulb is eaten raw or cooked (braised or steamed).

Gourmet ideas:

– Use young fennel shoots to make the simplest salad divine.

– Developed, fennel leaves are eaten like a vegetable.

– Fennel stalks  : they can also be eaten when they are tender and young.

– Fennel flowers have a warm and sweet flavor. It is used to flavor dishes and prepare excellent herbal teas with digestive properties.

– Fennel seeds : they are a condiment not to be missed. In Indian restaurants, it is offered at the end of the meal, for digestion and breath.

Nutritional benefits of fennel:

25 kcal/100g. Fennel is aperitif and diuretic. It contains potassium, calcium, fiber, carotene as well as vitamins A, B, C, E, B9. In herbal tea, it promotes sleep.

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