Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) seeds are considered quite useful for relieving various ailments, ranging from congestion and stomach gas to asthma and diabetes. The seeds contain powerful phytonutrients and antioxidants. The most potent of them is anethole that makes them highly nutritious and powerful. Fennel seeds are also called Semillas de Hinojo in Spanish, graines de fenouil in French, and budhur alfianal in Arabic.
|Bangali||Panmohuri / Mauri /Methe|
|Gujarati||Variari / Warjari|
|Hindi||Saunf / Sonp|
|Kannada||Sompu / Badi-Sopu|
|Malayalam||Perumjeerakam / Suthakuppa|
|Marathi||Saunf / Badishep|
|Tamil||Perunjeeragam / Shombei / Sathakuppai|
|Telugu||Peddajeelakarra / Sopu|
Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds
1. Improve Digestive Health
Fennel seeds are used to treat an array of digestive ailments, including heartburn, intestinal gas (and infant gas), bloating, and even colic in infants. The seeds have antispasmodic and carminative effects. The essential of the seeds can help treat other serious digestive ailments like irritable bowel syndrome.
Some sources suggest that fennel seeds may also help treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), diarrhea, constipation, and ulcerative colitis. However, more research is warranted in this regard.
2. Provides Relief from Asthma and other Respiratory Ailments
The phytonutrients in fennel seeds help clear sinuses. This may help relieve asthma symptoms. The expectorant properties of the seeds heal other respiratory ailments like bronchitis, cough, and congestion. A study explored the relaxant effects of fennel seeds on guinea pig tracheal chains. It concluded the seeds could offer bronchial relaxation. However, we need more research to understand the same effect in humans.
Fennel seeds may instead cause asthmatic symptoms in some individuals. Hence, talk to your doctor if you are vulnerable to asthma.
3. Benefit Breastfeeding Women
Fennel seeds contain anethole. Some believe anethole mimics the properties of the estrogen hormone and increases milk secretion in women. Fennel seeds may benefit lactating women as they also are known to be galactagogues.
4. Combat Bad Breath
Anecdotal evidence suggests that chewing fennel seeds may freshen your breath. The seeds have the flavor of anise (or licorice). Simply munching on 5 to 10 fennel seeds could freshen your breath. The seeds are believed to increase the production of saliva and may wash out the bacteria that cause bad breath. The essential oil of fennel has antibacterial properties that help fight the germs that cause bad breath. The longer you chew the seeds, the more refreshing you could feel.
5. Help Fight Diabetes
A 2008 study found that fennel essential oil may lower blood sugar levels in diabetic rats. Fennel seeds are also a good source of vitamin C. Intake of the nutrient may lower blood sugar levels, though more research is needed to further understand this mechanism. The beta-carotene in fennel seeds may also reduce cholesterol levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Also, fennel seeds have a low glycemic index. Hence, they can be a good addition to a diabetes diet.
6. May Increase Breast Growth
There is limited research in this regard. Fennel is a popular ingredient in most ‘bust enhancing’ herbal products. This could be because it mimics the properties of human estrogen. Talk to your doctor before using fennel seeds for this purpose.
7. May Help Cholesterol Levels
The methanol extracts of fennel were found to reduce cholesterol levels in mice. They also could reduce the deposition of fats (triglycerides) in the coronary arteries.
8. May Help Treat Edema
Edema is the swelling of tissues in the body due to excess fluid. Anecdotal evidence supports the efficacy of fennel seeds in treating edema. The anethole in fennel seeds may help in this regard.
9. May Boost Fertility
Fennel has estrogenic properties. Anecdotal evidence suggests that these properties may also boost fertility. However, more research is warranted in this regard.
10. Regulate Blood Pressure Levels
Fennel seeds contain potassium. Potassium is known to counteract the ill effects of sodium and regulates the fluid amount in the bloodstream. This may help lower blood pressure.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the calcium in the seeds also may lower blood pressure. It may help keep the blood vessels toned, and may even help maintain heart rate. The fiber in fennel seeds may also play a role in regulating blood pressure levels.
Research shows the nitrites in fennel seeds may lower blood pressure levels. The seeds contain magnesium too. This nutrient is also known to lower blood pressure levels.
11. May Aid Hernia Treatment
Some sources mention the use of fennel seeds by traditional Chinese medicine for treating hernia. However, we need more research to confirm if they can be used in mainstream hernia treatment.
12. May Enhance Liver Health
In one 2011 study, fennel seeds inhibited liver cancer cells and increased the activity of certain antioxidant cells in the liver.The selenium in fennel seeds may also improve the function of liver enzymes. However, more research is warranted in this regard. Some sources suggest that fennel seeds may also help relieve urinary tract infections.
13. May Promote Weight Loss
Fennel seeds are rich in fiber and may aid in weight loss and keep hunger pangs at bay. The seeds may also decrease fat storage and improve nutrient absorption. However, more research is warranted in this regard.
Fennel seeds have diuretic properties.They increase urine output and flush out the excess fluid from the body. This also may contribute to weight loss. However, this weight loss induced by fennel seeds could be a direct consequence of water loss and not fat loss.
14. May Easy Morning Sickness
Fennel seeds may be used to calm the stomach and offer quick relief from morning sickness. Chewing fennel seeds or having fennel tea may help. Fennel seeds may also prevent stomach gas and encourage the expulsion of gas. They may help treat nausea as well. However, research is lacking in this regard.
15. May Improve Menstrual Symptoms
Preliminary studies have confirmed that fennel is safe and effective for easing menopause symptoms. It is also a known emmenagogue.The phytoestrogenic properties of fennel seeds may also help treat menstrual symptoms like cramps and hot flashes.
16. May Enhance Sleep Quality
Fennel seeds contain magnesium. Some sources suggest that magnesium may improve the quality and duration of sleep, especially in the elderly. The mineral may also help treat sleep disorders like insomnia.
The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. WINDHU KITCHEN is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts, or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of WINDHU KITCHEN does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.