Fennel, from its botanical name Foeniculum vulgare, is a perennial aromatic plant of the Apiaceae family. It has yellow flowers and small striated oval seeds, and can reach up to 1.5 m in height. Originally from the Mediterranean basin, it is now grown in all temperate regions of the globe. Seed harvesting is done in the fall. Phytotherapy particularly uses its seeds and essential oil. The seeds contain 8% essential oil (anethole, fenchone, methylchavicol), flavonoids, sterols and coumarins.
How can herbal medicine indicate this?
- The herbalist can prescribe the seeds for treat upset stomach, bloating and third digestive disorders. They can remedy against the loss of appetite. The seeds also provide anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.
- The sore throat can be relieved by leaf infusion. These promote bronchial secretions, therefore effective against dry cough.
- The seeds present an alternative to remedy against a lack of lactation.
- The leaves can be used with compress to relieve inflammation of the conjunctiva, styes or eyelids.
In what form can it be used?
Phytotherapy uses this plant in the form of infusion, liquid extract, essential oil, liquid extract, mother tincture and syrup.
How to use it to take advantage of its medicinal properties?
For colic in children, prepare an infusion with the seeds. To do this, bring a cup of water to a boil, then infuse a teaspoon of seeds for 10 minutes. Strain and drink hot.
For digestive problems and inflammation of the airways, you can choose one of these remedies:
- Together with the seeds, take 1-2 g of them in a dry state and coarsely grind. You can mix it with water, three times a day with each meal.
- For its tincture take 1-3 tbsp. 2-3 times a day between meals.
To treat colds, boil a handful of leaves in a pot of water. Inhale the steam that emerges for about 3 minutes while covering your head with a cloth.
For the preparation of an eye compress, boil leaves in a cup of water for a quarter of an hour. Pour the resulting decoction on a sterile compress and allow to cool. This done, apply the compress to the level of the eye concerned for 5 to 10 minutes.
What precautions should be taken before using fennel?
The seeds can become toxic if you consume more than 7 g per day for a prolonged period (more than 14 successive days). It is therefore best to seek the advice of a competent health professional or aromatherapist before consuming them.
What are the contraindications concerning the use of this plant?
Phytotherapy contraindicates the prescription of this plant in pregnant women and people who develop hormone-dependent cancer. There are some people who are allergic to plants of the Apiaceae family. The latter must avoid fennel, as well as coriander, celery, carrot…