What is Fennel | Benefits of Fennel Seeds | Wild fennel | Bitter Fennel

Bitter fennel or Foeniculum vulgare is a perennial, pleasant-smelling herb and extensively used in Ayurveda for a number of ailments. Medicinal use of the herb Bitter fennel includes treatment of indigestion, constipation, flatulence, gout, aches and pains. Uses of Bitter fennel are popular everywhere. There are a variety of herbs known for medicinal properties and Bitter fennel is commonly used in most ayurvedic preparations for natural treatment and no side effects.

Bitter Fennel, Bitter fennel, benefits of fennel, Uses of Bitter fennel, Medicinal use of the herb Bitte fennel, Wild fennel, Foeniculum vulgare, Fennel herb

Foeniculum vulgare var. vulgare Umbelliferae / Apiaceae Also called Wild fennel.

This tall perennial herb with feathery leaves is native to the Mediterranean and was cultivated ill the ancient world. All parts oj fe/me! smell strongly of aniseed and it has long been a popular culinary herb. Its tiny greenish yellow flowers grow in large,flat heads. The small, yellow-brown,flattened seeds have an aromatic odour and taste.

Parts used


The seeds are collected in autumn when they turn yellow.

They are used whole or essential oil may be extracted from them.


The essential oil makes up about 6 per cent of the seed and contains mainly anethole plus estragole and fenchone. The seeds contain phytosterols, flavonoids and coumarins.

Medicinal uses

Bitter fennel is traditionally used to ease problems of the digestive system such as constipation, spasms, irritable bowel, acid stomach, colic and flatulence, and the seeds may help to dissolve kidney stones.

Chewing the seeds is a remedy for bad breath and since fennel also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, it is frequently used in natural toothpaste products.

Fennel is further reputed to help those wishing to lose weight by suppressing the appetite while stimulating the metabolism. It is also thought to relieve motion sickness and other types of nausea.

Bitter fennel has also been used to soothe inflamed eyes (in an eyewash) and sore throats. It is an expectorant as well and because of its antispasmodic action can be used effectively to treat coughs.

It is also believed to mimic the hormone oestrogen, which may explain why Indian women used it traditionally to stimulate lactation.


For internal use

TO TREAT digestive ailments FENNEL WATER Take 5-15 drops in water once a day.

LIQUID EXTRACT Take 10-40 drops in water once a day. INFUSION Add Y, teaspoon of crushed seeds to a cup of boiling water; cover and infuse for 10 minutes. Strain. Drink 1 cup three times a day.

CAPSULES (300mg) Take 2 capsules before meals.

For external use

TO TREAT eye irritation

EYE BATH A cold infusion of fennel (see above) may be used but it must be sterile. Otherwise use a commercial preparation.



Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.


Fennel may induce periods in menopausal women.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not consume amounts that are greater than those normally found in food.

Women with breast or uterine cancer should avoid fennel.

People who are allergic to carrots, celery or mugwort may have an adverse reaction when using fennel.

Fennel may induce nausea and vomiting, fluid in the lungs and may cause sensitivity to sunlight.


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