Fennel has been used as a medicinal and culinary herb since the times of the ancient Greeks. For those who have trouble with poor digestion, gas, belching, and bloating, a simple cup of fennel tea after a heavy meal can be the simplest and most effective remedy. Fennel also reduces bad breath and acts as an antibacterial in the mouth.
[pullquote]In ancient Egypt, India, and China, fennel tea was reportedly used to treat snake and insect bites.[/pullquote]
Historically, the use of fennel dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, where it was used in traditional rituals and celebrations as a symbol of Nature. Greek doctors prescribed this tea to nursing mothers in order to increase breast milk. Here’s a look at the health benefits of fennel tea.
[expert_opinion expertname=’kimberlylackey’ opinion=”Fennel tea is a great remedy to keep on hand in your home to calm digestive issues and so much more. It is important to remember that some people are allergic to fennel. The benefits are great if you can tolerate it. Always remember that there are many healthy options available to achieve similar outcomes. I prefer to use the ‘smell test’; if the tea smells good to you, then that is your body giving you a ‘thumbs up’ to drink up and enjoy. If your nose says ‘no,’ then trust that inner guidance.”]
1. Treats Heartburn
One of the most common applications of fennel is to treat heartburn. Drinking a single cup of tea or chewing fennel seeds when you start feeling the symptoms of indigestion can ease the pain and burning. Several users have said that they were able to get off antacids or proton pump inhibitors by drinking fennel tea.
2. Enhances Women’s Health
Fennel’s volatile oils have mild estrogen-like qualities, so they are used extensively in Chinese medicine to treat hormonal problems. Fennel is also used to boost libido and to stimulate the production and flow of milk in lactating women. It is sometimes used to treat amenorrhea or lack of period.
One of greatest health benefits of fennel tea is its ability to stimulate the production of estrogen, hence relieving PMS, menstrual cramps, and menopausal symptoms. Due to the presence of anethole, the main component of fennel oil, fennel tea has been used for years, especially by midwives and herbalists, as a tonic to protect the female reproductive system.
3. Improves Digestive Health
Fennel is often touted as an antispasmodic, so it can help relax the digestive tract and ease cramps and gas and to treat irritable bowel syndrome. The essential oil of fennel contains estrogen, which inhibits muscles spasms, allowing you to digest more easily. It even relieves hiccups. Its aromatic and carminative properties are an excellent ally to treat flatulence, diarrhea, bloating, or stomach cramps, which are also symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
[Also Read: Other Ways to Improve Digestion Naturally]
4. Kills Internal Parasites
Fennel tea reduces acid levels in both your stomach and rids the intestines of worms and bacteria.
5. Helps Cope With Colic
Fennel herbal tea is good and safe for children, as it relaxes the intestinal tract. This may help when your baby is suffering from colic.
6. Cleanses Blood
Fennel herbal tea increases healthy urine flow and protects your liver from alcohol damage and treats diseases such as jaundice. This blood cleanser may also improve kidney function and prevent kidney stones.
7. Burns Fat
Fennel tea helps reduce water retention, making it one of the best weight loss teas for you. It boosts your metabolism, allowing you to burn fat faster, reduces cellulite, and regulates your appetite.
8. Relieves Arthritis
By cleansing your body with this healthy tea, you improve also the health of your tissues and joints, thus relieving arthritic pain and gout.
9. Boosts Immune System
To feel healthy, you need a strong immune system to help fight bacteria and viruses. A fennel infusion helps prevent the onset of cold symptoms. This wonderful tea helps reduce fevers, relieve sore throats, and treat most upper respiratory tract illnesses, namely asthma, bronchitis, cough by clearing up congestion and excess phlegm.
10. Keeps Your Eyes Healthy
Sometimes after a bad night’s sleep, you may wake up with swollen and sore eyes. Prepare a cup of fennel tea, soak a cotton ball in it, and place it over your eye lids for 10 minutes. It’s quite refreshing, and it will not only reduce puffiness but also treat eye infections like conjunctivitis.
11. Balances Your Hormone Levels
A healthy liver leads to proper hormonal balance which in turn is the key to relieve a number of symptoms that affect you on a daily basis.
12. Strengthens The Heart
Fennel tea is a wonderful source of vitamins and antioxidants that can help you to maintain a healthy heart. Antioxidants and vitamins and the cleansing action mentioned above all work to help you lower your bad cholesterol levels and thus reducing the chances of you suffering from hypertension.
13. Cures Respiratory Problems
Fennel tea is often recommended to treat respiratory issues from simple colds to asthma. It can also help with upper respiratory tract infections because of its antimicrobial properties. Fennel can also be used to treat problems such as angina and high blood pressure.
14. Improves Gum Health
Gargling fennel tea can relieve inflamed gums and treat bad breath, thanks to fennel’s antibacterial property.
15. Deals With Morning Sickness
Expecting moms, this tea may help with morning sickness and treat sore nipples and infections. You can dip a cloth in the tea mixture and apply it to the sore area 3 times a day. Before you use it for morning sickness, though, consult your doctor.
Although more studies are required, nursing moms can take this tea, with the approval of their doctors, to increase the flow of milk. However, don’t take more than 2 to 4 cups daily.
How To Make Fennel Tea
Using Fennel Seeds
- Start by gently crushing approximately 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle. This will release the flavor, oils, and the most divine aroma.
- Scoop the seeds out with a teaspoon and place into a tea ball or strainer and pour 1 cup of boiling water over them.
- Allow the seeds to steep in the boiling water for 7–10 minutes.
- Remove the tea ball/strainer and top up with a little more hot water.
Using Fresh Fennel Leaves
- Snip or pull the fresh, fine green leaves off the bulb and rinse well.
- Pour 1 cup of boiling water.
- Add the leaves and allow to steep for 15–20 minutes.
- Remove leaves and top up with a little more hot water.
Using The Fennel Bulb
- Clean the bulb really well.
- Chop into smaller pieces.
- Add to a tea strainer.
- Pour boiling water over the top and steep for 15–20 minutes.
- Remove strainer and top up with a little more hot water.
Side Effects of Fennel Seed Tea
May cause allergy: If you are allergic to carrots or celery, remember that fennel comes from the same botanical family, so it is likely that fennel tea may cause an allergic reaction. Be aware of such symptoms as itching, hives, or swelling of the skin. If this happens, stop taking this herbal tea and contact your doctor.
May react with drugs: If you are taking any medication, talk to your doctor first, as fennel tea may interact with the medication you are taking and enhance the effects more than you desire. If you are prone to blood clots, drink this tea in moderation.
May not be advised for cancer patients: People who have estrogen-dependent cancer must avoid this tea as well. However, it is said that it may be useful to sooth stomach cramps and vomiting after chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer.
May harm fetus: It is best to not to drink too much fennel herbal tea if you are pregnant, as it may become toxic and travel through the placenta and harm the development of the endocrine system of your little one.