Do you know the best thing about herbs? They are a quick cure for various health conditions and are on your kitchen shelf! One such underrated yet fragrant, sweet, anise-flavored herb is fennel.
Fennel was used worldwide in ancient times for preparing various medicines. Folk medical practitioners used it to treat gynecological problems in women. The seeds, roots, leaves, and stem of this Mediterranean herb contain a lot of beneficial nutrients that can protect us from a number of health risks.
Here are some amazing health benefits of fennel seeds.
10 Health Benefits Of Fennel Seeds
1. Prevents Cardiac Arrest And Strokes
Potassium in fennel seeds may lower blood pressure and prevent cardiac arrest in people with high blood pressure. It relaxes the blood vessels, lowers the blood pressure, and protects against muscle cramping.1
However, high potassium intake isn’t advisable if you already have low blood pressure. You should also be careful not to include too much potassium in your diet as it accumulates in your body and has to be excreted by the kidneys in form of urine, stool, and sweat. If your kidneys fail to perform this function, your blood pressure levels can become dangerously high.
Fennel seeds may also help regulate cholesterol and, hence, keep your heart in good shape and prevent strokes.2 This was proved to be true in rats. There is no conclusive proof for the same effects on humans.
2. Promotes Lactation
Most new mothers face the problem of the lack of breast milk. Fennel seeds can help you produce more milk if you’re a breastfeeding mother. Fennel is used as a galactagogue that promotes or increases the flow of milk and is, therefore, helpful for your baby.3
3. Relieves Menstrual Problems
Fennel seeds have emmenagogue properties that ensure smooth menstrual flow. The seeds contain phytoestrogens that help women deal with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopausal issues. If you experience heavy flow during menstruation, fennel seeds can work wonders for you. They may also help you deal with symptoms of dysmenorrhea. 4
4. Fights Cancer
Fennel seeds contain an anti-inflammatory phytonutrient called anethole that fights carcinogenic toxins. It also contains quercetin, which is an active anticancer agent.5
5. Fights Obesity
Fennel is known to suppress appetite, which creates the impression of being full even if you’ve consumed less food. The lack of appetite leads to less feeding and eventually aids weight loss. Fennel has the ability to break down harmful fats, speed up metabolism, and combat weight gain.6 So if you’re struggling with obesity issues, fennel might be the way out for you.
6. Prevents Gum Infection
You don’t have to visit the dentist every time your gums trouble you. Fennel seeds have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities that help fight the germs in your mouth. The herb also soothes your inflamed gums and freshens your breath.
7. Strengthens Your Immune System
One serving of fennel seeds contains about 20% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C, which is responsible for supporting your immune system; it fights infections and promotes wound healing.
8. Improves Digestion
Bad eating habits create a number of digestive problems such as bloating, constipation, heartburn, indigestion, and colic. The carminative effects of fennel seeds help relieve these symptoms. They soothe the colon and prevent stomach gas. 7 Chewing on 1 Tbsp of fennel seeds after a meal aids in digestion and prevents bloating.
9. Prevents Water Retention
Fennel seeds work as a diuretic to get rid of the excessive fluids from your body. Their diaphoretic properties increase perspiration and combat water retention problems in your body. If you have puffy eyes due to water retention, fennel tea can help you get rid of the puffiness.
10. Improves Red Blood Cell Count
Fennel seeds are rich in copper, which aids the production of red blood cells. Also, the antioxidant properties of fennel neutralize the adverse effects of free radicals that cause the destruction of the cell membrane of red blood cells. 8 This observation has been made in rats, and further research is required to confirm these results in humans. The antioxidant properties are also useful in the treatment of anemia.
Now that you know how fennel seeds can work wonders for your health, you should start including them in your daily diet. Grab a handful of these magic seeds and get started!
|↑1||Potassium lowers blood pressure. Harvard Health Publications.|
|↑2||REZQ, AMR. “Beneficial health effects of fennel seeds (shamar) on male rats feeding high fat-diet.” The Medical Journal of Cairo University 80, no. 2 (2012).|
|↑3||Budzynska, Katarzyna, Zoë E. Gardner, Tieraona Low Dog, and Paula Gardiner. “Complementary, holistic, and integrative medicine: advice for clinicians on herbs and breastfeeding.” Pediatrics in Review 34, no. 8 (2013): 343.|
|↑4||Omidvar, Shabnam, Sedighe Esmailzadeh, Mahmood Baradaran, and Zahra Basirat. “Effect of fennel on pain intensity in dysmenorrhoea: A placebo-controlled trial.” AYU (An international quarterly journal of research in Ayurveda) 33, no. 2 (2012): 311.|
|↑5||Shaffie, Nermeen M., Fatma A. Morsy, Amina G. Ali, and Hafiza A. Sharaf. “Effect of caraway, coriander and fennel on the structure of kidney and islets of Langerhan in alloxan-induced diabetic rats: Histological and histochemical study.” Journal of American Science 6, no. 9 (2010): 405-418.|
|↑6||Bae, JiYoung, JiEun Kim, RyowonChoue, and Hyunjung Lim. “Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and fenugreek (Trigonellafoenum-graecum) tea drinking suppresses subjective short-term appetite in overweight women.” Clinical nutrition research 4, no. 3 (2015): 168-174.|
|↑7||Saha, Dibyajyoti, Swati Paul, SM Zahid Hosen, Talha Bin Emran, and Zahed Bin Rahim. “Role of Ayurvedic Formulation in Digestion.” International Research Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2, no. 8 (2012).|
|↑8||Mansouri, Esrafil, WesamKooti, Maryam Bazvand, Maryam GhasemiBoroon, Ashraf Amirzargar, Reza Afrisham, Mohammad Reza Afzalzadeh, DamoonAshtary-Larky, and NasrinJalali. “The effect of hydro-alcoholic extract of Foeniculum vulgare Mill on leukocytes and hematological tests in male rats.” Jundishapur journal of natural pharmaceutical products 10, no. 1 (2015).|