(NaturalHealth365) Fennel puts your immune system into action, while providing a crunchy and slightly sweet refreshing taste to your meal. This plant has its popularity from Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. It has an appealing appearance with white to pale green bulbs and long green stalks reaching upwards.
Discover the rich history of a popular herb
Fennel is closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander, which shows its delightful ties to some very healthy plants. You can actually eat the bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds of this nutritious herb. Best of all, fennel has the power to blend well or enhance the flavor of other foods.
Over 2,000 years ago, Roman medicine states that Pliny the Elder (a natural philosopher) included over 20 uses for fennel in his encyclopedia “Naturalis Historia.” It’s been held in high esteem in ancient Greece to enhance longevity, strength and courage. During medieval times, it was used to ward off witchcraft and spells – but (I think) it just protects your health and thus seemed to have “magical” powers.
Easy to grow, healthy and delicious
Part of the reason for its popularity from ancient times till present days is its ability to grow in average soil from easily propagated seeds. The stalks are bountiful and grow in mass – reaching up to five feet. The bulb of the fennel plant was prized for its flavor as well as its medicinal value.
In England, King Edward 1 purchased 8 ½ pounds of fennel seed for the month – the seed was used as a condiment and appetite suppressant. The Puritans in America would bring handkerchiefs with fennel seeds to nibble on through long church services to starve off hunger; which led to the name “meetin’ seeds.
This should be taught in every medical school
Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and dietary fiver. With only 27 calories per cup (and zero cholesterol) fennel is one of the best antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods on the planet. Just a side note: fennel is “carminative”, which means it prevents formation of gas in the intestinal tract.
Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found anethole (anti-inflammatory phytonutrient) a chief constituent of fennel which blocks both inflammation and carcinogenesis, the transformation of regular cells into cancerous ones. The fiber, folate and potassium protect both cardiovascular and colon health. The fiber of the plant removes carcinogenic toxins from the colon. The folate and potassium keeps the cardiovascular system in good order.
The health benefits are amazing
Fennel is used to treat flatulence, bloating, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, hypertension, low milk production in nursing women, premenstrual syndrome, bad breath, sinus congestion and chronic coughs. Grown throughout Europe, and the near east since ancient times, its medicinal uses have been well documented. Today, the United States, France, India and Russia are the leading cultivators of fennel, making it available at most supermarkets.
The recipes for fennel are endless as are its health benefits, so these are some easy ways to incorporate them: sauté with onions, use in a salad, braise them to accompany main dishes or toss some in olive oil for pasta dishes. You can use all parts of the plant, chop the leaves to add flavor to potato salad, cream sauces, and garnish a soup or stew. The bulb can be eaten raw in salads adding both flavor and crunch. It is great in all kinds of braised meat dishes and as a flavoring for a bullion soup.
Blanche has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in Natural Healing including Naturopaths, Scientist, and Energy Healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy