Fennel Seeds: Amazing Benefits For Skin, Hair, And Health

Fennel seeds are achenes fruits widely used in phytotherapy, as herbal teas, for the treatment of problems related to the digestive system.

General information on Fennel Seeds

The fennel seeds are the achenes fruits derived from the homonymous herb, also known by the name of Foeniculum vulgare, and belong to the Apiaceae family.

Known for many centuries for its aromatic properties, it lends itself very well both in the kitchen, for the realization of numerous recipes, and in phytotherapy, since it has remarkable beneficial qualities.

In nature there are two different types of fennel:

  • The wild fennel is a perennial plant that grows wild in Mediterranean areas. It produces edible achenes fruits (erroneously called seeds) with green-gray tints that are commonly used as well as the leaves, buds and small yellow flowers that characterize it.
  • The sweet fennel is instead a biennial plant with taproot intended for horticultural production since it is widely cultivated for the production of grumolo, which is the edible part of the vegetable, constituted from the agglomeration of white color composed by foliar membranes and the conical drum in which they are integrated.

Composition and nutritional values

Fennel seeds have many beneficial substances for our body, helping us to stay healthy through the presence of numerous antioxidants, vitamins, minerals such as calcium and fiber. Among the antioxidants contained in these seeds, there are also flavonoids such as quercetin and canferol, useful not only in the fight against the damage caused by free radicals but also as tools capable of preventing the onset of tumors, aging, and other degenerative diseases.

In addition to this, fennel seeds have a chemical composition very rich in essential oils that play an important protective role on the digestive system through the active ingredients they have, among which we find:

  • Limonene, Fellandrene, Tuyene, Fenchene, alpha and beta-Pinene, Anisaldehyde, alpha and beta-Terpinene (monoterpenic hydrocarbons).
  • Trans-anethole (gives a pleasant and sweetish aroma).
  • Cineole and Myrcene (terpenoids).
  • Fencone (bitter taste).
  • Feniculina.
  • Dipinene (bicyclic terpene).
  • Camphene (bicyclic monoterpene).
  • Dipentene (terpene hydrocarbon).
  • Methylcavicular acid (methyl ether).
  • Estragon (phenylpropene).
  • Flavonoids (camphorol and quercetin).

Thanks to these active ingredients, the infusions based on fennel seeds are one of the best remedies against problems related to digestive activity such as abdominal swelling and digestive difficulties, consequently making some improvements even in case of vomiting, heaviness, aerophagia, and drowsiness.

However, it should be remembered that these substances must absolutely not be taken in excessive doses since they could give rise to hallucinogenic side effects, therefore it is recommended to consume the decoctions of fennel seeds in moderation.

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Properties and benefits of Fennel Seeds

In addition to being very useful in relieving and improving conditions relating to the digestive systemalso stimulating diuresis, fennel seed infusions can have beneficial effects for our health, such as:

  • Reduces cholesterol levels : cholesterol is one of the main causes of diseases such as hypertension, stroke and heart attack. For this reason it often becomes necessary to keep cholesterol levels under control through a diet rich in fiber (present exclusively in plant foods) capable of drastically reducing its possible accumulation in arterial areas, thus reducing the possibility of manifesting diseases of the apparatus. cardio-circulatory.
  • Eliminates toxins : the high fiber content, present only in vegetables, helps improve digestion by promoting both the transit of food inside the intestine and the elimination of toxins.
  • Contrasts the onset of cancer : the antioxidant substances present in fennel seeds are able to prevent the risk of manifesting diseases associated with the deleterious action caused by free radicals such as cancer. Moreover, by promoting the elimination of toxins inside the intestine and improving the health conditions of the gastro-intestinal system, these substances prove useful in preventing colon cancer.
  • Antioxidant properties : these seeds, being very rich in flavonoids, reduce the oxidative stress of the cardio-vascular system, also preventing cellular aging (caused by free radicals) through anti-aging actions and at the same time reducing the risk of developing neurological degenerative diseases .
  • Facilitates the formation of red blood cells : the high copper content present in these seeds is essential for the formation of these blood cells that carry out the function of transporting oxygen from the lungs to the tissues and, vice versa, conducting part of the anhydride carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs, which will then take care of eliminating it in the form of gas.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties : antioxidants, in addition to preserving the body from damage related to free radicals, also defending it from the risk of developing diseases such as cancer, can prove very useful thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties and in particular for the treatment of diseases such as disease Crohn’s, also known as regional enteritis (chronic inflammation of the intestine) and arthritis. However, recent studies have not yet confirmed this possibility.
  • High blood pressure : since fennel seeds contain large percentages of potassium, they are very useful in regulating blood pressure and consequently the heartbeat.

Fennel Seeds in Phytotherapy

In phytotherapy, fennel seeds are used to heal problems such as aerophagia, vomiting, and digestive difficulties, but not only that, the herbal tea derived from these seeds is also very valid for limiting intestinal gas by counteracting the fermentation development of the large intestine making it it is also an excellent tool able to compensate and reduce air colic in babies during breastfeeding.

Besides that, it can prove useful in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.

For these reasons the properties attributed to these seeds are:

  • Diuretic properties .
  • Anti-emetic properties (helping to decrease the sense of nausea and vomiting).
  • Anti-inflammatory properties .
  • Digestive properties .
  • Toning properties .
  • Aromatic properties .
  • Carminative properties (they eliminate the air that has accumulated in the stomach and intestines).
  • Emmenagogic properties (facilitate the flow of blood into the uterus by promoting menstruation).

Contraindications

As previously reported, due to the active ingredients present in these seeds it is recommended to pay close attention to the dosage, without exceeding, since if taken in high doses they can give rise to hallucinogenic effects.

For subjects hypersensitive to the active ingredients contained in fennel seeds, the use of this product is contraindicated.

Cooking with Fennel Seeds

Thanks to their aromatic properties, fennel seeds are commonly used to flavor various traditional dishes, such as Apulian taralli but also donuts, biscuits, and other homemade desserts.

Finally, they are also often used to produce liqueurs (fennel liqueur, typical of the Tyrrhenian areas), to prepare herbal teas, and to spice hot wines.

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