As common sycophants of food, you have to be living under a rock to not be aware of Fennel. It has been used to enhance cuisine flavors across the globe, thanks in large part to its uniquely fragrant taste and equally distinct fragrant smell. From being used in omelets, to adding flavors to baked cakes, fennel is a prominent kitchen favorite around the world. However, not many know of its medicinal benefits and the years of legacy it leaves behind in the ancient texts of Ayurveda.
Fennel as a medicinal food has been used therapeutically since ages long forgotten. Its ability to stimulate appetite, improve digestion, and rendering of comfort after a heavy meal have been well documented in both Ayurveda and Modern medical science.
There are simply so many secrets to unpack in these seedy sweet culinary favorites that one piece of article is hardly enough to do it justice, but we will try anyway. So, without much further ado, let’s discuss the benefits fennel holds for our overall wellbeing and how it can be incorporated in our daily lifestyle.
History of Fennel
There are a lot of speculations around fennel’s origins than there are hard facts. Some believe it to be native to central Asia, while there are other studies that suggest it was cultivated on a large scale in Greece over 5000 years ago. All we can tell for sure is that somewhere down the line it found its way to Europe where it was naturalized and produced for mass consumption.
Throughout history, fennel has been used for both therapeutic and culinary purposes. Many ancient cultures used the seed for its edible nature. However, in areas such as Greece, the seed was primarily used for remedial purposes.
Benefits of the Fennel Plant
Its culinary merits aside, fennel packs a lot of powerful properties that if used appropriately can improve your overall quality of life. Here are a few of the benefits you can expect to reap from this food:
Fennel exhibits great tridoshic properties, meaning it can balance all three doshas – the vata, the pitta, and the kapha. It is specifically known to strengthen and warm agni (digestive fire) without the provocation of pitta. As such, it is a great option to acquire post-digestive comfort. Its tridoshic properties also enables fennel to support many other crucial systems of the body.
It can soothe the nerves, support abdominal comfort, both before and after menstruation. It is also known to have great benefits on rasa dhatu, thus assisting in the natural flow of breast milk in nursing mothers.
Possession of Sattvic Qualities
With regards to the sattvic qualities it harbors, fennel is said to refresh the mind and promote optimal mental awareness. It is especially rejuvenating for the eyes as well. In the respiratory department, fennel can greatly diminish excess kapha in the lungs and make the food impervious to lung congestion. Stress has been associated with several chronic and benign diseases plaguing mankind. Suffice to say, fennel’s sattvic properties can be the perfect antidote for stress and enhance the overall quality of life in the process.
Purification of Blood
Fennel contains a rich amount of essential oils and fibers, both of which play crucial roles in flushing out the toxins from your body. This is necessary for the purification of blood. With your blood cleansed, you can rest easy knowing your body can now absorb nutrients easily and make it available to all core areas of your system.
Regulate Blood Pressure
In a study published by the trusted Journal of Food Science, it was found that chewing on fennel seeds boosted the nitrite content in saliva. This makes the seeds a natural way to keep your blood pressure levels in check. Apart from the above obvious merit, the seeds are also a great source of potassium, which is an essential component of body fluids and cells, and which is also responsible for controlling heart rate and regulating blood pressure in the process.
Fennel can be a great way to decrease the chances of water retention in your body. As a natural diuretic, it can regularly help in flushing out harmful toxins and free radicals from the body. This is crucial to reduce the accumulation of ama and pacify all the three doshas. Fennel can also decrease the risk of developing urinary tract problems.
Help with Digestion
A tea made of fennel can have great long-lasting benefits for your digestive system. As it contains rich in essential oils, fennel can reduce the chances of bloating, constipation, and indigestion. Fennel is especially great for individuals with irritable bowel syndrome, as it can help them reboot their digestive system and promote the healthy production of gastric enzymes. Simply put, fennel tea can be a great option to combat issues pertaining to digestion.
Fennel in Day to Day Life
As we mentioned before, fennel is part of a large population of daily cuisines around the world. You might be having it with your daily bread or tea, without even paying attention to its health benefits. Here are a few great ways you can incorporate this phenomenal Ayurvedic ally in your daily lives:
- You can roast your fennel seed, and chew on them before and after every meal for optimal digestion and regulation of blood pressure.
- You can also make a tea with crushed fennel seeds or fennel powder available in the market or made at home. You can also try the immensely beneficial CCF tea, which includes fennel, cumin, and coriander to make the perfect digestive tea.
- You can use it to add a little unique sweet fragrance and smell to your favorite salad, curry, desert, or vegetable dish.
As you can see for yourself, there are plenty of ways to welcome fennel in your lives. Choose the option that best suits your preference and comfort level. There is no argument to be had on just how extra delicious it can make your favorite dish. However, you are also at a unique advantage in life if you know how exactly fennel can improve your quality of life and promote optimal wellbeing.
You can consult with your Ayurvedic practitioner to learn more about the benefits of fennel and how you can use it in your own routine to make your life a tad bit better.
Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.