The seeds are normally harvested, but their roots and leaves are widely used in cooking and for the creation of home remedies. It is marketed as an essential oil, a dried plant to make infusions or decoctions, in syrup, in powder or as an extract.
Fennel can reach up to 2 meters in height, although most reach up to 120cm. It is highly branched, has thin leaves and very small yellow flowers grouped in umbels or corymb. The fruits of fennel, the mericarps , are ovoid capsules barely 1 cm long or even smaller, with grooves on their surface.
This plant begins to flower in mid-June, or early July. Its fruits appear between August and September, everything will depend on the climate and altitude.
By the way, the climate for this plant to grow easily must be warm and even dry, it supports drought and heat very well . It cannot stand the cold, that is why we will rarely see it in cold mountains. Fennel grows in dry meadows, bushes, riverbanks, roads and other similar soils with a lot of organic matter.
It is considered one of the best medicinal plants because since ancient times it has been used in the fight and relief of diseases, especially those related to the digestive system. The most common form of consumption for these purposes is through fennel tea, very common in some cultures that are closely aware of its benefits.
Like many plants, fennel has properties in each of its parts:
- In the leaves: sugars ( glycosides ), coumarins , essential oil ( anethole, estragole, limonene, phencone, pinene and others).
- In the bud: fiber , mineral salts (potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus); vitamins A and B3.
- Phytosterols .
This is the nutritional table for fennel:
- Calories : 31 kcal (bulb); 110 kcal (fruit).
- Carbohydrates : 7.3 mg (bulb); 51 mg (fruit).
- Fiber : 3.1 mg (bulb); 38.9 mg (fruit).
- Proteins : 1.6 mg (bulb); 15 mg (fruit).
- Fat : 0.2 mg (bulb); 13.6 mg (fruit).
- Vitamin C : 12 mg (bulb); 21 mg (fruit).
- Folic acid : 1 mg (bulb); 1 mg (fruit).
Here are some examples of the medicinal properties of fennel:
- Digestive : stimulates the secretion of gastric juices that facilitate digestion .
- Carminative : helps the expulsion of gases, which prevents abdominal inflammation.
- Diuretic : facilitates the expulsion of toxins through the urine.
- Antispasmodic : helps combat general discomfort and pain related to spasms.
- Emenagogue : regulates the symptoms of menstruation and improves in case of inconvenience.
- Galactogen : increases the production of breast milk.
- Expectorant and mucolytic : facilitates the expulsion of existing mucus in the respiratory system and protects the mucous membranes.
- Antiseptic : reduces viral and bacterial infection slightly.
- Anti-inflammatory .
- Vulnerary and healing.
- Organoleptic corrector for herbal preparations that are bitter or tasteless on the palate (improves flavor).
Fennel also neutralizes nausea, and due to its diuretic and carminative properties, it is ideal for pregnant women , it helps them feel better with some conditions typical of that state. It also works as a remedy for colic and intestinal problems in children.
Examples of dishes with fennel as an ingredient:
Fennel gratin with Roquefort.
Fennel salad with orange and arugula.
Fennels stuffed with fresh goat cheese.
Tomato and fennel soup.
Fennel salad with yogurt cream.