Ingredients - Fennel Seed Overview

The Benefits of Fennel Seeds

8 min read | Fennel Seed Overview

Common Use: Digestion, Bloating, Flatulence

Overview:  The next time your period symptoms get you down, consider reaching for some fennel seed. Fennel seed is a natural way to ease menstrual cramps, bloating and nausea. Plus, it has many other health benefits that make it worth adding to your diet all year. Here's what you need to know about this under-the-radar superfood.

Written by: Dr. Fayyaz Afzal, MD

Overview

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is an exceptional flowering plant species that belongs to the carrot family. It is a very hard, perennial herb with yellowish golden flowers and feathery leaves. It belongs to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become greatly naturalized in many parts of the world. Its seeds and leaves are used in many dishes for their anise-like flavour. Fennel is a critical ingredient in some curries and chutneys. The young palatable shoots can be eaten raw in salads. The bulb, the fleshy base of the stem, can be roasted, sauteed, or stewed. Fennel pollen is sometimes used as a seasoning. Medicinally, fennel is helpful for digestive problems, including heartburn, flatulence, colic, and cramps. It also increases milk flow in nursing mothers and is thought to improve vision. Fennel was used by the ancient Greeks to increase sexual desire and was said to be associated with Dionysus, the god of fertility.

Fennel Seeds and Menopause

As any woman who has gone through menopause knows, the symptoms can be frustrating and disruptive. Hot flashes, night sweats, and on and off mood swings can make daily life difficult. However, there are ways to help ease the symptoms of menopause. One popular remedy is fennel seed. Fennel seeds contain phytoestrogens, plant-based hormones that can help balance the fluctuating hormone levels during menopause. Additionally, fennel seeds are known for their soothing properties and can help to reduce hot flashes and night sweats. 

This superfood has additional benefits, continue reading to find out more.  

1. Relieves bloating, flatulence and indigestion.

Fennel seed has been widely used for centuries as a natural remedy for digestive issues like bloating, flatulence and indigestion. The seeds contain an oily substance called anethole, responsible for the herb's distinctive liquorice-like flavour. When ingested, anethole helps to relax the digestive muscles, reducing gas and bloating. Additionally, fennel seeds promote the production of digestive enzymes, which aids to break down food and relieve indigestion. For great results, chew on a few fennel seeds after meals or steep them in hot water to make a soothing tea. Regular use allows you to say goodbye to digestive discomfort and enjoy your meals again. Thank you, fennel seeds!

2. Reduces mood swings and stress

Fennel seeds have long been used as a natural remedy for mood swings and stress. The seeds contain an amino acid called tryptophan, which promotes feelings of relaxation and calm. In addition, fennel seeds are a good source of magnesium. This mineral helps to reduce muscle tension and improve sleep quality. For these reasons, fennel tea or a few drops of fennel essential oil in a diffuser can help manage stress and reduce anxiety. 

3. Promotes deeper sleep

Fennel seeds contain a compound that has also been shown to act as a mild sedative, making it a popular choice for those seeking a natural remedy for insomnia. In addition, fennel seed is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. All these factors combine to make fennel seed an ideal choice for those seeking a deeper and more restful sleep. Furthermore, the fennel seed promotes wakefulness and mental clarity, making it the perfect way to start your day. So whether you're looking for a natural way to get a better night's sleep or want to wake up feeling refreshed and energised, fennel seed may be the answer you're looking for.

4. Improves skin appearance

Fennel seed is a great natural choice for those looking to improve their skin health and conditions. This powerful seed contains many naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help replenish exhausted skin. The oil derived from the seeds also has antifungal properties which can help treat inflamed skin or treat other fungal infections. Fennel is also known to have anti-inflammatory benefits which helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Additionally, its antioxidant content acts as a detoxifying agent that reduces the damaging effect of free radicals in the environment and sun exposure. With its multitude of scientifically proven benefits, it's no surprise that fennel seed is gaining popularity as an all-natural way to improve your skin health and condition.

5. Helps to regulate blood pressure

Fennel Seed, if ingested on a regular basis, provides a natural way of helping to manage blood pressure levels. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, fennel seed may help reduce the effect of vascular tension that can contribute to high blood pressure. Additionally, this herb is believed to be effective in loosening arterial walls and decreasing the flow of calcium into the cells — both of which are beneficial to the overall health of your cardiovascular system. Fennel seed can be consumed in tea form or as an oil supplement, and coupled with a healthy diet and lifestyle could become part of an effective blood pressure management strategy.

Conclusion

So, if you're looking for all natural way to ease your menstrual symptoms, give fennel a try. It just might become your new best friend! Have you ever used fennel seed to help with PMS? We'd love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

References

Badgujar, S. B., Patel, V. V., & Bandivdekar, A. H. (2014). Foeniculum vulgareMill: A Review of Its Botany, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology, Contemporary Application, and Toxicology. BioMed Research International, 2014, 1–32. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/842674

Ghaffari, P., Hosseininik, M., Afrasiabifar, A., Sadeghi, H., Hosseininik, A., Tabatabaei, S.M. and Hosseini, N. (2020). The effect of Fennel seed powder on estradiol levels, menopausal symptoms, and sexual desire in postmenopausal women. Menopause, [online] 27(11), pp.1281–1286. doi:10.1097/gme.0000000000001604.

Das, B., Rabalais, J., Kozan, P., Lu, T., Durali, N., Okamoto, K., McGeough, M.D., Lee, B.J., Barrett, K.E., Marchelletta, R. and Sivagnanam, M. (2022). The effect of a fennel seed extract on the STAT signaling and intestinal barrier function. PLOS ONE, [online] 17(7), p.e0271045. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0271045.

Mahboubi, M. (2019). Foeniculum vulgareas Valuable Plant in Management of Women’s Health. Journal of Menopausal Medicine, [online] 25(1), p.1. doi:10.6118/jmm.2019.25.1.1.

 Swaminathan, A., Sridhara, S. R. C., Sinha, S., Nagarajan, S., Balaguru, U. M., Siamwala, J. H., Rajendran, S., Saran, U., & Chatterjee, S. (2012). Nitrites Derived FromFoneiculum Vulgare(Fennel) Seeds Promotes Vascular Functions. Journal of Food Science, 77(12), H273–H279. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1750-3841.2012.03000.x

Fennel. (2022, March 21). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30000852/
Alexandrovich I;Rakovitskaya O;Kolmo E;Sidorova T;Shushunov S. (2022). The effect of fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare) seed oil emulsion in infantile colic: a randomized, placebo-controlled study. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 9(4). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12868253/

 Samadi‐Noshahr, Z., Hadjzadeh, M., Moradi‐Marjaneh, R., & Khajavi‐Rad, A. (2020). The hepatoprotective effects of fennel seeds extract andtrans‐Anethole in streptozotocin‐induced liver injury in rats. Food Science & Nutrition, 9(2), 1121–1131. https://doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.2090

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