The word “fennel” developed from the Middle English fenel or fenyl. This came from the Old English fenol or finol, which in turn came from theLatin feniculum or foeniculum, the diminutive offenum or faenum, meaning “hay”.
The ancient Greeks knew fennel by the name “marathron”; it grew in the field in which one of the great ancient battles was fought and which was subsequently named the Battle of Marathon after this revered plant. Fennel was also awarded to Pheidippides, the runner who delivered the news of the Persian invasion to Sparta. Greek myths also hold that knowledge was delivered to man by the gods at Olympus in a fennel stalk filled with coal.
Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is also a very good of dietary fibre, potassium, manganese, folate, and molybdenum. In addition, fennel is a good source of niacin as well as the minerals phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, and copper.
- some of the components of the essential oils in fennel are stimulants and they stimulate secretion of digestive and gastric juices, while reducing inflammation of the stomach and intestines, and facilitating proper absorption of nutrients from the food
- the seeds and the root are appetite stimulants and sooth the digestion
- volatile oil has been shown to increase liver regeneration, it is also bactericidal and anti-fungal,
- useful remedy for upper respiratory catarrh and has a calming effect on bronchitis and coughs,
- it is diuretic, and is used to treat urinary calculi,
- slightly oestrogenic, and is a well-known means of promoting the flow of breast milk,
- externally, the oil relieves muscular and rheumatic pains, and the infusion may be used in a compress to treat conjunctivitis and blepharitis,
- seeds have a traditional reputation as an aid to weight loss and longevity
- iron and histidine, an amino acid found in fennel, are both helpful in treatment of anaemia,
- it is a common practise, particularly on the Indian Subcontinent, to chew fennel seeds after meals which is done to facilitate digestion and to eliminate bad breath,
- it can eliminate constipation and thereby protect the body from a wide range of intestinal troubles that can stem from being blocked up
- can act as a laxative – the roughage helps clear the bowels, whereas its stimulating effect helps maintain the proper peristaltic motion of the intestines, thereby helping promote proper excretion through the stimulation of gastric juices and bile production,
- as an antiflatulent, due to the carminative properties of the aspartic acid found in fennel
- it also helps to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood stream, it can stimulate the elimination damaging LDL cholesterol
- seed extract can not only inhibit the growth of tumors, thanks to its concentrations of flavonoids, alkaloids, and phenols, but that it can even be somewhat chemo-protective against the harmful effects of radiation during cancer treatment; it has been found to be preventative of various breast cancer and liver cancer strains.
- Fennel is a very rich source of potassium which relaxes the tension of blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure
- in food helps protect the eyes from inflammation, as well as helping to reduce disorders related to premature ageing and muscular degeneration. This is due to the high abundance of antioxidants (vitamin-C and amino acids like Arginine which are very beneficial for rejuvenation of tissues and the prevention of ageing), detoxifies and stimulants
- polymers, also called Phytoestrogens, are found in Anethole, a component of the essential oil in fennel. This attribute of fennel makes it quite helpful in the treatment of Renal Colic,
- 1 cup of fennel bulb contains almost 20% of the daily requirement of vitamin-C improves general immune system health, produces and repairs skin tissue, helps to form collagen, and also protects the blood vessel walls as an antioxidant against the harmful effects of free radicals that can frequently lead to heart disease,
- eases and regulates menstruation by properly regulating hormonal action in the body,
- helping the removal of toxic substances from the body