Natural Life Choices - Health and Wellness Coach

Natural Life Choices®, Inc

Health & Wellness Coach 

Health Coach - Natural Life Choices
Facebook Natural Life Choices - Health Coach
08 marca 2023

Few Words about Fennel 

Fennel was undoubtedly St. Hildegard’s von Bingen favorite vegetable – her cure-all. It is rich in minerals, especially potassium, which helps lower blood pressure and encourages the elimination of water through the urinary tract.


Fennel according Saint Hildegard von Bingen makes a person happy and brings pleasant warmth and good perspiration. It has been known and used by humans since antiquity. It is cultivated in almost every country.


Fennel - Foeniculum vulgare Mill. is one of the most common medicinal plants in the Umberlliferae (Apiaceae) family. It is an ancient seasonal herb that originated in the southern Mediterranean region, and throughout naturalization and cultivation it grows wild throughout the Northern Hemisphere, especially in Europe, North America, and Asia. The herbs were well-known to the ancient Egyptians, Romans, Indians and Chinese.

The ancient Greek name of fennel was “marathron” from “maration” that means “to grow thin”. The Romans named the plant foeniculum, which is derived from the Latin word foenum, which means ‘hay”. This name eventually evolved into the one we know it by. The Romans grew it for its aromatic seeds and the edible fleshy shoots are still a very common vegetable in southern Italy. The Emperor Charlemagne is responsible for introducing the plant into central Europe. Fennel was one among many herbs cultivated on his imperial farms. British herbalist Culpeper in XVII century wrote that all parts of the fennel plant “are much used in drink or broth to make people lean that are too fat”.


Roman soldiers chewed the fennel seeds to stave off hunger during long marches when meals were sporadic. Also, in medieval times people kept a stash of fennel seeds handy to nubble on through long church services and on fast days. The seeds were considered to be an appetite suppressant. The ancient Chinese cured snakes’ bites with fennel and the ancient Egyptians and Romans ate it after meals to tone their digestive tracts and release toxins from their body.


Fennel is a lovely plant with attractive, feathery leaves, and can grow up to 6 feet. It looks a lot like dill, except for the bulb. Small clusters of yellow flowers appear in summer and produce oval-shaped, ribbed, brown seeds about ¼ inch long. The whole plant has an aniseed flavor.

When you are shopping for fennel plants or seeds at your local garden center or supermarket, you are likely to find two types. The Foeniculum vulgare, which is synonymous with F. officinale, is commonly known as wild fennel and it is bitter. The other type is F. vulgare. var. dulce, known as sweet fennel, Florence fennel, or finocchio, which has a large, swollen leaf base. All parts of the fennel plant, including the bulb, stalk, leaves, and seeds are edible. The seeds and leaves of both are used for seasoning in cooking and the leaf base and stems of Florence fennel are eaten as vegetables.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrition Database 1 cup, sliced (87g) of raw fennel bulb contains:



Amount and Unit




27 kcal







Dietary fiber




Calcium, Ca

42.6 mg

Iron, Fe

0.635 mg

Magnesium, Mg

14.8 mg

Phosphorus, P

43.5 mg

Potassium, K

360 mg

Sodium, Na

45.2 mg

Zinc, Zn

0.174 mg

Copper, Cu

0.057 mg

Manganese, Mn

0.166 mg

Selenium, Se

0.609 µg

Vitamin C

10.4 mg

Thiamin B-1

0.009 mg

Riboflavin B-2

0.028 mg

Niacin B-3

0.557 mg

Pantothenic acid

0.202 mg

Vitamin B-6

0.041 mg


23.5 µg

Choline, total

11.5 mg

Vitamin A, IU

838 IU

Lutein + zeaxanthin

528 µg

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)

0.505 mg

Vitamin K

54.6 µg



Fennels are one of the highest plant sources of potassium, sodium, phosphorus and calcium. For example, on a weight basis, fennels contain more calcium 49mg/100g) as compare with apples (7.14/100g), bananas (3.88mg/100g), dates (25.0mg/100g), grapes (10.86mg/100g), orange (40.25mg/100g), prunes (18.0mg/100g), raisins (40.0mg/100g) and strawberries (14.01mg/100g).


Fennel has a lot of volatile oil (8%) mostly anethole (60 to 80%), and fenchone (10% to 30%). Anethole is responsible for its licorice flavor. Fennel is also very rich in flavonoids, mainly rutin, quercetin and kaempferol glycosides, which are in generally considered as an important category of antioxidants in the human diet. Fennel fruits are rich in phenolic compounds.


Fennel seed relax the smooth muscles that line the digestive tract, relieving flatulence, bloating and gas, as well as nausea and vomiting, motion sickness and abdominal pain. Therefore, physicians through the ages have prescribed fennel for a variety of ailments:


  • To stimulate milk production in nursing mothers,

  • Aid digestion and prevent bad breath,

  • Gout,

  • Liver,

  • Lung disorders,

  • Prevent obesity,

  • Hormonal and metabolic disorders in women with PCOS,

  • Indigestion, heartburn and flatulence,

  • Constipation and stomach pains,

  • Infants’ colic,

  • Sore throats,

  • Laryngitis,

  • Gum problems,

  • Urinary tract problems,

  • Kidney stones,

  • Menstrual problems including cramping,

  • PMS,

  • Pain fluid retention and other menstrual symptoms,

  • Cleans toxins from the body and flushes them out through the urinary tract,

  • Eyesight, eyewash, conjunctivitis, eye inflammations,

  • Crohn’s disease,

  • Food poisoning,

  • Motion sickness and vomiting,

  • Asthma, bronchitis, coughs, and tuberculosis and

  • The essential oil eases muscular and rheumatic pains.


Fennel seeds demonstrates qualities like:

  • Hepatoprotective

  • Antioxidant

  • Antithrombotic

  • Antiinflammatory

  • Antibacterial

  • Antifungal

  • Diuretic and detoxifier

  • An antispasmodic

  • Painreducer

  • Feverreducer

  • having mild estrogenic effect

  • stimulate appetite

  • to soothe digestion

  • to hasten healing of muscle strains and hernia

  • anxiolytic activity – fennel extract is used for treatment of anxiety and its related psychological and physical symptoms

  • antistress activity – the extract of entire plant of fennel acts as an antistress agent.

  • memoryenhancing property

  • antidepressant



Fennel is an annual, biennial, or perennial herbaceous plant, depending on the variety. It is easy to grow, and it keeps coming back year after year. Florence fennel is grown for its swollen base or leaves. It can reach a height of 5-6 feet tall. Both types need sunny site with well-drained, living soil holding the right micronutrients and microbes. The pH should be above 6.5. to gain these optimal growing conditions, work in some compost and planting mix. Fennel can be planted in either spring or fall. Pick a permanent position in the garden because the plant will self-sow if left to its own devices.


As I mention before several parts of fennel are edible (bulbs, leaves, stalk and fruits). Mature fruits (commonly known as seeds) and essential oil of fennel are used as flavoring agents in food products such as liqueurs, breads, cheese and an ingredient of cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. Very popular is eating fennel seeds whole or made into a tea.


Florence fennel stalks and bulbs can be minced for use in salads and soups. Fresh leaves can be used in salads and as lacy garnishes. The tender stems can be eaten like celery.

Fennel fares well with fish, sausages, duck, barley, rice, cabbage, sauerkraut, beets, pickles, potatoes, lentils, breads, eggs, and cheese.


There are some considerations about the fennel!

It is not recommended to consume more than 1½ tsp of fennel seeds a day. And it is not good to use the essential oil over extended periods. The oil in the fennel seeds can irritate skin.

It is very important to remember because fennel seed can increase estrogen levels, it should be avoided by pregnant women or by someone who has an estrogen-sensitive medical condition, such as estrogen-responsive breast cancer.

I have found out that persons with seizure disorders should use fennel oil with caution because it may trigger epileptic seizures in susceptible individuals. If you have a history of seizures, consult with a health-care professionals before using fennel.


Here are some cooking ideas and tips:


It is good to add some grounded seed to hot or chilled tomato soup.

When do you want to use fresh fennel leaves for cooking add them at very last moment because heat will destroy the delicate flavor.

The mince or sliced a bulb of Florence fennel can be add to a salad of your choice.

Braised fennel is a wonderful complement to any fish or seafood entrée.

Fennel is good with following companions:

Olive oil and butter, parsley, fennel seeds, saffron, thyme, bay, star anise, orange lemon, and tomatoes, celery, potatoes, olives, garlic, fish, shellfish, and pork.


Fennel Tea

Add 1 tbsp (organic) fennel seeds to 1 liter (2pints) boiling water. Leave to infuse for 5-10 minutes then drink.


I hope you enjoy!


Please let me know if you have any more question about fennel!








Claude Davis.The Lost Book of Herbal remedies.Apelian N., D. C. (2020).

Badgujar SB, P. V. (2014). Foeniculum vulgare Mill: A review of its botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology, contemporary application and toxicology. BioMed Reesearch International, 842674.

Bingen, H. V. (2001). Hildegard's Healing Plants. From Her Medieval Classic Physica. Boston: Beacon Press.

D, H. (2003). Medical Herbalism. The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

D, M. (n.d.). Vegetable Literacy. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press.

Hylton, C. K. (1998). Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, INc.

K, R. (2010). Growing Vegetables. New York: Metro Books.

Life, E. A. (2018). Bottom lines' Guide to healing foods. Stamford: BottomLineBooks.

M, S.-U. (2019). Hildegard of Bingen's Holistic Health Secrets. Eddison Books Ltd.

Murray M., P. J. (2005). The Encylopedia of Healing Foods. New York, London, Toronto, Sydney: Atria Books.

PA, B. (2002). Prescription for Herbal Healing. New York: Avery.

U.S. Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Wilson, R. (2002). The Essential Guide to Essential Oils. New York: Avery an imprint of Penguin Random House.



Medical Disclaimer: The information on and provided by this article is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional such as a physician and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Natural Life Choices. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
NBC-HWC Health Coach
ACE Certified -Health Coach

2023 Natural Life Choices®, INC.

Coaching, Support, Education, Development

Natural Life Choices - wants to lose weight - Health Coach
Natural Life Choices Health Coach

Natural Life Choices®, Inc. 

Tiny Habits - Health Coach
Functional Nutrition Counselor
Plant Based Nutrition Health & Wellness Coach