Fennel is a flowering plant that is related to carrots which given its mild liquorice like flavour is almost hard to believe!
Growing up to 2m tall it is a fantastic source of dietary fibre, Vitamin B, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium and protein and is known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects.
The most interesting fact I enjoy about this plant is that it is actually one of the main ingredients they use in the alcohol "Absinthe" I could be wrong but I am pretty sure that in Invercargill at least, they actually banned the sale of it because of its extremely high alcohol content. So if your from my hometown you probably wont be able to walk into any stores in there and buy it.
What is Fennel used for?
Not only do they taste good but in this study the 9 women who drank Fennel tea before eating felt significantly less hungry and as a result consumed fewer calories than those in the Placebo group. It is thought that the Anethole content of Fennel is responsible for supressing the appetite.
I mentioned earlier on about the different vitamins and minerals Fennel contains, but to break it down and give you some perspective on this, below is a comparison against your RDI 1 tablespoon of dried Fennel Seed:
1% RDI of Vitamin C
5% RDI of Calcium
6% RDI of Iron
5% RDI of Magnesium
2% RDI of Potassium
17% RDI of Manganese
If however you opted to eat the bulb instead of consuming the dried seeds in a tea the RDI for each component changes but is still very impressive.
Have you ever dealt with a New born baby with Colic?
If you have you will understand how upsetting it is for the baby and how stressful and exhausting it is for Mum.
Fennel relaxes the gastrointestinal tract and moves the gas out removing that discomfort from baby and this particular study showed that 65% of babies who were given Fennel Seed extract had their colic treated completely!
In fact Gripe Water which is a well known product bought at a chemist for relieving colic actually contains Fennel.
I feel like this is something that should be taught in anti natal classes, they teach you so much about pregnancy, first aid and feeding etc but fail to give you wee tips like this that make such a big difference!
It has also been used traditionally to increase Lactation, it was thought that it increased your bodies levels of prolactin, which is the hormone that tells your body to produce milk. There have been a few studies done on this but they are rather conflicting so I'm not about to tell you that it does, just that it does with some people and the answer as to why is as of yet unknown.
That aside I add Fennel into my breastfeeding tea because a baby without Colic is a big plus!
According to this study Fennel's antibacterial properties are effective in reducing indigestion, diarrhoea and gas. It also increases the secretion of digestive juices assisting in effective digestion.
Just as Fennel helps if you have diarrhoea it also helps with constipation.
According to this study drinking Fennel tea will help move toxins through your system and get the bowel moving again. It just relaxes your digestive muscles which is perfect if you struggle with regular bowel movements.
Who shouldn't consume Lemon Myrtle?
As unfortunately with most herbal supplements if you have a blood disorder, you should not take Fennel.
While Fennel is useful for increasing your milk supply once baby is born, you shouldn't drink much of it while you are pregnant because it has been known to help increase estrogen levels which is great news if you are going through menopause but will likely confuse your pregnant body which already has its hormones all over the place.
Aside from that unless you are allergic to the likes of celery and carrot Fennel should not cause you any problems.
What do I use it in?
Bloating & Digestion Tea A cleansing blend of herbs that may aid digestion and soothe the stomach. Beautiful sweet flavours of aniseed and mint with highlights from lemon and cardamom.
Breastfeeding Tea- A breastfeeding tea blended from herbs and spices that may help increase lactation in nursing mothers. A refreshing tea with aniseed and floral highlights that will also help soothe and relax.
Colon Cleanse Tea Blended from a range of organic herbs that may promote digestion, effectively eliminate impurities from the body and act as a gentle laxative. A relaxing evening tea to wind down with at day's end. Sweet, minty flavours with brightness from aniseed and cardamom
Detox Tea Our Detox Tea blend combines a range of organic herbs which may help with cleansing and detoxifying. A smooth, sweet honey-like infusion that almost tastes too good to be good for you!
Gut Health Tea Contains herbs which may maintain good gut health, improve digestion, calm the stomach and to help restore the integrity of your digestive system. Sweet, minty flavours with a layer of spicy ginger.
Original Chai Tea A blend of black tea and freshly ground chai spices of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, liquorice, cardamom and fennel. Did you know that Chai is brilliant for promoting digestion and gut health?
Rooibos Chai Tea A blend of sweet, nutty flavours of rooibos with a spicy mix of cinnamon, fennel, cloves, ginger and cardamom to bring you an organic rooibos chai that will warm body and soul.
Weight Control Tea Our Weight Control Tea is a blend of organic herbs that contain properties which may help increase the metabolism of glucose and to promote the processing of carbohydrates efficiently. Sweet aniseed flavours to help manage sugar cravings. Caffeine free.