Today, we’re focusing on a versatile herb that features in a number of our products: fennel.
WHAT IS FENNEL USED FOR?
You may know from eating the plant in a salad or garnish that fennel is a licorice flavored, feathery, aromatic herb. It grows to be several feet tall with umbels of small, yellow flowers that look very similar to a dill plant. Its name derives from a Latin word for hay.
Fennel has many uses, from the culinary to the medicinal. It features prominently in Mediterranean cuisine, used as a spice, eaten raw, cooked as a side dish, used in pasta and risottos, and used in vegetable and meat dishes, among other uses.
Medicinal uses of fennel are similarly varied. Fennel was found by the German Commission E to relieve mild indigestion and coughs. The seeds can be chewed to sweeten breath and help a toothache, and a gargle will relieve a sore throat. Fennel is sometimes used as a colic remedy. It’s even used as flavoring in some natural toothpastes. You may have also seen fennel seeds offered as you leave Indian restaurants to help with digestion.
Fennel for breastfeeding
Fennel has been used for centuries to increase breast milk production, and it’s an ingredient in a number of our products, including: More Milk Plus, More Milk Plus Alcohol Free, More Milk Plus Capsules, More Milk Special Blend, More Milk Special Blend Alcohol Free, More Milk Special Blend Capsules, and More Milk. We do not use fennel oil, but instead the whole seed extract in our products.
To prepare fennel tea, The Nursing Mother’s Herbal recommends combining 1-3 teaspoons of freshly crushed seeds with 8 ounces of boiling water, covering, and steeping for 10-20 minutes. It can be drunk up to 5-6 times per day. You can also use fennel in a compress to relieve swollen, tender breasts by putting crushed seeds in hot water.
The essential oil of fennel is not recommended for use during pregnancy or with infants and small children. There are no known drug interactions with fennel.