Origin: Fennel is believed to be an inhabitant of European and Asian countries. Fennel’s history dates back to Pliny (AD 23-79) as suggested by the Roman author of The Naturalis Historie. He believed that fennel was eaten by serpents. They also rubbed against fennel to improve their eyesight after shedding their skins. It was believed then that fennel is an excellent herb and cures more than 22 ailments.
In the early 1300s, fennel was a staple seed in the English kingdom. Fennel seed was used as a condiment and an appetite suppressant. It was also used for different medicinal purpose. In the United States, the Christians would take some fennel seeds in a handkerchief to nibble on during long mass or meets. Hence, these seeds were also called meeting seeds. It was also believed that fennel seeds will keep evil spirits away and ancient people would hang fennel seeds on their doors.
The Greeks called it Marathon which is derived from a word meaning to grow thin. It was named Marathon because it grew on the ground where the battle of Marathon was fought.
Fennel seeds usually grow in a dry and cold climate. Fennel seeds are prone to diseases in the rainy season. United States, France, India, and Russia are the largest cultivators of the Fennel seeds in the world.
Scientifically: Fennel seeds are perennial, pleasant sweet-smelling herb. Fennel plants have yellow flowers. As per science, fennel plant is called Foeniculum vulgare. It highly aromatic and flavourful herb and is used in cooking dishes. Fennel seeds are small, green (slightly dull brown)and erect seeds.
Usage: Fennel seeds are used for various digestive problems including heartburn, intestinal gas, bloating, loss of appetite, and colic in infants among others. It is also used on the skin for excessive body hair growth in women, vaginal symptoms after menopause, and to prevent sunburn. Apart from flavoring agent in food, fennel seeds are also used as an after-meal digestive mouth freshener.
Below are some DIY with Fennel seeds:
- Take a tablespoon of fennel seed powder and add some water to make a thick paste. Apply this paste to your under eyes for 5-7 minutes. Rinse later. This helps in removing puffiness of the eyes and soothes them.
- Take a teaspoon of fennel seed powder, add some honey and yogurt to make a paste. Apply this mixture on the face and let it dry for 5-7 minutes. This helps in reducing the appearance of acne and many other kinds of inflammation.
- Take a cup of fennel seeds and coarsely ground them. Add some water to a thick paste. Apply this mixture on the affected cellulite area and gently massage for 15 minutes. This helps in reducing the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks.
- Take 2 cups of water and boil them with 3 tablespoons of fennel seeds. Once the mixture reduces to half. Remove from the burner and let it cool. Use this concoction on shampooed hair and leave it on for 10 minutes. Then thoroughly rinse your hair. This hair rinse adds strength to the hair roots and makes them full of bounce.