Fennel, also known as Saunf, is an aromatic Indian spice with numerous culinary and medicinal uses. It is a cooling spice packed with vitamin C and many other nutrients. The seeds of this herb are known for powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help treat several digestive and respiratory ailments. In India, fennel seeds are popularly eaten after meals to stimulate digestion.
Fennel Seeds: An Ayurvedic Perspective
Ayurveda mentions many valuable medicinal properties of Saunf or fennel seeds.
According to Ayurveda, fennel seeds exhibit Laghu (light to digest) and Rooksha (dry) qualities and have Madhura (sweet), Katu (pungent) and Tikta (bitter) taste. They help pacify all the three Doshas in the body and provide a cooling effect that helps soothe the nerves, elevate mood and boost mental health.
Benefits of Fennel Seeds Backed by Ayurveda
Fennel seeds are rich in volatile oils that stimulate the secretion of digestive juices and enzymes in the body, thereby promoting digestion. In Ayurveda, fennel seeds are also known to treat various gastrointestinal diseases such as heartburn, flatulence, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
One of the most popular uses of fennel seeds is in treating gastritis. Powered with strong carminative and antispasmodic properties, fennel seeds help relieve gastritis and treat abdominal cramps caused due to indigestion.
Fennel seeds serve as an excellent natural laxative and help treat constipation and abdominal discomfort. The dietary fibres found in fennel seeds further stimulate the secretion of bile and gastric juices and regulate bowel movements.
Cures Respiratory Disorders
Powered with phytonutrients, fennel seeds help clear the blocked sinuses and relieve asthma symptoms. Furthermore, fennel seeds are rich in expectorant properties that help treat several respiratory ailments, such as bronchitis, cough and nasal congestion.
Regulates Blood Pressure Levels
Fennel seeds contain abundant levels of potassium that helps to dilate the blood vessels, regulate heart rate and stabilise blood pressure levels in the body.
Fennel seeds contain anethole, a compound known for its galactagogue properties. Hence, fennel seeds help increase breast milk production in new mothers and promote lactation.
Prevents Bad Breath
Fennel seeds secrete a sweet and mild liquorice flavour in your mouth which helps freshen your breath. In addition, the antibacterial properties of fennel seeds help fight the bacteria that cause bad breath, thereby improving your oral hygiene.
Imbued with vitamin A, fennel seeds are known to improve eyesight and treat watery and inflamed eyes. They are also vastly used to reduce the symptoms of glaucoma and slow down the progression of cataracts.
Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Blessed with essential oils and anethole, fennel seeds help regulate blood sugar levels in the body and manage diabetes. Furthermore, fennel seeds are also enriched in vitamin C, beta-carotene, antioxidants and essential minerals that help improve insulin sensitivity in the body.
Promotes Weight Loss
Fennel seeds enhance digestion, regulate appetite and boost metabolism, which in turn help shed excess fat from the body. In addition, fennel seeds are also imbued with diuretic properties that help eliminate harmful toxins and excess fluids from the body, further contributing to healthy weight loss.
Augments Skin Health
Fennel seeds are rich in powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, which help prevent various skin disorders and promote skin health. They are also blessed with anti-ageing properties that help reduce wrinkles and slow down the premature ageing of the skin.
Relieves PMS Symptoms
In Ayurveda, fennel seeds are vastly used to alleviate many menstrual symptoms, such as hot flashes and abdominal cramps. They are also an effective Ayurvedic remedy to relieve many menopausal symptoms.
A low level of oestrogen is one of the leading reasons for osteoporosis. Fennel seeds mimic the role of oestrogen in the body and aid in the regeneration of the bones. They help boost the overall bone health and prevent the breakdown of bone tissue.
How To Use Fennel Seeds?
You can use fennel seeds in numerous ways.
- Chew on lightly roasted or raw fennel seeds before or after meals to enhance digestion.
- Make tea with fennel powder or fennel seeds and drink it once or twice every day. You can also add cumin and coriander and make CCF tea for added benefits.
- Use fennel seeds as a spice and add them to your foods.
Side Effects of Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are usually safe for everyone in moderate quantities. However, Ayurveda recommends not taking fennel seeds during pregnancy as it is high in estrogenic properties.
The Final Takeaway
Fennel seeds are a storehouse of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, iron, zinc, manganese, etc. They are enriched with many medicinal properties and help improve heart health, digestion, metabolism, etc. Incorporate fennel seeds in your diet and daily regimen and yield their many health benefits.
Disclaimer: This article is for general information and is not meant to substitute any medical advice. Consult your healthcare provider for any health concerns.