While fennel is best known for its culinary properties, it’s also used around the world to treat a number of medical conditions. Fennel is available in capsule form and as a dried herb. However, the most popular part of the plant for medicinal use is the seeds, which are crushed and made into a tea. Keep in mind that fennel hasn’t been extensively studied, so these uses are mostly anecdotal. Always talk to your doctor before using any alternative treatments, especially if you have an ongoing medical condition.
Fennel tea is often recommended to treat respiratory issues from simple colds to asthma. It can also help with upper respiratory tract infections because of its antimicrobial properties. Fennel can also be used to treat problems such as angina and high blood pressure.
One of the most common applications of fennel is to treat heartburn. Drinking a single cup of tea when you start feeling the symptoms of indigestion can ease the pain and burning. Chewing fennel seeds also works. Fennel is often touted as an antispasmodic, so it can help relax the digestive tract and ease cramps and gas and to treat irritable bowel syndrome.
Fennel’s volatile oils have mild estrogen-like qualities, so they are used extensively in Chinese medicine to treat hormonal problems. Fennel is also used to boost libido and to stimulate the production and flow of milk in lactating women. It is sometimes used to treat amenhorrea.
Fennel tea might help relieve colic in a baby, as well as reduce pain and fever in both children and adults. Gargling with fennel tea can soothe a sore throat and it might relive coughing and chest pain due to a cold. The Romans used fennel tea to lose weight and to improve their eyesight.
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