Very recognizable by its sweet anise scent, the fennel is a biennial plant whose bulb is consumed for its culinary appeal but also its health benefits and virtues.
This aromatic vegetable native to the Mediterranean basin and the Caucasus, and very popular in Italy, belongs to the Apiaceae family and reaches over 80 cm in height.
- Gardening: how to grow fennel well
Fennel and its health benefits
Rich in carbohydrates, vitamins C, potassium and calcium, fennel is a vegetable whose properties give it many benefits and virtues for health.
- Like anise, coriander and caraway, fennel is part of the "four hot seeds", it is digestive, carminative and galactogenic (activates the flow of milk). Fennel promotes contractions, activates the secretion of the glands of the digestive tract and frankly fights well against flatulence.
- Popular medicine recommends fennel seeds for nursing mothers, they promote lactation.
- As a poultice, fennel leaves calm the breast engorgement nursing women.
- The root of fennel stimulates the appetite. She is too diuretic. She fights effectively against water retention : swollen ankles, legs, feet, eyelids or stomach. We recognize its benefits on all parts of the body affected by water retention.
Did you know ?
Fennel is an aromatic plant that Provence is particularly fond of. Fennel delicately scents fish, olives and snails. Finely chopped on the difficult to digest dishes, the leaves help to assimilate these.
Decoction of fennel root: 20 to 30 g of root per liter of water, as diuretic or for whet your appetite.
Infusion of fennel seeds: use 15-30 g of seeds per liter of boiling water. Consume one cup after each meal. It is also possible to prepare a stimulating wine by letting 30 to 50 g of seeds per liter macerate for 15 days. Have a drink at the time of large meals to help digestion and promote lactation.
Cataplasms of crushed fennel leaves or compresses soaked in a concentrated decoction of the leaves. Against the breast engorgement.
Fennel in cooking
When cooked, fennel has fewer calories than when eaten raw. On the other hand, it loses vitamin C.
Fresh or dry, fennel leaves delicately flavor fish, salads and sauces. The fennel bulb is eaten raw or cooked (braised or steamed).
- Use the young plants fennel to make the simplest salad divine.
- Developed, leaves fennel are tasted like a vegetable.
- The fennel stems: they are also eaten, when they are tender and young.
- The fennel flowers have a warm, sweet flavor. It is used to flavor dishes and prepare excellent herbal teas with digestive properties.
- The fennel seeds : they are a condiment not to be missed. In Indian restaurants, it is offered at the end of the meal, for digestion and breath.
Nutritional benefits of fennel:
25 kcal / 100 g. Fennel is an aperitif and diuretic. It contains potassium, calcium, fiber, carotene as well as vitamins A, B, C, E, B9. In herbal tea, it promotes sleep.