Energetics: warm and drying
Fennel is an old world plant dating back long before the pharaohs. Both the seeds and the bulb have a mild licorice taste.
As an anti-spasmodic herb, Fennel is known mainly for soothing muscle tension, digestive spasms, and menstrual cramps. However, it has a variety of other uses. For example Fennel helps nursing mothers produce more milk and has been used for centuries to eliminate colic in babies.
Fennel is used for queasiness after a meal, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Chewing fennel seeds after a meal helps with digestion and leaves a fresh taste in your mouth. It is also added to formulas given to people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In addition, a compress of fennel infusion can be used for conjunctivitis and inflammation of the eyelids.
Fresh fennel bulbs are delicious ~ try adding them to salads or grill them whole. Fennel seeds have more volatile oils and are considered a stronger herbal remedy than the bulb.
Fennel grows well in drought areas, but if you decide to grow fennel be sure you buy BULBING FENNEL (otherwise you will just have leaves).
1 Tbl. Fennel seeds
1 Tbl. Dried lemon balm (or 2 Tbls. fresh)
Honey to taste (optional) ~ do not use honey on children under 2 yrs old
Bring 1 ¼ cups of water to a boil. Place fennel seeds and lemon balm in a mug. Pour water over herbs and steep for 5 minutes. Strain. Add honey to taste. Adults can drink 2-3 servings a day. Small children may only need a teaspoon or less.