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Fennel Seeds (Saunf): Route To Metabolism

Updated: March 24, 2012 2:17 pm

Fennel seeds symbolise longevity, courage, and strength. Known to be one of the most powerful herbs fennel has a wide range of healing properties and can safely be consumed by people of all age groups. Fennel seeds are mostly eaten after meals and make for great mouth fresheners. These seeds are store house for many vital vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C as well as many B-Complex vitamins like thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin. And niacin, fibers, minerals like potassium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron are particularly concentrated in fennel seeds. These seeds are known for their medicinal benefits from very ancient times.

Benefits from fennel seeds

■    For digestion:- Those who often complain of digestive problems like flatulence, constipation and indigestion are likely to have weak digestion. They need to watch the types of food they eat and take liver tonics to detoxify the liver. For a natural cure one can have fennel or saunf, which is an excellent natural treatment for flatulence. Recent studies have found that consumption of fennel can increase the production of bile and may also possess diuretic, pain-reducing and anti-microbial activities. Fennel seeds often provide quick and effective relief from many digestive disorders.

■    For gastric troubles:- Fennel helps absorbing excess gas produced in the body and reduces the feeling of pressure, thereby preventing belching or passing of gas. It’s also good for children and reduces colic pain in babies. They can be made into syrup to treat babies with colic. For adults fennel seeds tea can relax the intestines and reduce bloating caused by digestive disorders.

■    For appetising:- Fennel is also an appetiser. When used in the powdered form, fennel seeds act as laxative, thus helping maintain proper peristaltic movement of the intestines and proper excretion. Fennel has anti-bacterial properties too and it also acts as a disinfectant because of certain components found in the essential oils present in it. Some amino acids like histidine aid digestion and the proper functioning of digestive system, thus helping enhance appetite.

■    For eye sight:- Ancient Romans regarded fennel as the herb of sight. Root extracts were often used in tonics to clear cloudy eyes. A fennel mixture made by boiling fennel seeds and roots in water is used to sharpen the eyesight and alleviate the eye irritations.

■    Protects from diseases:- Vitamin C from the bulb of the plant is anti-bacterial and is very useful to the immune system. It is an important source of fiber which helps reduce the cholesterol level. It can also prevent the intestinal cancer owing to the fact that it can eliminate toxins and cancerous substances from the intestines. The rich content of potassium an important component of cell and body fluids helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Flavonoids and anti-oxidants in fennel seeds help removing harmful free radicals from the body and protect from cancers, infection, aging and degenerative neurological diseases.

■    Memory power:- To enhance memory power take 100 gm of fennel seeds and roast them on low flame add 100 gm of misri (sugar candy). Grind both of them and store the powder in a bottle. Take one spoonful after meals daily.

■    Cough and cold:- Fennel helps eliminate the common cold and reduce the bouts of cough due to its expectorant nature. The steam resulting the boiling of the fennel leaves in water alleviates asthma and bronchitis.

■    Anti-inflammatory:- Fennel can be used in treating bruises, cellulites, obesity, retaining water, eliminating the toxins from the body. Fennel seeds and roots unclog the liver, spleen and eliminate cramps. The tea from fennel leaves and seeds is beneficial for removing intestinal worms and bacteria.

In order to prepare an infusion of fennel seed it is necessary to crush a spoonful of fennel seeds in a cup of water or milk. Boil the mixture and let it cool for 10 minutes. For best results, consume two to three cups of this mixture daily.

Other Uses

■    Fennel seeds are widely used as a savoury spice. They are principally added in cooking as a condiment and flavoring base.

■    Sugar-coated seeds are used as after-food chewing condiment to improve digestion.

■    They are used to flavour breads, dough, cakes, biscuits, and cheese.

■   Powered fennel has the effect of driving away fleas from kennels and stables.

By Nibhanapudi Suguna

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