Fennel seed – The Spice With Oblong Shape And Sweet Taste
A perennial herb which belongs to the parsely family, mostly seen in Southern Europe, Middle East, India, Turkey and China.
Fennel seeds contains high percentage of vitamin C, fibre, iron, folate and manganese. Fennel seeds are also known for the presence of phytonutrients and volatile oils. Its been used as a flavouring agent, a natural insect repellent, in ayurvedic medicines against poisoning and stomach problems.
Funnel seeds are of oblong or comma shape with 3-4 mm in length. They are seen in light brown colour with fine vertical stripes over their surface.
It has a sweet taste similar to that of anise. In mediterranean cuisines, it is used as a essential ingredient.
It aids in digestion
For thousands of years, fennel seeds are used for there digestion aiding qualities . The presence of volatile oil is the key reason for this property. Since fennel seeds are known for there carminative properties, it can be used to clear intestinal gas. Anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties of fennel seeds helps to relax contracted intestinal muscles, resulting in dissipation of trapped gases. It is also effective against constipation, hence eliminates wide range of intestinal problems. In India, funnel seeds are chewed after meals to facilitate digestion and to remove bad breath.
It reduces high blood pressure
Fennel seeds are rich in potassium, which is an essential component in balancing the negative effects of salt. Kidneys play a key role in controlling blood pressure by regulating the amount of fluid in our body. Higher amount of fluid results in high blood pressure. Kidneys filter our blood and removes the extra fluid. This process requires a delicate balance between sodium and potassium.
Salt increases the amount of sodium in our blood stream and thereby wrecks the required balance. This affects the ability of kidneys to remove the excess water. Fruits, vegetables, spices etc can increase the potassium levels and restore the required balance. Hence fennel seeds can have a positive effect in controlling the blood pressure.
Fennel grows up to a height of 2 meters (about six feet). It has golden-yellow flowers and deep green feathery leaves. Fennel seeds are used as a powerful carminative agent( use for expelling gas from the intestinal tract).
Effective against diarrhea caused by bacterial infection
Fennel seeds are effective against the diarrhea caused by bacterial infections. Essential components like cineole and anetol present in fennel seeds exhibits disinfectant and antibacterial properties. Digestive qualities of fennel seeds can help in proper functioning of the digestive tract, thereby eliminating diarrhea caused by indigestion. Fennel seeds are long been used as an ingredient in Ayurvedic medicines for treating diarrhea.
Good for eye care
Use of fennel seeds can protect the eyes from inflammation. For thousands of years its been used as a remedy for several eyesight problems. It is also used against the disorders related to premature aging and macular degeneration. This is due to the presence of antioxidants and detoxifies. Fennel seeds are also known for the presence of flavonoids, useful for protecting pigment cells against destruction.