Known better to the Indian public as Shaunf or Shompu, a regular in many Indian homes, the discomfort from unrestrained eating of a sumptuous meal is mitigated to tolerable levels in no time at all, just by chewing a small quantity of fennel seeds. Even otherwise this mouth freshener ingredient is loved by all ages, and popping a little after lunch or dinner, light or heavy, is customary.
Is it restricted only to this? Definitely not! In fact the benefits are so many, the availability so easy that you can rest assured that you can gorge once in a while if you have this close at hand.
Scientifically termed Foeniculum Vulgare Miller, fennel seeds are good for aenemia, indigestion, flatulence, constipation colic, diarrhea, respiratory disorders, menstrual disorders and good in eye care.
No wonder it is found in mouth fresheners, toothpastes, desserts and antacids.That apart it is a good culinary additive
Let us explore what, the medical and health benefits that fennel offers due its oil content.
1) It is helpful in the treatment of anemia and stimulates production of haemoglobin and other constituents of blood.
2) As mentioned earlier it is good for digestion after meals and is a mouth-freshener.
3) It further reduces inflammation of the stomach and helps in proper absorption of the nutrients from the ingested food.
4) Naturally it becomes a corrective for constipation like a laxative and helps greatly in reducing flatulence in infants, children and adults of all ages.
5) Fennel arrests the formation of too much cholesterol responsible for blocked arteries and causing high blood pressure.
6) Besides providing fibre it helps in the elimination process of wastes from the body.
7) Fennel seed extract is known to have inhibiting qualities for some types of cancers found more in women.
8) The potassium in Fennel is good for improving the brain activity and cognitive abilities.
9) Other benefits include reducing stress, improving resistance to eye disorders like premature aging and macular degeneration, reducing effects of respiratory disorders etc.
10) Fennel seeds, powdered and mixed with drinking water, is an excellent coolant for hot summers.
Easily available, cheap and so very potent, fennel has been a favorite in Indian homes since long and even today many restaurants have it in a bowl for customers to have after their meal before they leave.
However a word of caution for children and adults partial to fennel seeds. Too much of a good thing can have its reverse effect of harming the body. Having too much of it can cause breathing problems, palpitations, and neural disorders.
So why overdo it? Have your meals and pop a small pinch of fennel seeds, to digest your food let your mouth feel fresh and reap the benefits of nature’s answer to insensible food habits and improper diets that have always been the bane of modern living.