fennel flower captioned benefits of fennel seeds

Top 15 Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds

You may or may not be familiar with the slight licorice-like flavor that is present in Italian sausage. If you are, then what you taste are fennel seeds. Those flavorful little seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch with lots of health benefits. We’ll take a look at the top 15 benefits of fennel seeds in this article, but before we do, what are they?

Fennel seeds are the seeds of a perennial herb native to southern Europe, but cultivated all over Europe, the Middle East, China and India. It is a member of the same family as parsley and you’re probably familiar with several of its cousins: cumin, anise, dill and caraway. Besides using the seeds, many regions also harvest the bulbs and use them similar to how onions and garlic are commonly used. Though they are small, these little seeds are mighty. Here are a few of their powerful nutrients and their percentage of daily value (%DV) found in just ½ cup:

  • Niacin 37%
  • Thiamin 34%
  • Vitamin C 35%
  • Potassium 36%
  • Calcium 120%
  • Copper 118%
  • Iron 232%
  • Magnesium 96%
  • Manganese 284%
  • Zinc 34%

Each of the nutrients found in fennel seeds play a significant role in maintaining your body’s health at a cellular level, but they are not all inclusive cures. It is still advised to consult a health care professional for more serious health conditions.

Precaution for Using Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are not to be consumed in large amounts due to two issues that can arise from overloading your body on certain compounds found in them. First, they contain neurotoxins that, in large quantities can cause hallucinations and seizures. Additionally, they have pseudo-estrogen properties and can cause an imbalance of hormones if overused. In moderation, however, there are plenty of reasons to add fennel seeds as a part of maintaining your overall wellness.

Top 15 Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds

Treatment of Anemia

One of fennel seeds' great benefits is their ability to help prevent or cure anemia.

What to do:

  • Add 1 Tbsp of seeds to 1 cup of warm water.
  • Allow the seeds to soften for 10 o 15 minutes.
  • Drink the mixture, thoroughly chewing the seeds before swallowing.
  • Repeat daily.

How it works:
One of the best ways to treat anemia is to boost your iron intake and fennel seeds contain almost 30% of the daily value of iron in a single tablespoon.

fennel seeds in bowl

Clear up Acne

Clearing up acne and other skin problems is yet another among the long list of fennel seeds benefits.

What to do:

  • Besides consuming the seeds, it can be used as a toner or a mask as well.
  • For either toner or mask, first, boil 1 Tbsp of fennel seeds in ½ cup of water for 30 minutes.
  • Allow to cool.
  • For toner, dab the infused water on your face using a cotton ball several times a day.
  • As a mask, combine the infused water with 1 Tbsp of oatmeal and 1 Tbsp of honey.
  • Apply the mask to your face and allow it to dry for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse off and repeat several times a week.

How it works:
Fennel seeds contain limonene, anethole and myrcene, which help treat acne. Their antiseptic properties also get rid of acne causing germs.

Aids Digestion

Aiding digestion is another of the benefits of fennel seeds, which has been used for thousands of years.

What to do:
Thoroughly chew and swallow a small handful of seeds before or after meals in order to aid digestion.

How it works:
Fennel seeds are well known for helping relieve flatulence, gas, bloating and indigestion due to the eight volatile essential oils they contain. Besides aiding indigestion, chewing them also gets rid of bad breath.

Purifies Blood

Among the top benefits of fennel seeds are their ability to help remove toxins from your blood.

What to do:

  • Grind 2 Tbsp of fennel seeds in a clean coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
  • Add 2 cups of boiling water to the powder.
  • Cover and allow the mixture to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Drink the tea daily.

How it works:
As a diuretic, they help the body to flush out toxins, which tend to bind to their numerous anti-oxidant compounds.

Improves Memory

Fennel seeds are also beneficial when it comes to improving memory and brain function.

What to do:

  • Grind 1 Tbsp of seeds with a mortar and pestle as above.
  • Mix in 1 tsp each of ground anise, ground cinnamon, ground pepper and ground cloves.
  • Use the mixture as a seasoning for roasting or grilling meat on a regular basis.

How it works:
Fennel seeds contain a high amount of potassium, which helps with electrical conduction throughout the body and strengthens cognitive function.

Cancer Prevention

Fennel seeds also play a significant role in cancer prevention.

What to do:

  • Another great way to add them into your diet is using it as a sauce for grilling fish.
  • Mix 2 tsp fennel seeds, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tsp of lemon juice and 2 Tbsp of olive oil.
  • Brush over fish while grilling or baking.

How it works:
Fennel seeds contain a number of flavonoid anti-oxidants like kaempferol and quercetin, which help to remove harmful free radicals from the blood stream.

Improve Eyesight

You can improve your eyesight, especially the effects of glaucoma with the use of fennel seeds as well.

What to do:
Make use of these little dynamos as a salad or yogurt topper on a regular basis.

How it works:
Researchers at Shivaji University in India have concluded that the compound, trans-anethole, which is present in fennel, could help prevent diabetic retinopathy.

Immunity Boost

Giving your immune system a boost is yet another of the many fennel seeds benefits.

What to do:
You can add more fennel into your diet by starting out your day with a delicious oatmeal flavored with fennel seeds.

How it works:
Fennel seeds contain 35% of the daily value of vitamin C in a single tablespoon, which is a major contributor to your body’s immune function.

Cardiovascular Health

Believe it or not, they can help reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

What to do: Fennel is a flavorful addition to baked breads or quick breads, but it is also excellent when mixed with olive oil and used as a spread.

How it works:
High levels of potassium in fennel help lower cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, as well as cleansing your blood to prevent plaque buildup in your arteries.

Respiratory Relief

Next time you come down with a nasty head cold or sinus infection consider fennel seeds to help break through that congestion.

What to do:

  • Add boiling water to 1 Tbsp of the ground seeds and allow the mixture to steep for 15 minutes to make tea.
  • Or, you can boil whole seeds for about 10 minutes, strain and drink or leave the seeds in the tea and eat them as you reach the bottom of the cup.

How it works:
Fennel seeds have expectorant properties that help clear out those nasty symptoms connected with upper respiratory infections.

fennel seeds on bud

Prevent Obesity

Preventing obesity and promoting weight loss are another of fennel seeds’ benefits.

What to do:

  • Place 1 cup of fennel seeds in a skillet and brown for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Grind with a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.
  • Mix ½ tsp of the ground seeds in a glass of warm water.
  • Drink this mixture 30 minutes before meals.

How it works:
Fennel seeds act as a natural appetite suppressant and also help to boost your metabolic rate so that you burn calories faster.

Healthy Hair

Fennel seeds are also great for maintaining healthy hair and scalp.

What to do:

  • Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 Tbsp of crushed seeds.
  • Cover and allow the mixture to sit for a half hour.
  • Add 1 Tsp each of coconut or olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
  • Filter the solution through a cheese cloth.
  • Use this mixture like a conditioner, leaving it in your hair for 3 to 5 minutes before rinsing.

How it works:
Their anti-microbial properties help them to keep dandruff and itchy scalp at bay, while its vitamins and minerals strengthen your hair and scalp against common conditions like hair breaking, split ends and shedding.

Reduction of Inflammation

Another on our list of fennel seeds benefits is the reduction of inflammation.

What to do:

  • Fennel seeds can be consumed daily by adding 1 Tbsp to an 8 oz. glass of warm water.
  • Crushed fennel can be mixed with a small amount of olive or coconut oil to be applied like a cream to swollen joints.

How it works:
The magnesium and calcium in fennel helps to inhibit the production of inflammatory enzymes.

Improves Mental Health

Fennel seeds also benefit mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

What to do:

  • Thoroughly chew and swallow a handful of seeds.
  • Repeat this process daily or whenever you’re feeling the effects of anxiety or depression.

How it works:
The high concentration of minerals in fennel causes them to act like a psycho-tropic medication, but without the harmful side effects when used in moderation.

Eases PMS Symptoms

The final, but certainly not the least, on our list of fennel seeds benefits is its ability to help ease PMS symptoms.

What to do:

  • Discover your favorite way of consuming them.
  • Have plenty of them on hand when PMS symptoms arrive.
  • Boost your consumption as long as PMS symptoms last.

How it works:
Fennel seeds add plenty of iron, which is necessary during menstruation. They also help because of the other supporting minerals help reduce cramping and clotting to ease PMS discomfort.

flennel seeds in bowl and spoon

Final Thoughts

Fennel seeds may be small, but the pack an enormous punch. Their high vitamin and mineral content are a great asset for your overall wellness, but they are also great additional resources to reach for in place of over-the-counter or prescribed medications in the treatment of certain conditions.

Images from depositphotos.com and pixabay.com.

Kara Richards

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