Fruit, roots, leaves, stems.
PHYTOCHEMICALS & NUTRIENTS
Alpha-pinene, Amino acids, benzoic acid, bergapten, beta-carotene, beta-phellandrene, beta-sitosterol, caffeic acid, calcium, camphor, choline, cinnamic acid, aynarin, essential fatty acids, ferulic acid, fumaric acid, iron, isopimpinellin, isoquercitrin, kaempferol, limonene, linalool, magnesium, manganese, myristicin, 1,8-cineole, p-coumaric acid, pectin, phosphorus, potassium, protocatechuic acid, psoralen, quercetin, rutin, scopoletin, selenium, sinapic acid, stigmasterol, umbelliferone, vanillic acid, vanillin, vitamins B1, B2, B3, C, & E, xanthotoxin.
PROPERTIES & USES
Fennel is called a stomachic, because it aids in the digestion process, especially when uric acid is a problem (as with gout). It is a favorite herb for use in weight loss combinations as it helps to balance the appetite.
As a carminative, Fennel helps remove gas from the digestive tract, easing related bowel pains with it’s anti-spasmodic (relieving smooth muscle spasms) properties. Many find Fennel useful for acid stomach. It is a helpful herb in settling a stomach after chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments for cancer. This herb helps relieve colic in babies and stomach aches for all ages, especially when combined with catnip. These properties make Fennel fruit useful in many purgative and laxative formulas to offset the tendency for intestinal griping found in those formulas. Fennel tea can be mixed with Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and simple syrup to make 'gripe water' for colicky babies.
As an anti-inflammatory, Fennel is known for soothing inflamed tissue and helping to reduce the response of the irritated area. The high oil content of this herb allows it to coat tissue as it hydrates, soothing and easing pain. This property makes Fennel tea an effective eye wash.
The aromatic (having a strong aroma or smell; having a high, volatile oil content) properties of Fennel give it the ability to make unpleasant tasting herbs more tolerable, especially for children. Its aromatic quality also gives it some activity as a 'catalyst' for other herbs.
Rich in B vitamins and other nutrients, Fennel is considered a galactogogue, increasing the production and nutritional quality of milk.
Fennel also has a cleansing effect on the body. A hepatic, Fennel is considered a liver cleanser and aid. This herb promotes the functioning of the kidneys, spleen, and clearing of the lungs. While supporting the healthy function of the kidneys, Fennel also helps the system rid itself of excess fluid, classifying it as a diuretic.
As a cooking spice, Fennel has a mild, sweet flavor. The powdered plant can be used as a flea repellent.
In my personal opinion, Fennel and Dandelion together are wonderful supports for a recently delivered mother. Of course, they also offer their benefits during pregnancy. These herbs are both gentle cleansers and nutrient supports that promote both the volume and quality of breast milk while assisting the body in the release of toxins and the reestablishment of hormone levels during postnatal recovery. While dieting is not recommended for the new mother, nutritive herbs like these (and others) help to normalize appetites that may have been allowed to indulge during pregnancy. They do this by giving her body what it truly needs. In this way the new mom can more quickly regain her stamina and strength.
Disclaimer: None of this is to be considered a substitute for medical examination and/or treatment. Use what you will, but do so knowing that you must consider your own circumstance and the application of these things with sound judgment.