Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds/ Saunf

Often placed near the exit of an Indian restaurant is a tray of small coloured candy. These are coated fennel seeds.  
Chewing fennel seeds after a meal is a common practice in India. They aid in digestion and also freshen the breath. Known in Hindi as saunf, fennel is often used in Indian recipes. 

Historically, fennel has been utilized for treating indigestion, constipation, respiratory issues, eye problems, colic, menstrual disorders, anaemia, diarrhoea and flatulence.  Fennel contains a variety of anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre. Fennel seeds are a good source of vitamins B-3 & C, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and iron. 100 grams of fennel seeds provide almost 40 grams of dietary fibre. A majority of this fibre is metabolically inert insoluble fibre, which helps the increase bulk of food by absorbing water throughout the digestive system and alleviating any constipation.  The fibres which are found in fennel seeds remove toxins as well as cancerous substances from the intestines. 

The unique health benefits of fennel may be used in number of home remedies:
·         For colds, take ½ tsp of fennel powder with a pinch of sugar as a tea.
·         For a fever, take 1 cup grape juice with ½ tsp fennel powder and ½ tsp cumin powder.
·         For gas, make a mixture of equal parts of roasted fennel, cumin, & celery seeds. Chew ½ – 1 tsp of this mixture after meals and then swallow with a cup of warm water.
·         To purify your blood, consume a handful of raw fennel seeds in the morning and evening.
·         If a breast-feeding baby has no appetite, make fennel tea. Steep 1 tsp of fennel seeds in a cup of water that has been heated over the stove. Cool and feed the baby 1 tsp of this tea every 10 to 15 minutes.
·         For nursing moms who need to increase lactation, boil ½ litre of water and add 2 tsp of fennel seeds. Allow to cool, then strain, and add ½ tsp of raw honey to taste. Drinking 2 – 3 cups daily is ok for nursing mom.
·         For cases of heat stroke, soak a handful of fennel seeds in water overnight. Strain the water and add a pinch of salt before drinking.
·         To promote bowel movements, chew 1 tsp of roasted fennel seeds after meals
·         Helpful in curing urinary tract infections in women.