Fennel a herb between magic and healing power
Fennel is one of the first medicinal herbsthat a human gets. Even small babies, only a few days old, get to know the fennel tea, because it is a proven home remedy against belly pubs. But fennel can do a whole lot more and is a delicious vegetable for a variety of dishes. In the kitchen, fennel is observed a little suspiciously today. This is probably due to the special taste of the plant. Fennel seeds and fennel bulb differ significantly in taste. In addition, fennel brings a lot of vitamin C but only a few kilocalories.
Fennel – where does it come from?
Fennel is native to North Africa, the Canary Islands, Ukraine, Pakistan, Georgia and Western Asia. And it can also be found in southern Europe. In some regions it lives as a neophyte. Fennel thrives best on a dry soil that is nutritious. Optimal is mild to moderately acidic clay soil. The climate should be winter-mild.
Three varieties are currently thriving in our gardens:
- Wild fennel or bitter fennel
- Vegetable fennel, onion or tuber fennel
- Spice fennel or sweet fennel
The plant has been cultivated for a long time. Names such as Enis, Brodsamen, Femis, Fenikraut or Fenikl still hold up today. Fennel is an old, originally Mediterranean crop. In Central Europe, the medicinal herb occasionally feral. It needs a warm location with a moderately dry, nutritious soil. It is sown in the garden at the beginning of July. Premature sowing prevents the formation of the tuber during the tuber fennel.
Fennel already knew Hippocrates
Fennel has been known as a medicinal plant for thousands of years. It was mainly the Wild Fennel, which was used by doctors and healers. In Mesopotamia, envelopes with the medicinal herb were used for pneumonia. The Greeks, Egyptians and Romans also knew about the healing power of fennel and used it for bloating, coughing and digestive problems.
For a long time there was nothing left to read and hear about the fennel. After the migrations, the plant had to be recultivated. Charlemagne made sure that the fennel was re-grown in the 9th century. Fennel was on the list of herbs and vegetables recommended by the great king for cultivation. However, 200 years later, the fennel was as popular as ever. In English households, eleven pounds of fennel seeds were consumed per month. Fennel seeds were ground or used entirely in the kitchen.
Many centuries later, the fennel rose from spice and medicinal herb to vegetables. Alexandre Dumas wrote: “You eat fennel like celery, and it is not uncommon to meet a simple people who carry their fennel under their arm to eat with bread for lunch or dinner.” In many regions, fennel is also referred to as Florentine fennel. It is thought that the travel-loving Brits coined the term because they probably ate the fennel first in the Florence inns.
Hildegard von Bingen also knew and adored the fennel. She wrote in her herb book about the fennel: “However it is eaten, it makes people happy and gives him pleasant warmth and good sweat and good digestion.”
By the way, Fenchel was voted “Medicinal Plant of the Year” in 2002. Nevertheless, not everyone is convinced by the fennel, because its idiosyncratic taste takes some people to get used to. Especially in Germany, the vegetables do not belong to the body dishes and only gradually conquer their place. This is quite different in Italy, where more than 5 kilograms of fennel are eaten per capita every year.
Fennel bulb or fennel seeds?
Fennel is a perennial, very herbaceous plant that can grow to over two meters. The essential oils contained in fennel emit a very aromatic and typical smell. Today, three varieties of fennel are used.
The classic is the Wild Fennel. It is mostly grown in southeastern countries. The fennel species with the botanical name Foeniculum vulgare var. vulgare belongs to the umbel-blooded. It is related to anise, dill and cumin. The wild fennel or bitter fennel has been classified as a traditional herbal medicine by the Herbal Medicinal Product Committee. The fruits and the essential fennel oil derived from them are used.
In the pan and on the table comes the tuber fennel, which forms a typical tuber at the bottom. It was bred from two wild fennel varieties and is one year old. In a very sunny location, the tuber fennel also thrives effortlessly in the garden. Without sun, the plant does not form a tuber. From the plant, the tuber is used as a vegetable. A fennel tea is created from leaves and stems.
The spice fennel is mainly grown in France. The fennel variety does not require much care and can also be grown in the garden. It is hardy and robust. The fruits and seeds of the plant are used, which are perfect for seasoning. In addition, the plant is used as a medicinal plant. Spice fennel has a slightly sweet aroma and exudes an intense fragrance.
What makes the fennel so healthy?
As with many vegetables, the fennel is mostly made of water. The calorie account charges the vegetables only 19 kcal/100g. This makes the vegetable with its intense aroma one of the low-calorie varieties. For this, the fennel scores with essential oils, which are primarily responsible for the health healing properties of the plant. The essential oils in the fennel support digestion, have an anti-inflammatory effect and promote blood circulation. Fennel is a powerful remedy especially for the stomach, liver and kidneys. On top of that, fennel provides plenty of vital substances that easily help to meet the nutrient requirements.
Fennel has many high quality ingredients. On 100 grams of fennel come:
- Carbohydrates: 2.8 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 1.4 g
- Water: 86 g
- Vitamin C: 93 mg
- Vitamin A: 783 micrograms
- Vitamin B1: 0.03 mg
- Vitamin B2: 0.11 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
- Potassium: 395 mg
- Magnesium: 12 mg
- Calcium: 38 mg
- Iron: 2.7 mg
- Niacin: 0.2 mg
In addition, the tuber has significant amounts of vitamin K, E and folic acid as well as beta-carotene.
What can fennel do?
Fennel has many positive properties. Evidence shows its healing properties in the case of colds, coughs and mucus. Fennel also has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. It has a decongestant and antioxidant effect.
Fennel in case of bloating and feeling full
The plant is known as a helpful medicinal herb for bloating and feeling full. Even babies can drink the mild fennel tea at belly pubs. The essential oil stimulates the digestive juices and relaxes the digestive tract. As a result, the spasm-like complaints quickly subside. Those who drink fennel tea regularly or eat fennel in other forms will rarely suffer from bloating.
Fennel in case of stomach discomfort
If you want to do without the gastric liquor, which relieves the stomach rather than relieves it, you can use fennel. Fennel has a relaxing and antispasmodic effect on the stomach and causes stomach discomfort to disappear quickly.
Fennel for a cold
Fennel is very popular with colds. Fixed mucus in the bronchi is dissolved. Fennel tea can accelerate the removal of the mucus through the essential oils Fenchon and trans-Anethol.
Fennel in breastfeeding
Especially during breastfeeding, many herbs should not be absorbed, as the active ingredients are passed on to the baby during breastfeeding. It’s different with fennel. The medicinal herb can not only prevent bloating in the baby by the indirect way, it also stimulates the milk flow of the mother and has a milk-forming effect. This is particularly interesting for breastfeeding mothers who do not have enough milk and want to resort to gentle methods.
Fennel as a vitamin B supplier
Vitamin B plays a special role in everyone’s health. Even though we have a relatively large vitamin B stock, undersupply leaves serious traces. Especially in vegans, a vitamin B deficiency can quickly occur, which is often ingested too little B vitamins due to the meatless diet. The fennel contains almost all B vitamins. Only vitamin B12 is missing.
Fennel as a vitamin C supplier
Fennel has a surprising vitamin C content. The vegetable contains twice as much vitamin C as an orange. This makes fennel an ideal vitamin C supplier, especially during the cold season. So it’s worth resorting to local vegetables.
Fennel for losing weight
Fennel is also ideal during diet times, as the vegetables are low in calories and contain a lot of water. Nearly 80 percent of the vegetables are water. On 100 g of vegetables come just 18 kcal. This makes the fennel ideal in the context of a weight loss treatment.
Fennel in cancer
Of course, the medicinal herb does not help against cancer. But it can have a supportive effect in the course of therapy. According to the latest research, fennel after chemotherapy or radiation should be positive for the reconstruction of the digestive system. Fennel tea is also effective in case of side effects of chemotherapy such as diarrhea, because it detoxifies and supports the digestive system through its essential oils and also works against bloating and feeling full.
Fennel also has an external effect
Fennel also has an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effect. In the case of muscle pain and rheumatism, rubbing the aching areas with fennel tea has proven its worth. Even with eye pain, conjunctivitis and eyedrand inflammation, cold fennel tea in the tea bag can provide relief. A cold envelope with fennel tea is supposed to work wonders in case of headaches.
Fennel for beauty
Fennel is a beauty maker. An infusion from the roots of fennel give dry and brittle hair strength and shine. For the infusion, a handful of fennel roots are crushed and boiled with 1/4 liter of water. The whole must pull 10 minutes us is then sifted off. Allow everything to cool and rinse the hair with the fennel infusion after washing the hair.
Fennel as incense
Smoking has become a popular tradition again. Fennel is also a great smoked herb that can do a lot. The seeds are used for smoking. Fennel has a very stimulating effect. He warms, builds up, clarifies and helps with loneliness. Pent-up stress comes back into flux and also the relaxing effect and calming effect is known.
In the past, it was smoked especially when the house was to be freed from evil spirits and when man and animal were to be dewitched.
Fennel in the kitchen – a vegetable of superlatives
Fennel is currently being traded in the kitchen as a delicacy. Star chefs conjure up culinary highlights for gourmets from the seemingly simple vegetable with an intense aroma. The unmistakable aroma of the fennel makes it so unique. Fennel can be eaten both raw and cooked. Fennel is particularly good for fish, but is also a refined addition to meat. The seeds are used in bread and other baked goods. And even pickled fennel is a delight.
In addition to the fennel bulb, the herb and seeds can also be used in the kitchen. The tuber can be cooked, roasted and also grilled. The outer layer of the leaf should be removed. Lightly fried as vegetables or in cubes raw in the salad, the fennel spreads its slightly aniseed taste.
Fennel fruits, often referred to as seeds, are ideal as a spice for hearty dishes. The fruits are dried and then ground. They can also be used as a whole fruit. In bread, fennel seeds taste very tasty.
Fennel leaves are often treated somewhat stepmotherly. Crushed, they complement stews and soups. There it is advantageous that the leaves do not have quite as much aroma as tuber and fruit. The leaves can also give a wild salad the characteristic aroma.
Fennel Recipe – Roasted Fennel
Roasted fennel is a delicacy and easy to prepare. The fennel vegetables go well with fish, poultry meat or tofu.
Ingredients for 2 people:
- 500 g fennel bulb with green
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch sugar
- 1 splash of lemon juice
The fennel bulb is cleaned. The outer leaves are removed. The leafy green is set aside, it is needed later. The fennel bulb is halved, the strunk is cut out and the tuber is sliced. These should not be too thin.
In a pan, the olive oil is heated. In high heat, the fennel is fried for about four minutes. The fennel vegetables are seasoned with salt, pepper and sugar. Then add the butter and a tablespoon of water. Now the fennel vegetables are cooked for 4 to 5 minutes over a medium heat. Finally, the vegetables get a splash of lemon and are seasoned with salt and pepper.
The fennel green is now chopped small and sprinkled over the fried fennel vegetables. The vegetables taste very good with fish or light meat.
Fennel in the garden
Fennel is relatively easy to grow in the garden. Your own needs can be easily covered by the Abau in the garden. However, one should leave one or the other plant quiet, because fennel is also liked by bees and other insects. Whether insect meadow or bee pasture, the fennel attracts insects through its intense fragrance. Especially when almost inconspicuous flowers appear, it is literally swarmed around. Insects also know what tastes good.
Fennel – a herb has grown against every spell
Fennel is called a professional herb. Herbs belonging to this group are designed to protect animals, humans and plants from evil spells. In the past, one wore an amulet filled with fennel seeds to protect against black magic and obsession. A fennel bouquet hung on doors and windows on St. John’s Day eliminates the danger of decreasing light. But fennel can also be different: the Hethites have cursed hostile cities with fennel in a ritual.
Fennel has a strong symbolic power. It stands for spiritual clarity, perseverance, protection, but also for success, courage and victory. Snakes eat fennel before skinning. That’s why the plant stands for rejuvenation.
The story of antiquity shows how strong the magic of fennel is. Prometheus himself is said to have brought the fire to man in a fennel sprout.