Fennel is mostly a bulb, but you can eat the stalks, leaves and seeds. It has a distinct taste of liquorice but it’s not too overpowering and it has a crunchy texture.
It is great to add to salads, juices, and soups. I love fennel baked with fish or just roasted on its own (good with garlic!)
On the nutrition front, fennel has a lot of vitamin C, and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and manganese. It is also full of fibre.
As a remedy I would recommend fennel to anyone with IBS, or gut issues, it has long been used as a medicine for the gut and helps to relieve spasms and bloating, it can also be very soothing if you have any pain in the region.
It helps the good bacteria colony in your gut and so is very healing whilst also boosting your immune system to fight off any bacteria or parasites.
Fennel has lots of phytoestrogens, which means that it can help us ladies with hormonal troubles, things like PMT or the menopause can be helped a lot, even if you are just drinking fennel tea. (There is also evidence that it is good for unwanted facial hair when applied topically in an oil or cream.)
And while we are talking about drinking fennel, fennel seeds in sterilised water is a very old remedy for colic in babies, it soothes the throat and chest and makes the cough less scratchy. It was very calming to my girls and therefore me!
It is also wonderful for water retention as it is great for getting a good water balance in the body!
So as you can see fennel really is fantastic! I personally juice or smoothie it a lot, but try grating it onto a salad, or into a coleslaw, or as I said roast it with some garlic and peppers!