Foeniculum vulgare is a flowering plant from the celery family and is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with both culinary and medicinal uses. Many describe fennel as tasting like black licorice.
Historically, the ancient Egyptians and Romans awarded garlands of fennel as praise to victorious warriors because fennel was believed to bestow strength, courage, and longevity. It has been used for thousands of years for snakebites, to stave off hunger pains, to tone the female reproductive system, for earaches, eye problems, insect bites, kidney complaints, lung infections, and to expel worms (Modern Essentials, 88).
The French have used fennel for cystitis, sluggish digestion, flatulence, gout, intestinal parasites, intestinal spasms, increasing lactation, menopause problems, premenopause, urinary stones, and vomiting (Modern Essentials, 88).
Aromatically, fennel is said to increase and influence longevity, courage, and purification. Therapeutically, fennel may also revitalize the skin and reduce wrinkles as well as help with bruises, kidney stones, blood clots, and toxin cleansing (Modern Essentials, 88).
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Modern Essentials, 6th edition, 2014, p. 88