Fennel: Saunf Benefits, Uses & Health Benefits

 Fennel has been used for centuries in herbal medicine and as a culinary herb. It is native to the Mediterranean region but is now found throughout the world. Fennel is a hardy herb that grows to a height of 2-3 feet and has delicate, lacy leaves that are similar in appearance to dill. The leaves, stalks, and seeds of fennel are all edible and have a sweet, anise-like flavor. Fennel is a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium, and magnesium. It also contains phytonutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Health benefits of fennel include relief from indigestion, flatulence, colic in infants, diarrhea, respiratory disorders such as coughs and bronchitis. It also helps increase milk production in nursing mothers and is effective in treating menstrual disorders. Fennel can be used fresh, dried, or powdered. It is available year-round in most supermarkets.

What is fennel?

 Fennel is a species of flowering plant in the carrot family.Some people call fennel as Saunf in India.Fennel is a hardy, perennial, umbrellieflowering herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves.The bulb,stem(height)/leaves are used to make many foodand beverages.

 The bulb is the part of the plant that’s most commonly used. When it’s raw, fennel bulb has a crunchy texture and a mild, anise flavour. It’s sometimes added to salads, but because the flavour can be rather strong in some dishes, it’s normally cooked a little bit. Boiled, baked or roasted fennel’s flavour becomes more mellow, and it’s lovely simply seasoned with olive oil and some sea salt, and served with other vegetables.

 The stem and leaves can also be used as flavouring agents for foods. They are sharper in taste than the bulb, having a more pronounced anise quality. The stem is eaten raw as a garnish or in salads and vegetable dishes. The leaves can be made into tea or added to soups and stews.

 Fennel seeds are most commonly used as a spice, due to their sweet anise-like flavour. It is used as a seasoning in various baked goods and stews, and eaten after meals to sweeten the breath.

 Fennel essential oil is obtained from the seeds of the fennel plant, a plant used for various purposes. Among them aromatherapy, massage, pelletherapy, dermocosmetics, and natural medicine.

The different benefits of fennel

 Fennel is a long-standing culinary herb and folk medicine favourite. The ancient Greeks chewed fennel seeds for their mouth-sweetening properties, and the Romans fed them to their freed slaves to encourage public speaking. Fennel is still used as a digestive aid and breath freshener, and fennel tea is recommended for soothing upset stomachs. In fact, fennel’s distinctive anise-like taste results from the presence of an essential oil called anethole, which is the component responsible for many of fennel’s health benefits.

 As a rich provider of fibre, fennel can help relieve and treat constipation. Its digestion-boosting aspects are remarkable, as are its minerals – fennel makes a handy store of iron, magnesium and calcium, which in turn contribute to healthy bones and teeth.

 The antioxidants present in fennel could help to shield cells, at least in part, from cell injury that could otherwise underlie cardiovascular disease and certain kinds of cancer. (Research published in 2009 in the Journal of Dietary Supplements found that phytonutrients in raw and reground (‘rehydrated’) fennel seeds, such as quercetin and kaempferol, could exhibit anti-inflammatory and even anticancer activity.

 Fennel also finds use as a traditional medicine. It is sometimes used as an alternative treatment for infant colic, and it appears to relax smooth muscles elsewhere, which might be why it can alleviate menstrual cramps as well as menopausal irritations such as hot flashes. Fennel tea is a popular home remedy for all kinds of gastrointestinal complaints, such as indigestion, heartburn, and flatulence.

How to use fennel

 Fennel is a useful plant for cooking, and it can be employed in a wide range of dishes: 1.      Fennel should be sliced finely;

2.      It can be added to various fish meals and hot food as a side dish;

3.      The seeds of fennel are usually incorporated into baking;

4.      Fennel is the ingredient that gives sausage its characteristic taste;

5.      Fennel is also used to prepare sweets and candy candy.

-Add fennel to soups and stews for a subtle anise flavor.

 -Sauté fennel with other vegetables like onions and garlic as a baseline for many recipes.

-Use fennel as a garnish for salads or main dishes.

-Roast fennel with other root vegetables for a wintery side dish.

-Braise fennel with chicken or fish for a healthy, flavorful main course.

Health benefits of fennel

 Fennel has a rich history of use in traditional medicine as well as various forms of ethno-medicine. Studies are now moving towards revealing some of the insights that have been known for centuries by traditional healers – fennel is a potent medicinal herb, with considerable health properties. 

 Fennel has been found to be an effective treatment for indigestion, heartburn, bloating and flatulence. It can be beneficial for constipation and diarrhoea.

 Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and phytonutrients, fennel helps to enhance your immune system, protects your body from disease, and helps keep free radicals at bay. 

 It also has anti-inflammatory effects, which can help to relieve arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

 Fennel aids respiratory health by easing congestion. It reduces inflammation of the respiratory tissues.

 And it is also a very delicious culinary herb, that you can use for many recipes. Therefore, you can add fennel to your kitchen to make your life colourful.

Recipes with fennel

 And what an extraordinary ingredient fennel is: extremely versatile and delicious, it can be used in such a wide variety of recipes. Here are some of our favourites: 

 Creamy potato and fennel soup: all very good and definitely for a chilly autumn day.

 Roasted Fennel and TomatoesThis super-simple, incredibly powerful side dish is arguably better with almost every kind of main course.

 Fennel Salad with Orange and Mint Here’s a good one for a summer potluck or picnic. 

  -Grilled Fennel with Lemon and Thyme: This easy dish adds another dimension to grilled chicken or fish. 

Alternatives to fennel

 If you are not keen on fennel, you can benefit from these other options as well: in terms of phytonutrients, asparagus, blueberries, cherries and eggplant are some of the best options.

 Anise: A plant related to the fennel family, anise shares many of its health benefits, and like fennel, it can be used as a cooking herb as well as for a nourishing tea.

 Dill: Dill is a second member of the parsley family, and has a flavour similar to fennel. Dill is available fresh or dried and is used to flavour pickles and other dishes, and, just like fennel, dill seeds can be used for making tea.

 Cumin: Cumin is used in various Indian and Latin American dishes. Some describe it’s a slightly earthy taste.  It can be used as flavouring in soups, stews and curries. Cumin spice seeds can be made into a tea.

 Turmeric: Turmeric is a spice common in Indian food. It has a warm, slightly bitter taste, and is often used to colour and flavour curries. It is known to have powerful anti-inflammatory effects; it is currently under study for its health effects. 


 Fennel has been used in herbal medicine for hundreds of years, and it is still being used nowadays to treat a variety of health conditions. Fennel contains a high number of vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants. It also possesses some unique health benefits, like improving digestion and reducing inflammation.

 When taken in quantities up to three tablespoons a day from mature, cultivated fennel plants, it is considered safe for almost everyone. Side effects, including gastrointestinal problems and allergic reactions, are possible but uncommon.