Latin Name: Foeniculum Vulgare
Common Names: Florence fennel or finocchio
Distribution Area: It is native to the shores of the Mediterranean but has widely spread in many parts of the world. It grows in dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks.
Botanical information: Root is spindle-shaped, fleshy, wrinkled, 1 cm thick, branched at the top, having several heads. The whole plant is covered with a bluish bloom. Stem is of up to 90-200 cm tall, straight, roundish, thin-ribbed, intensely branched with alternate, green and ovate-triangular leaves on it. Flowers are five-membered. Double umbrellas have 3-20 rays of 3-15 cm width. Petals are widely ovate, yellow, long and about 1 mm wide. The fruit is greenish-brown of ovate-oblong shape, 5-10 mm long and 2-3 mm wide, sweet to taste, reminiscent of anise. The plant blooms in July - August, fructifies in September.
Caloric content of 100 grams of fennel seeds (of which 15.8 g of protein, 14.9 g of fat and 52.3 g of carbohydrates) is 345 kcal or 1 443 kJ.
The plant includes a high amount of essential oil. There is up to 6.5% of it in fruits, and up to 0.5% in leaves. Fennel essential oil has a characteristic aroma and a spicy-sweet taste. Its composition includes: anethole, fenghon, methylhavicol, α-pinene, α-flalandrene, cineole, limonene, terpinolene, citral, bornilacetate, camphor and other substances. Fruits also contain up to 12-18% of fatty oils consisting of petroselin (60%), oleic (22), linoleic (14) and palmitic (4%) acids.
The herb of the plant, in addition, contains a large number of flavonoids, glycosides, ascorbic acid, carotene, B vitamins and various minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, chromium and aluminum.
SIMPLE FENNEL TEA RECIPE
Take a teaspoon of fennel seeds and grind them in a mortar.
Place them in a cup, pour boiling water and leave for 10 minutes.
Strain, add honey, basil leaves, black pepper or other ingredients of your choice.
Enjoy your self-made fennel tea!
“Fennel, which is the spice for Wednesdays, the day of averages, of middle-aged people. . . Fennel . . . smelling of changes to come”
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
*This article is for informational purposes only. We suggest consulting with a physician before using these or any other herbal supplements.