Foeniculum vulgare

© Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

Also called sweet anise or saunf. Wild fennel can be used the same way.

The story…

Fennel is native to the Mediterranean area, in Greece, Macedonia, Egypt and Turkey; ancient traces have also been found in China. It is naturalized over the world, especially in biome of same climate than the Mediterranean region. It can be found in warm and sunny places, on a well-drained soil, and often on roadsides. It names derives from Latin foeniculum, small hay, referring to the fineness of the leaves.


Nutritional value

Fennel contains a lot of antioxidants, vitamin C and fibers. All parts can be eaten, if possible raw (for example as a juice, grated with a salad, marinated in lemon juice, as sprouted seeds…).


Fennel is useful when mixed with food difficult to digest, or as an infusion. In case of bloating, it reduces the amount of gas produced by the digestive system. It has an antispasmodic effect on intestinal cramps after food excesses and eases nausea.


Seed infusion: approximately 1 tablespoon per cup (depending on how aromatic the seeds are). Infusion 5min, covered. Leaf infusion: approximately 30g/L of dry leaves. Possibly combined with other plants stimulating digestion: anise, cumin, caraway.


In case of persistent symptoms or if you have any doubts, consult a doctor.

© P.Ciarlantini