Botanical Name: Foeniculum vulgare
- English: Fennel Seed
- Ayurvedic: Misi, Madhurika, Mishreyaa, Mishi, Madhurikaa, Madhuraa, Shatapushpaa, Shataahvaa.
- Also, known as: Guvamuri, Variyali, Saunf, Badisompu, Doddasompu, Sanuf, Badnai, Kattusatakuppa, Parinjaeragum, Badishop, Panamadhuri, Saunf, Shombu, Sopu, Marui, Panmauri, Vinkel, Hui xiang, Fenouil, Fenchel, Finocchio , Fenneru, Funcho, Hinojo, Phak chi, Hui xiang, Tian hui xiang, Xiao hui xiang, Fenchel, Badi saunf, Bari saunf, Moti saunf, Saunf, Saumph, Badian, Finocchio, Finokio, Maratho, Samphu, Sof, Mitta sof, Madesi sauph
Habitat: Asia and Mediterranean region
Parts Used: Dried ripe seed
Foeniculum vulgare, an erect, glabrous, aromatic, perennial herb, around 5 feet high, with compound, feathery leaves and small yellow flowers arranged in umbels. Cultivated extensively throughout India up to 1830 m and sometimes found wild, fruits ripen in September, stems cut with sickles and put up in loose sheaves to dry in sun, when dry, fruits are beaten out in a cloth in sun, cleaned by winnowing and collected.
Sweet fennel is commonly grown as a culinary herb and spice. The foliage is usually bright green, but the decorative bronze fennel has purplish brown leaves. The leaves grow up to 40 cm long; they are finely dissected with the ultimate segments filiform (thread like) of about 0.5 mm wide. The flowers are produced in terminal compound umbels. The fruit is a dry seed 4–10 mm long. Dried fennel seed is an aromatic, anise-flavored spice, brown or green in color when fresh, slowly turning a dull grey as the seed ages.
Fennel originally comes from the Mediterranean, but is now naturalized all around the world, especially in dry soils near a seacoast. Wherever it has grown, it has been widely used as both food and medicine. There is evidence both the ancient Greeks and the Romans used it. Fennel fruits are a commercial spice that is widely used in cooking and baking by almost all culinary traditions of the world. It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses. Fennel seeds are anise like in aroma.
Foeniculum vulgare is well known for its essential oil. The characteristic anise odor of Foeniculum vulgare which is due to its essential oil makes it an excellent flavoring agent in baked goods, meat and fish dishes, ice-cream, and alcoholic beverages.
How to use:
The basic method for dried herbs and flower is, take 2-3 tablespoons of dried herb in a cup of teapot. Pour hot water over it and cover it with lid for 10-30 minutes. Hot water is needed to draw out the antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, flavonoids, and volatile oils from the botanicals. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal tea with bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
- You can make ice cubes or pops by freezing tea in ice tray or pop molds.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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