Fennel Powder - Usage & Health Benefits
Fennel is exploited universally for its culinary and medicinal properties and its leaves, seeds, and Fennel Powder (derived from powdered seeds) are widely used. The powder is an aniseed like aromatic spice, with many uses and benefits. Learn more about that in the following sections.
Uses of Fennel Powder
The principle component of fennel is ‘anethole’, the other essential oils are limonene, fenchone, myrcene, camphene, and many more. These essential oils are responsible for the flavor and use of fennel powder as a herbal supplement.
The Mediterranean cuisine uses fennel to flavor dishes, salads, pastas, vegetable dishes such as artichokes. It is used quite commonly in the different regions of Indian subcontinent flavor to snacks, curries, gravies, and rice dishes. It is also eaten as a mouth freshener after food consumption. It is a key ingredient in many spice powders including Chinese five-spice powder.
Fennel powder has been used to treat health conditions and traditionally symbolizes longevity, courage, and strength. Lately, the composition of this spice powder has revealed presence of abundant health benefiting nutrients essential compounds, anti-oxidants, dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins (A, E, C, and B-complex) in it. It is rich in dietary fibre and minerals like copper, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and magnesium. Copper and iron are required for red blood cell formation. Zinc is a co-factor in enzymes that regulate growth and development. Potassium regulates body fluids and helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is a co-factor for the powerful anti-oxidant enzyme. Fennel powder is a strong antioxidant also because of its flavanoids (like kaempferol and quercetin) content. It is digestive, antispasmodic, antidepressant, stomachic, antimicrobial, carminative, and anti-flatulent agent. Fennel consumption also blocks the Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) which affects the lipid metabolism, insulin resistance, blood coagulation and the endothelial cell functions.
Fennel powder can be used as an insect repellent. It is also used to flavor toothpastes and mouth fresheners. Oil extracts from the spice are used in aromatherapy and perfume industry.
Health Benefits of Fennel Powder
Credited with a likable distinctive taste, fennel powder also finds its round in the alternative medicine practice for the following reasons
- Treats stomach problems like indigestion, heartburn, bloating, flatulence, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Soothes the gastrointestinal tract and relieves cramps
- Relaxes uterus and promotes breast enhancement
- Treats hormonal imbalances related to menstruation and lactation
- Reduces water retention – natural diuretic
- Improves body hemoglobin – reduces anemia
- Laxative - Improves bowels (constipation and diarrhea)
- Reduces colic
- Expectorant – reduces respiratory problems like cold, cough, congestion, bronchitis, etc.
- Promotes eye care – protects eyes from inflammation, disorders due to aging, macular degeneration
- Improves milk flow in lactation – galactagouge
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- Good for heart – reduces blood pressure and prevents angina
- Helps treat symptoms related to dysmenorrheal and amenhorrea
- Reduces pain
- Reduces fever
- Possesses anticonvulsant properties
If you do not have fennel, try out these Fennel Substitutes which can impart similar taste and smells!
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