Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a perennial, pleasant-smelling herb with yellow flowers. It is native
to the Mediterranean, but is now found throughout the world. Dried fennel seeds are often used in
cooking as an anise-flavored spice. But don't confuse fennel with anise; though they look and taste
similar, they are not the same. Fennel's dried ripe seeds and oil are used to make medicine.
Fennel is used by mouth for various digestive problems including heartburn, intestinal gas, bloating,
loss of appetite, and colic in infants among others. It is also used on the skin for excessive body
hair growth in women, vaginal symptoms after menopause, and to prevent sunburn. But there is limited
scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
Fennel is known as a versatile ingredient in cooking as it can be used as a herb, spice or
vegetable. In terms of nutrition, fennel seeds are tiny but they are mighty, the fennel
contains minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium.
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