The Mediterranean is the original birthplace of so many of our wonderful herbs and plants and fennel is no exception. It has been proliferated throughout the world and in use by most cultures and in most cuisines. Armed with a yellow flower blossom and leaves similar to the carrot, it is a chef’s favorite the world over.
Most popular in Indian cuisine, fennel is a lovely addition to a lot of its culinary pursuits. Middle eastern cookery is full of recipes using fennel as a garnish, a main ingredient and even as a standalone vegetable. It is safe to say that it is a beneficial green to have in your repertoire. Only recently has fennel been popularized in cooking, as our cultures meld globally.
Benefits of Fennel
Fennel makes a great side dish. It can be an excellent flavor booster to most dishes requiring a delicate touch. Fennel is not just for cooking as we will see. In fact, it can aid in slowing macular degeneration by providing antioxidants! It is high in vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber.
It is a great treatment for anemia because it aids in stimulating the production of hemoglobin. Fennel is also good for helping treat flatulence. When using fennel for this condition, it is important to know that anyone of any age can consume it safely. It will help expel gas, treating dispeptic conditions.
It also can help with diarrhea, due to its antiseptic properties. And let’s not forget irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Both conditions can improve by using fennel, thanks to its laxative like qualities. It is amazing that one little plant can help our bodies so much.
How to Grow Fennel
This beautiful, feathery herb is delicate when young and needs to be planted after the last frost. It loves the sunshine so make sure it has at least six hours daily. Keep the soil moist and make certain that it is full of nutrients. Fertilizing every one or two weeks will help the plant to remain robust and healthy.
Uses for Fennel
Fennel is a leafy green vegetable that is sometimes cooked and prepared by itself and sometimes paired with other vegetables. Fennel seeds are the secret ingredient in sausage. It is also a great flavor to add to many egg, fish and chicken dishes. It can be eaten raw if young and tender or added to sauces, soups and stews.
Fennel treats a lot of common conditions as well as some serious. It is a fabulous addition to the menu and to the garden.