Fennel helps in digestion, but also in case of coughs and colds. Fennel is an important plant for wellness and beauty: it can also be used to prepare purifying facial masks.

Herbaceous plant of the family of the Umbelliferae, fennel has been known since ancient times for its aromatic properties and today it is appreciated above all for the digestive and nutritional ones.

Of the fennel it is good to distinguish the wild varieties, which grow in a spontaneous way and are used as aromatic plants, from those of horticultural production, characterized by a sweeter taste. The fennel has at the center the edible part: it is the compact structure consisting of the foliar sheaths which are whitish in color, the harvesting of which can occur in all seasons, depending on the production zones, nineties days after sowing. Its aroma is due to the presence of anethole. All the parts of fennel can be used: the white central part, the seeds and even the green tufts: use just a little imagination!

1. FENNEL INFUSION FOR DIGESTION

The beneficial properties of fennel for the digestive system are useful in case of problems of aerophagia or abdominal swelling: the fennel seeds in fact promote diuresis and help to decrease intestinal gas by fighting the fermentation processes of the large intestine. One of the easiest remedies to make at home is undoubtedly the fennel-based infusion, to be drunk after meals, also recommended to relax the smooth abdominal muscles and thus relieve menstrual cramps. Infuse 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds (you can found and buy them in herbal medicine shops) in 200 ml of boiling water, covering your cup. After about 10 minutes, filter and drink the infusion without sweetening.

2. FACE MASK WITH FENNEL

Thanks to the presence of Vitamin C, Fennel has antioxidant properties that we can exploit for the health of our skin. To prepare a simple fennel mask at home, you will need a fennel, a lemon, white flour or white clay. Cook the fennel in hot water, then blend it adding the juice of a lemon. Next, help yourself with a strainer and separate the liquid obtained from the pulp into a bowl. Add the flour or white clay to the fennel and lemon liquid, enough to obtain a homogeneous mixture without lumps. At this point, put it on your clean face and neck and leave on for about 20-30 minutes; then rinse yourself with warm water. With this treatment the skin will appear brighter and purified, free of sebum.

3. FENNEL ESSENTIAL OIL FOR COUGHING

In case of a cold or to soothe cough attacks, both dry and fat, an effective remedy can be the essential oil of fennel, which you can found in herbal medicine shops and which is known for its expectorant and antispasmodic properties. The essential oil is extracted by distillation, either from the pressed seeds or from the whole plant. If you have a sore throat, try to dilute a couple of drops of fennel essential oil in half a glass of water, then make some gargling with this mixture. For cough instead, take up to 5 drops of this oil either in a single dose or in several doses during the day.

4. FENNEL FOR WOMEN

The phytoestrogens contained in it make the fennel a natural balancing plant of the levels of the female hormones. For this reason, it is believed that the fennel infusion helps to reduce the ailments that precede the menstrual cycle and to allay the symptoms of menopause. Furthermore, it is said that it stimulates milk production in breastfeeding women, but according to others it simply helps to make the taste of milk more pleasant for the child. On this last point, not all doctors agree on the real benefits of fennel for lactation due to the carcinogenic potential of one of the active molecules of fennel tea, that is estragol, and they do not recommend the use of fennel infusions in children under 4 years, in pregnant and lactating women. However, products with reduced estragol content are commercially available and, in any case, it is important not to be alarmed so much but also not to abuse this product: it is advised not to exceed 2-3 cups a week.