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Earthnotes
Herb Library

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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.



FENNEL
(Foeniculum vulgare)
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CAUTION! Use seeds in moderation. Avoid seeds if you have a history of allergies or skin sensitivities. Avoid if pregnant - HORMONAL action.

CONTAINS: Source of sulphur, sodium, and potassium.

PROPAGATION: By seed. Perennial but not reliably hardy in the north.
NEEDS: Full sun. Average, well-drained soil.
HARVEST: The seeds as available (when seeds begin to turn brown, snip heads into a paper bag, then hang bag and air dry). Also, harvest the root in spring.

USES

MEDICINAL:
Diuretic, digestive aid, somewhat anti-bacterial, expectorant and lactagogue. Chewing the seeds is said to suppress the appetite.
Aids digestion by relaxing the smooth muscles of the digestive walls. Has been used for upset stomach, colic, and flatulence.
An infusion of the seeds or leaves has been used for cramps.
Normalizes pancreas function and has been used in cases of diabetes.
Works on fatty deposits and is useful for digestion of fats (famous seasoning for sausage).
Calms the digestive tract directly and has been used for griping and colicky conditions, simple dyspepsia, nervous colitis, and diarrhea.
Combined with dill for 'gripe water' and has been used in cases of infant colic.
Has been used for cystitis.
Kills some bacteria and has been used to help the body rid itself of hookworms.
A gentle expectorant considered by some to be safe for children.
As an eyebath has been used for infective eye conditions such as conjunctivitis and styes. The tea has been used as an eye lotion (similar to elder flower).
Promotes lactation in nursing mothers.
INFUSION = 1 Tbsp of bruised seeds steeped in 1 C. water for 5 minutes; add honey to taste.

CULINARY:
Common kitchen spice. Unique aroma and flavor which lends itself well to the 'heavier' meats.

COSMETIC:
Infusion used for steam facial. In the herbal bath is considered stimulating. Also, oil of fennel is used in creams, perfumes and soaps.

DYE:
Flowers and leaves for yellows, browns, and greens.

INSECTS:
Lures beneficial insects.

HORTICULTURE:
Do NOT plant near coriander or wormwood (prevents seed from forming).

LANGUAGE:
Power, Endurance, Praiseworthy.




©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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