Fennel comes from the same umbelliferous family as celery and parsley. However it is much sweeter and more aromatic than celery with a full flavour reminiscent of the traditional sweetshop aniseed balls.
In Ancient Greece fennel seeds were a symbol of success.
Fennel is a strange but wonderful plant and sadly people just don’t eat/drink enough of the stuff. When it comes to cooking with fennel, I really wouldn’t know where to start, but where juicing is concerned you really can’t go wrong. Adding fennel to a juice really transforms it into a slightly exotic, yet beautiful juice with an underlying hint of aniseed. I love fennel because its fragrant taste and liquorice notes can transform even the earthiest of combinations.
Juice or Smoothie?
Juice: I would always suggest to juice it with other fruits and vegetables. Try adding in ginger as well as the two flavours compliment each other particularly well.
Fennel juice has an amazing calming effect on the digestion and reduces intestinal cramps, intestinal gas, flatulence and bloating. It is widely used by herbalists as an antispasmodic for IBS, as the essential oils contained within fennel can help to relax the walls of the gut. The most powerful essential oil is anethol, which is a superb anti-inflammatory as well as being the main chemical responsible for fennel’s antispasmodic effects.
Fennel contains compounds known as phytoestrogens, these are plant chemicals that are similar in chemical structure to the female hormone oestrogen. These compounds are known to be of great use for conditions where a change in oestrogen levels cause symptoms, such as the menopause or pre menstrual issues.
Fennel has been found to help release endorphins into the bloodstream. These ‘feel good’ chemicals create a mood of euphoria and it is thought they may help relieve depression associated with certain illness as well as dampen anxiety.
A study published in ‘Oncogene’ (one of the worlds leading cancer journals) in June 2008 found that anethole, a major component responsible for fennel’s aroma and distinctive flavour, has been shown to block both inflammation and carcinogenesis.
Studies carried out on the antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic effects of methanolic extract and volatile oil of fennel seeds, led by Mohammad RH for cancer biology of the ‘National Cancer Institute’ Cairo, Egypt. Found that fennel seed methanolic extract (FSME) may have remarkable anticancer potential against breast and liver cancer.
A study led by A. Swaminathan from Vascular Biology Lab, AU-KBC Research Centre, Anna Univ., MIT Campus, Chennai, India, showed that nitrites contained within Fennel seeds can play an important role in cardiovascular health
Vitamins, Minerals and Extras
Vitamins B, C, E and Beta-Carotene.
Calcium, Chromium, Cobalt, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Silicon, Sodium and Zinc.
Pinnock, Dale, 2011, Medical Cookery, Right Way, London.
Jensen, Bernard.Dr, 2000, Juicing Therapy, Keats Publishing, Illinois.
Meyerowitz, Steve, 2000, Power Juices Super Drinks, Kensington Books, New York.
Please be aware that we are not Doctors, so it is important BEFORE making any changes that you consult with your GP or Medical Practitioner. The suggestions above are not meant as an alternative to any current medical treatment so please DO NOT stop taking any medications you are on. They are also not an endorsement of their effectiveness, nor a recommendation that they should be followed but instead, provided for informational purposes. None of the information on the Natural Juice Therapy site is intended or implied to treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease.