Fennel is an aromatic perennial herb that is a member of the onion family, Lamiaceae. Fennel is cultivated by most warm-blooded animals including cattle, goats, sheep, deer and rabbits. Fennel seed contains a large seed that can be used either fresh or dried for cooking. Fennel is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used as an ornamental and culinary herb since ancient times.
Fennel has been in use since Roman times. It was recommended by the Roman physician Pausanius as a spice for those who wanted to expel excess wind and to help the digestive system. Fennel seeds have similar culinary and medicinal properties to turmeric and ginger. Fennel seed has been used since early days as a spice and as a medicinal plant.
Fennel has a pungent flavor and a strong aroma. It has been used in India for stomachache, cough, flatulence and as a poison antidote. Fennel seeds can be found in abundance in the sub-tropical climates of Northern India and the Himalayan Mountains. Fennel is widely cultivated in the sub-tropical climates of northern India and in tropical south Indian states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Fennel's versatility as a spice is exemplified in its ability to act as an effective remedy for diarrhea. When fennel seeds have been crushed in water, they release a foul odor, resembling a fishy smell. However, when these seeds are cooked, they yield a sweetish taste that is highly preferable to chemical-based digestive juices. Fennel is used to alleviate diarrhea, dysentery, and other digestive problems caused by excessive acid secretion, stress, excess salt, or excess sugar in the blood. It is believed that this natural herb helps in the process of releasing toxins from the body. This, in turn, results in a healthier digestive system.
Fennel's seeds have been widely used as an aromatic flavor in foods and in drinks in India. It is considered a luxury in some parts of the country to harvest and use the aromatic flavor in food and drink. In India, it is considered a luxury to harvest vulgare seeds. V Kulgar is a form of Fennel, which is also known as Indian Fennel, which is cultivated primarily in the coastal regions of the Western India, especially in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in Southern India. Vulkarni is a powder made from the leaves and bark of Vulkarna.
Fennel is a spice which produces a distinctive odor when it is ground. The flavor is nutty with a hint of spice. Traditionally, fresh fennel is gathered fresh and allowed to dry. In this condition, the volatile oil, or console, is released thus giving the seeds their characteristic smell. The console has a very powerful aroma and therefore, is an essential oil which cannot be left in the seed for a long time.
You can make Fennel tea from the dried seeds or the fresh cumin seeds. Fennel tea is made from one teaspoon of dried seeds, boiled for 2 minutes, and then strained into a cup. Drink this herbal tea two to three times daily; it tastes good and helps you get rid of bad breath. If you prefer, you can also add a pinch of salt to the cup of tea.
When buying spices, always check the expiry date and the safety seal. These expiry dates usually indicate the shelf life of a given type of spice. The other important aspect of buying these herbs and spices is that they must be kept away from extreme heat or cold. They are highly flammable materials and must be stored in an enclosed place to ensure their safety. Keep them away from any source of moisture and always store them away from sunlight as well so that they retain their aroma and health benefits.