Fennel, peppermint, and ginger have all been shown in research studies to have calming effects on the belly. They work by enhancing digestive enzymes so your food gets moved through your system faster. And faster-moving food means a flatter tummy. In addition, peppermint reduces cramping and gas, ginger helps with nausea and inflammation, and fennel is a diuretic to help you stop retaining water, as previously mentioned. Here Danielle Dresden, MedicalNewsToday.com, reflects on fennel tea and health benefits, medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D, MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT:
In the Middle Ages, on Midsummer’s night, people hung fennel over doorway’s to protect household from evil spirits.
The benefits of fennel tea are both culinary and curative. Fennel is used in many different cuisines, from Indian to Italian, to contemporary fusion, and all parts of the plant are used, including the leaves, seeds, and bulb.
The Emperor Charlemagne was so taken with fennel that he took the flowering plant to Europe and grew it on his estates.
Through the ages, many health claims have been made for fennel, and drinking fennel tea is an established practice in traditional medicine throughout the world.
Although Western science has not verified all these benefits, humans have used fennel to:
- relieve flatulence
- encourage urination
- boost metabolism
- treat hypertension
- improve eyesight
- prevent glaucoma
- regulate appetite
- clear mucus from the airways
- stimulate milk production in nursing women
- speed digestion
- reduce gas
- reduce stress
- detoxify the body
According to herbalists, fennel seed is an effective aid to digestion. It can help the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal system relax and reduce gas, bloating, and stomach cramps.
In fact, tinctures or teas made from fennel seeds can be used to treat stomach muscle spasms caused by irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and other conditions affecting the gastrointestinal system.
Fennel may also be used in combination with other herbal remedies to modify the side effects of herbal formulas used as laxatives, or other treatments for digestive problems.
Although most of the health claims made for fennel and fennel tea are based on traditional medicine, some scientific, medical studies have identified specific drug-like qualities of the plant, particularly its essential oils, which may promote health.
Studies have found that fennel tea benefits linked to fennel’s essential oils include:
- reducing the formation of blood clots
- increasing milk secretion and supporting the female reproductive system
- acting as an antioxidant
- antibacterial effects
- antifungal activity
- anti-inflammatory properties
- controlling dust mites
According to one study, fennel was effective at collecting free radicals, which cause disease. This suggested fennel extracts could be used to help individuals ward off the effects of many chronic diseases and dangerous health conditions, including cancer, hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis, and inflammation.
While even the most committed natural care providers are not claiming that drinking a cup of fennel tea could be like taking a dip in the Fountain of Youth, this research suggests that the compounds found in fennel could help buffer the effects of aging.”
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