Fennel tea is just one of the many things you can make out of the amazing fennel plant. This herbal tea or tisane is well-known for its soothing effects on troubled digestive systems, as well as its sweet, licorice-like taste.
In this article, we’ll dive into the incredible world of fennel tea. We’ll show you everything there is to know about this great drink, including how you can make a warm cup of fennel seed tea for yourself.
What Is Fennel Tea?
Fennel tea is a type of herbal tea or tisane that’s made using the fennel plant’s seeds. The fennel plant (latin name: foeniculum vulgare) is a tall herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves that’s used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.
When it comes to the fennel plant, nothing is wasted as every part is edible and has its various uses. For thousands of years, the Mediterranean (where it is native) and European regions treated it as a handy medicinal plant. They used fennel powder as a remedy for snake bites, and in Asia, it was consumed to remove poison. It even has unconventional uses, as people used to hang fennel outside of doorways to help keep “bad spirits” away.
Meanwhile, various cuisines, like Indian and Italian, used both the fennel plant’s dried seeds and leaves for cooking dishes. In fact, it’s actually the fennel plant’s dried seeds that are used to make the well-loved fennel tea.
What Does It Taste Like?
Fennel tea, like the plant, has a unique, sweet taste similar to licorice, just like fellow-flowering plant anise. Fennel seed tea also has a relaxing smell, but quite the bitter aftertaste.
It’s fennel’s distinct taste that makes it a popular herb. Because of this quality, fennel is used as a main flavoring agent for various products, from toothpaste to absinthe, the liquor.
How To Make Fennel Tea
Speaking of ways to make the tisane, here are 3 different methods of how to prepare fennel tea:
Using Dried Fennel Seeds
If you want an organic fennel tea, then it’s best to use dried fennel seeds. This Classic Fennel Seed Tea Recipe shows how to make a cup of warm tisane using the steeping method. It also shows how to crush dried fennel seeds in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Using A Tea Bag
This is probably the easiest way to make a cup of fennel tea. Just take a tea bag and pour boiling water over it, then steep it in for about 5 minutes. You can leave it in for longer if you want a stronger-tasting cup of herbal tea.
Using Fennel Powder
You can also make yourself some herbal tea using powdered fennel. In a cup of either cold or hot water, just mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of fennel powder. Then, serve and enjoy! Easy, right?
How To Make Fennel Tea Taste Better?
If you want, you can add sweeteners like honey and stevia to enhance the tisane’s flavor and lessen its bitter aftertaste. You can also add a squeeze of lemon or crushed or grated ginger for variation.
How To Store Fennel Seeds and Tea
- Fennel Tea: Prepared tisanes made using the traditional steeping method will last for 3 to 5 days when stored in the refrigerator. Packaged tea or fennel tea bags, on the other hand, have a shelf life of about 1 to 2 years. Remember to store them properly in the pantry.
- Fennel Seeds: Keep the seeds in an airtight container, then place the container in a dark and cool place. Stored this way, the seeds can last for up to 2 years.
20 Health Benefits Of Drinking Fennel Tea
We know what it is, but what is fennel tea good for? Find out the 20 amazing health benefits of drinking this healthy tisane.
Filled With Antioxidants And Other Great Compounds
All the benefits of drinking fennel tea stem from the fact that it contains plenty of helpful antioxidants and plant compounds. It has nutrients and essential oils that make possible its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anticancer effects.
Full Of Nutrition
Fennel seeds are highly nutritious. They contain important nutrients like fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese. They are also low on calories.
Promotes Weight Loss
Many turn to fennel tea to aid them in their weight loss journey. Indeed, there are a couple of ways fennel tea can help you lose unwanted weight. One of these includes its ability to boost one’s metabolism, allowing the body to burn fats and calories much faster.
Fennel seed tea can help stop overeating by regulating one’s appetite. Scientists point to anethole, an essential oil found in fennel, as the responsible appetite suppressor. This is great for those who suffer from obesity as a proper eating habit and diet can help with managing the disease.
Good For The Digestive System
Aside from colic, fennel tea is also a well-known remedy for digestive problems. That’s because the fennel plant is good for the digestive system: it helps aid digestion and can relieve constipation.
Can Help Relieve Menstrual Pain
“Phytoestrogens” are certain compounds from the fennel plant that act similar to the hormone, estrogen. These estrogen-like compounds are said to help balance hormone levels in women and help relieve painful symptoms that come with monthly menstruation.
Increases Breast Milk Production
Here’s some good news for moms who are currently breastfeeding. Aside from its ability to balance hormonal levels, fennel’s estrogen-like compounds can also increase breast milk production. It does this by increasing milk secretion and prolactin’s blood levels. Prolactin is the hormone that signals for the body to produce more breast milk.
Improves Heart Health
The fennel plant contains fiber, which is known to reduce high cholesterol levels and other heart disease risk factors. Pairing fennel tea with high fiber recipes may be a good diet for those looking after their heart’s health.
Remember how fennel has estrogen-like compounds? Aside from balancing hormone levels and increasing breast milk production, this herb can also increase one’s libido. In this way, fennel tea basically acts like a natural aphrodisiac.
Better Sleep Quality
The fennel plant is also rich in melatonin, a chemical that plays a crucial part in sleep. Because of this, drinking a warm cup of fennel tea just before bed can greatly improve one’s sleep quality. If you’ve been unable to get a good night’s rest, then try drinking this tisane.
Fennel’s anti-inflammatory properties is another benefit that helped make it a popular herb. Thanks to this, drinking fennel tisane can bring pain relief for those suffering from arthritis, gout, and other inflammatory problems.
Good For Babies With Colic
The fennel plant has many health benefits, but its ability to help treat colic in babies stands out. Colic is a major cause of distress for many parents since it has no known cause or cure. However, one study showed that fennel oil was able to lessen the intensity of colic experienced by the infant subjects.
Can Help Treat Acne And Other Skin Problems
Aside from pain relief, fennel’s anti-inflammatory properties can also help treat acne, rosacea, and other skin problems. That’s because fennel contains essential oils that work together to lessen inflammation present in the body, including on one’s face. Some essential oils, on the other hand, have antibacterial properties that kill germs and dirt (bad news for pimples, good news for your skin!). To add, fennel’s estrogen-like compounds even have an anti-aging effect. All in all, drinking this tisane will do wonders for your skin!
Soothes Respiratory Troubles
Another great benefit from fennel’s anti-inflammatory properties is its ability to soothe respiratory-related problems like asthma, bronchitis, and cough. It can also help with sore throat and clogged sinuses. Furthermore, fennel can help clear mucus and phlegm that can be a breeding ground for infectious particles.
Cleanses the Body
Drinking this herbal tea can also help detoxify one’s body as it acts like a blood cleanser. This helps keep important organs like kidneys and liver up and running smoothly. Because of this, fennel can also stop kidney stones from even forming.
Good For The Eyes
Fennel seeds are one of the best superfoods to eat if you want to take care of your eyesight. In fact, these seeds are so good for the eyes, they can help slow down the risk of developing cataracts!
Helps Treat Heartburn
Fennel’s estrogen-like compounds also have the ability to help treat pesky heartburn. These phytoestrogens can help prevent acid reflux, another reason why fennel tea is good for the digestive system. If you experience heartburn on a regular basis, drinking a cup of this tea can help lessen the annoying sensation.
Lowers Blood Pressure
The potassium found in the fennel herb can lower high blood pressure levels and prevent hypertension for forming. Nitrites found in its seeds can just as well lower blood pressure by dilating blood vessels.
Can Help Manage Symptoms of Menopause
Studies have confirmed fennel’s ability to manage symptoms of menopause, no doubt another benefit of its phytoestrogens. In particular, it was shown to improve sexual function and increase sexual pleasure for menopause women. It can also conveniently reduce the less desirable symptoms of menopause, like dryness, vaginal itching, and pain during intercourse.
Natural Breath Freshener
Drinking fennel tea is convenient since it also acts as a natural breath freshener! Like anise, it gives a refreshing and clean feel to one’s mouth. In addition, it helps protect one’s gums and teeth thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Where Can I Buy Fennel Tea?
It’s easy to find fennel tea since it’s sold practically everywhere, from supermarkets to online stores. You’ll most likely encounter fennel tea bags which offer an easier and more convenient way of making the tisane.
Although, you can also make them the traditional way by using dried fennel seeds. You can buy these seeds at farmers markets near you一just make sure you’re shopping during the right season. Fennel harvesting season is usually around fall or winter, so expect for their seeds to be available around then.
Risks and Side Effects of Fennel Tea
Before buying fennel seeds and tea bags, let’s first look into the known risks and side effects of drinking fennel tea. Before drinking this tisane, keep in mind these words of caution:
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U.S.’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes fennel seed tea as generally safe. However, some express concern in its phytoestrogens and how it might affect children’s hormone levels when taken in large doses. To be on the safe side, it’s best to check with a pediatrician first before giving children huge amounts of fennel. This applies most especially to parents who plan on soothing colic-afflicted babies with fennel seed tea.
For Pregnant Women
Fennel may be unsafe for pregnant women as it contains phytoestrogens that might negatively affect a fetus’ growth and development.
For Those Allergic To Carrots
The fennel herb belongs to the carrot-parsley-celery plant family. So, there is a huge chance that those allergic to carrots may also be allergic to fennel. This also applies to the other vegetables and herbs in that specific family, such as anise, parsnip, cumin, and coriander.
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For Those Taking Medications
Fennel in either tea, supplement, or essential oil form might negatively interact with other medications taken alongside it. Consult your doctor first before consuming this useful herb.
At the end of the day, taking it in tisane form is probably the best way to consume fennel. It’s aromatic, soothing, and you don’t lose out on its health benefits either. So, why not try making a cup of warm fennel seed tea from now on?