Fennel tea is a delicious and popular variety of tea that helps prevent and relieve muscle spasms, improve digestion, and treat gastrointestinal issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, heartburn, flatulence, and stomach cramps. It also helps lower blood pressure, aid weight loss, protect the respiratory system, detoxify the body, balance hormones, and boost libido, among others.
What is Fennel Tea?
Fennel tea is a beverage made by steeping crushed, dried fennel seeds in boiling water. This uniquely flavored drink has many potential health effects. The tea has long been used as a digestive aid, and fennel seeds are commonly eaten before or after a meal to improve the digestive efficiency. However, that is only the beginning of fennel’s effects on the body. Due to its high concentration of anethole, estragole, phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins, and volatile oils, fennel tea has antioxidant, antibacterial, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, just to name a few.
Most people only know fennel as a flavorful spice, which is included in many soups, curries, and vegetable dishes. Dried fennel seed has the taste quality of anise and is often confused for other potent spice. This resilient perennial herb (Foeniculum vulgare) is most commonly found in the Mediterranean region, but due to its popularity and hardiness, it can now be found in different parts of the world. In the past, it was widely used in traditional medicine of China, India, and the Middle East, but has recently become more popular as an herbal remedy in the rest of the world.
Benefits of Fennel Tea
Let’s look a bit closer at some of the impressive health benefits of fennel tea.
Fennel tea helps treat heartburn due to the presence of phytoestrogen. This inhibits muscle spasms, improve digestion, and prevent acid reflux. Drinking a cup of fennel tea when you experience heartburn can help ease the pain and the burning sensations.
Have a look at the benefits of Fennel Tea in the video below.
Fennel tea has anti-inflammatory and carminative effects. Drinking this tea prevents the formation of gas, thereby eliminating bloating and cramping. It also helps in speeding up the digestive process, ensuring maximum nutrient uptake, and preventing constipation. For thousands of years, fennel has been used as a digestive aid and it can even help rebuild damaged tissues and prevent further injury to the digestive tract.
Fennel tea is particularly helpful in relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as it treats flatulence and stomach muscle cramps. The non-caffeinated tea acts as a muscle relaxant, which helps ease bowel cramps and release trapped gas.
Fennel tea is traditionally given to infants in order to calm them down and ward off colic. It helps prevent colic spasms in babies and prevents flatulence.
Note: It is unsafe to give fennel tea to infants below 4 months of age. It is recommended to check with a medical expert before administering any herbal product to babies.
The natural soothing effects of fennel tea can reduce spasms in the gut and other parts of the body, thereby reducing stress hormones and taking less of a toll on your overall system. Calming the stomach and other organs can be an important first step in eliminating inflammation and stomach upset.
Fennel tea has powerful antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal effects, making it an excellent immune system booster. It is also well known to stave off cold and flu before they can fully manifest into an infection. Drinking fennel tea is, therefore, a preventative measure and a treatment to keep you on the right side of healthy!
There are a number of ways in which fennel tea can help you lose weight. First of all, by promoting urination, it can eliminate water retention and bloating. Secondly, as a metabolism booster, it can help your body burn fat and calories faster, making your exercise efforts more rewarding. Finally, by regulating your appetite and hormones, it can prevent overeating and obesity.
Detoxifies the Body
Fennel tea works as a blood cleanser and a diuretic, keeping your kidneys and liver healthy and working at full capacity. It also helps eliminate excess toxins extracted from the blood and kidneys. It is a natural remedy for kidney stones.
Balances Hormone Level
When it comes to protecting female reproductive health and wellness, few herbs are as important as fennel. The compounds found in fennel tea have estrogen-like qualities, meaning that they can alleviate many of the painful symptoms of menstruation, while also regulating hormones, increasing libido, and stimulating the production of breast milk in lactating mothers. The tea also helps soothe menopausal symptoms.
Those suffering from arthritis, gout and other inflammation issues have found pain relief from fennel tea for generations. By detoxifying the body, you also help your tissues and muscles function more normally and lower the chances of unnecessary inflammatory responses. This can help you get better sleep and have more energy to take on your daily tasks.
Protects the Eyes
The rapid anti-inflammatory response of fennel tea can help treat swollen or puffy eyes. You can dip a cotton ball into fennel tea and apply it on eyelids to soothe tired eyes. Also, the antibacterial and immune-boosting effects can further protect the eyes from other conditions, such as conjunctivitis and glaucoma.
Boosts Heart Health
The impact that fennel tea can have on the heart is largely based on its mineral content, namely the potassium found in this herb. Potassium acts as a vasodilator, meaning that it can relieve the tension in arteries and blood vessels, thus making it more difficult for atherosclerosis to occur. This can help prevent coronary heart diseases, as well as lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Fennel tea with its potassium content helps lower high blood pressure and prevents hypertension. Nitrites in the herbal tea also dilate blood vessels, which again helps lower blood pressure.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Fennel has hypoglycemic properties and the tea is considered a diabetes superfood. The seeds have a sweetish, minty flavor, which helps curb the craving for sweets. The tea also lowers blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetics.
Eliminates Bad Breath
Not only is fennel great for the digestion of a meal, but also to eliminate any traces of it on your breath. The similarity of fennel to anise seed gives it a refreshing and cleansing effect on your breath, while also protecting your gums and teeth, due to its antifungal and antibacterial effects. Drinking fennel tea helps alleviate gum inflammation too.
Relieves Respiratory Distress
Drinking fennel tea can provide relief to people suffering from asthma, bronchitis, cough, and virus infections. When it comes to congestion of the respiratory system, fennel tea is an excellent solution, as it works as an expectorant, eliminating the phlegm and mucus where infectious pathogens can reside and multiple. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory effects help to relieve sore throats and sinus pressure, thus allowing you to breathe normally.
Kills Internal Parasites
Fennel seeds, used in the tea, are herbal de-wormers and can be successfully used to eliminate internal parasites. The tea has a laxative effect and promotes intestinal movement, which helps remove flush worms out of the body.
Fennel tea can help treat skin conditions like acne and rosacea as the seeds contain essential oils, like anethole, myrcene, and limonene, which are inflammation reducers. It also has an essential oil called chavicol, which can kill germs and hence prevent skin infections. Also, the phytoestrogens in fennel seeds improve skin tone and have an anti-aging effect.
Fennel tea can stimulate and increase sexual desires in both men and women. For men, it can help prolong orgasms, relieve bladder and prostate issues, and increase sexual endurance.
Fennel tea is an excellent nighttime tea as it is rich in melatonin, a chemical which is vital for good sleep. It is best to have the tea just after dinner as it aids in digestion, relaxes the body, and lowers stress levels.
How to Make Fennel Tea?
While fennel tea bags are easily available in most grocery stores, fennel tea can be easily made at home with the seeds. Here’s how to do it:
- Step 1: Gently crush 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle to release its oils. You can also use the back of a spoon.
- Step 2: Add the crushed seeds to a saucepan or a jug.
- Step 3: Pour 1 cup (8 oz.) of boiling hot water on the seeds and cover with a lid. Never boil fennel seeds as they may lose their nutrients.
- Step 4: Steep for 10 minutes, and strain the tea.
- Step 5: You can add a teaspoon of raw honey if needed. Enjoy!
Note: If you are using fresh fennel leaves, fronds, or fennel bulb, chop it into pieces and follow the same steps as above. The steeping time should be increased to 15-20 minutes for its flavor to develop.
When to Drink Fennel Tea?
The best time to have fennel tea is after meals, as it acts as a wonderful digestive. It is a treat for after meals due to its sweet licorice-kind flavor. It is recommended that you have not more than 2-3 cups of fennel tea every day.
Fennel Tea Side Effects
Fennel tea may have side effects. It is not recommended for:
- People allergic to carrots, mugwort, or celery: They may experience dizziness, difficulty in swallowing, or facial swelling.
- People on medications for blood pressure
- Endocrine disorders: Phytoestrogens in fennel may obstruct the smooth functioning of the endocrine system.
- Breast or ovarian cancer patients: The estrogen-like effects of fennel can cause dangerous complications. Also, estragole in fennel may be a potential carcinogen, so it is best avoided by cancer patients.
Other side effects include:
- Increased sun sensitivity
- Excess lactation
- Prevents blood clotting; those suffering from hemophilia or other bleeding disorders should avoid it.