Fennel is an herb in the carrot family used in alternative medicine.1 This flowering plant features yellow
flowers, feathering leaves, and a licorice flavor.1 One of the most common fennel uses is for treating colic (or intestinal gas)
in breastfeeding infants.2 Fennel is sold as an herbal remedy and can be purchased as seeds, capsules, oils, and extracts.1
When using a fennel natural remedy, follow the product labeling for proper dosage.
Fennel Uses and Health Benefits
Fennel uses include helping treat digestive issues, such as constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion.1
It’s also a popular natural remedy for the following conditions:
- Baby Colic - An infant is said to have colic when they are in constant distress. It’s not always clear what the cause is, but in some cases, it can be attributed to digestive issues such as intestinal gas. Since fennel helps with digestive issues, breastfeeding mothers can drink fennel tea to help reduce colic symptoms in their child.3
- Obesity - Fennel for weight loss can be a viable natural remedy because it helps suppress the appetite while boosting metabolism.
- Vomiting - Fennel may help with vomiting in appropriate doses. However, avoid taking too much as it can induce vomiting in some people.4
- Menstrual Problems - Among fennel benefits, it’s well known for its positive effects on treating menstrual problems, such as nausea.5 This is because fennel contains estrogen-like compounds, which can help fight symptoms of menopause and premenstrual syndrome.6 Use it orally as directed on your product package, or use the essential oils as an aromatherapy treatment when symptoms arise.
- Emphysema - Emphysema is a respiratory condition. When taken orally, fennel may help treat symptoms. However, it’s important to discuss your options with your doctor to see if fennel is a viable natural remedy for you.
- Morning Sickness - Morning sickness is characterized by nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, usually in the first trimester. Among fennel benefits, fennel seed tea may help curb these symptoms, but it’s best to talk to your doctor first about whether or not a fennel diet is right for you.
Fennel Side Effects and Precautions
Fennel side effects are minimal. It’s not known to interact with other medications or cause serious health
concerns.1 However, you should proceed with caution if you have a known allergy to similar foods, such as carrots, celery, or
mugwort. Allergic reactions may cause itching, swelling, and rash.2
Fennel can also make you burn more easily in the sun, so be sure to wear sunscreen outdoors if you’re taking a fennel herbal supplement.
Talk to your doctor before taking fennel if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Avoid fennel if you have a history of breast, ovary, or
uterine cancer or if you have endometriosis or uterine fibroids.2
Do not use fennel in place of medication. Talk to your doctor if you have a medical condition and feel a fennel diet will benefit you.
Discuss your options with your doctor before administering fennel to children.