Fennel is a celebrated herb in many cultures, from Western Europe to India. It has been traditionally used in Herbal Medicine to help relieve bloating and flatulence, the pain associated with menstruation, and coughs associated with colds.
Fennel stimulates digestion and appetite and is a very specific herbal remedy for gas and even colic in babies. It is similar to aniseed in its calming effect in bronchitis and other coughs, and is a good choice for flavoring cough remedies. Fennel seed (also known as fruit) is a commonly used herb to help increase milk flow in nursing mothers.
Fennel tea may be used as a wash or as a compress to treat conjunctivitis and inflammation of the eyelids. Used externally, the essential oil eases muscular and rheumatic pains. It is eaten in many popular cuisines, from Italian to Indian, and more. Though popular as a spice added to food, Fennel is most often recommended as a tea, but is also made into a syrup or honey, and even a tincture or capsules.