Fennel tea is a traditional remedy for a variety of conditions, but its main traditional use is for helping digestion and assisting with weight loss. Losing weight requires lifestyle changes including an exercise plan and dietary modifications. Fennel tea may fit into an overall weight-loss plan by helping your body digest and assimilate nutrients more efficiently, thereby reducing food cravings. There is no conclusive clinical evidence to support using fennel tea to lose weight. Talk to your doctor before making fennel tea part of your weight-loss plan.
Fennel seed comes from an aromatic plant with feathery leaves. The plant originated in the Mediterranean region, but grows in temperate regions worldwide. Fennel tea is a traditional remedy for digestion, weight loss, sore throat and kidney stones. Claims have been made that it may support long-term good health and may stimulate the production of milk for nursing mothers. There is no conclusive clinical evidence for these medicinal uses of fennel tea.
Fennel and Digestion
According to "The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants," the aromatic oils present in fennel may help dispel gas from a bloated digestive tract and relieve digestive pain and inflammation. According to "Diet and Nutrition" by Rudolph Ballentine, improved digestion helps you assimilate more nutrients from the food you eat. When you assimilate nutrients better, your body feels satiated after eating and you will experience fewer food cravings There is no conclusive clinical evidence to support the claim that fennel helps digestion and weight loss.
You can prepare fennel tea from loose fennel seeds or buy it packaged in tea bags that contain ground fennel seeds. Preparing the tea with teabags is more convenient, while preparing it from the seeds produces a stronger tea with a higher content of volatile oils. Sip fennel tea after a meal to aid digestion or any time you experience digestive discomfort.
To prepare fennel tea with a tea bag, simply pour boiling water over the tea bag and steep for three to five minutes. To prepare whole fennel seeds, roast them for one minute in a pan over medium heat -- watch carefully so they don't burn. Then crush them slightly using a mortar and pestle. Boil a cup of water and pour it over 1/2 teaspoons of seeds. Steep for three to five minutes. Strain and drink. As an alternative, make a cold infusion. Leave the seeds in a cup of water overnight. Strain and drink in the morning.
Fennel may be toxic if you eat it in very large doses, but up to three cups of fennel tea every day is unlikely to cause harm. Fennel tea is safe for pregnant women and may help relieve morning sickness. For nursing mothers, fennel tea may increase your milk supply and make your milk more digestible for your baby, says "The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants." Talk to your doctor before drinking fennel tea.
- Diet and Nutrition; Rudolph Ballentine
- The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants; Andrew Chevallier