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Fennel Tea Side Effects

author image Rae Uddin
Rae Uddin has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2004. She specializes in scientific journalism and medical and technical writing. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Uddin earned her Master of Science in integrated biomedical sciences with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biochemistry from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.
Fennel Tea Side Effects
A cup of fennel tea. Photo Credit: HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images

Originally found in Europe, the fennel plant may yield a variety of benefits when used medicinally. The dried, crushed fennel seeds may be prepared as a tea when combined with boiling water. Drinking fennel tea, which may aid digestion, is believed to help prevent gas, stomach pain, sinus congestion and cough, according to Talk with your medical provider about the side effects of fennel tea before consuming this beverage.

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Increased Sun Sensitivity

Drinking fennel tea may increase your skin's sensitivity to sunlight, notes Consequently, you may be more likely to develop sunburn when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Sunburned skin appears red and may feel tingly, painful or warn to the touch. If you consume fennel tea on a regular basis, protect your skin with clothing or sun block before venturing outdoors.

Allergic Reaction

Infrequently, fennel tea may induce a severe allergic reaction. People who have a known allergy to carrots, celery or mugwort are at an increased risk of developing an allergic reaction upon exposure to fennel. Symptoms associated with an allergic reaction may be life-threatening and include facial swelling, difficulty swallowing or breathing, hives or dizziness. Seek prompt care from your medical provider if you exhibit any of these side effects after drinking a cup of fennel tea.

Contraindications and Concerns

Talk with your doctor about any health concerns you may have before partaking of fennel tea. If you have reproductive cancer, such as breast or ovarian, avoid consuming fennel tea unless otherwise instructed by a physician. Health professionals with the University of Michigan Health System warn that fennel tea may mimic the effects of estrogen and may promote the growth of estrogen-dependent cancers, such as reproductive cancers; however, additional research is needed to examine this purported effect of fennel. Consumption of fennel tea should also be avoided by people with a personal history of a seizure disorder, such as epilepsy, as this herbal treatment may increase your risk of experiencing seizures.

Drug Interactions

Always discuss all medications you are currently taking with your health care provider before adding a new supplement to your routine -- including fennel tea. Do not consume fennel if you are also taking birth control pills or any estrogen-based therapeutic drugs, as fennel may reduce the efficacy of such drugs. Concomitant use of fennel tea and ciprofloxacin or tamoxifen should also be avoided. Fennel may make it harder for your body to properly absorb these medications.

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