For millennia, fennel tea has been used to cure a range of medical issues. For more than 3000 years, fennel seeds have been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat indigestion and upset stomachs. Fennel was employed as a home treatment for colds and the flu in ancient Greece. The Romans used fennel as a food flavouring and thought it may help nursing women produce more milk. The middle ages saw the introduction of fennel tea to Europe, and as a result of its numerous health advantages, it swiftly gained popularity.1
Due to its advantages, India, one of the biggest exporters of fennel seeds/saunf (as it is often known), uses it extensively. For healthier and quicker digestion, Indian families, for instance, frequently eat fennel seeds after a meal. Fennel seeds are known for having a variety of nutritional benefits that enhance the health of the human body and are frequently associated with longevity. The seeds are obtained from fennel plants and resemble anise seeds in appearance. They are a vital source of vitamin C, K and E, and have a variety of minerals such as manganese, copper, zinc, and phosphorus.2
The recommended daily dose of fennel seeds for tea is 5-7 grams. 500mg/kg can cause negative effects including piloerection and appetite loss.
Benefits of fennel tea for weight loss
It is a blessing to use fennel seed for weight loss. Early studies indicate that it successfully curbs appetite and prevents overeating. Fennel seeds are typically consumed by Indians after meals to hasten digestion, and act as mouth fresheners. Fennel seeds are also nutritious powerhouses that promote weight loss and control blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Soluble fibre is known to help reduce excess fat more quickly - fennel seeds are abundant in these which helps to suppress appetite for longer.
- Fibre-rich seeds- fennel seeds are a good source of soluble fibre. They assist in lowering cravings and avoiding overeating
- Lowers fat storage- fennel seeds improve your body’s absorption of vitamins and minerals. Because most of the food is properly digested and absorbed, there is less fat storage as a result
- Diuretic properties- to avoid dehydration, our body naturally retains more water. However, the additional water weight leads to weight gain - fennel seeds have diuretic qualities which expels the excess water
- Boost metabolism- volatile oils found in fennel seeds, including anethole, fenchone, and others, increase metabolism. By enhancing gastric enzyme synthesis, these oils aid in digestion. Better food digestion makes it simple to lose excess weight to keep a healthy weight. Fennel seeds are also a vital source of copper, which promotes iron absorption and aids in the metabolism of fat. According to research, your body burns fat more effectively if it has enough copper
- Antioxidant powerhouse- antioxidants like selenium, zinc, lutein, phosphorus, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin are abundant in fennel seeds. These shield your body from the oxidative stress brought on by free radical damage. Obesity is also exacerbated by oxidative stress 3
Other health benefits of fennel tea
- Treats Heartburn- Due to the presence of phytoestrogen, fennel tea may aid in treating heartburn. This can reduce acid reflux, enhance digestion, and stop muscle spasms. When you have heartburn, drinking a cup of this tea can help reduce the pain and burning feelings 4
- Improve digestion- Tea made from fennel seeds may be anti-inflammatory and carminative. By avoiding the development of gas, this tea can help reduce bloating and cramps. Additionally, it can guarantee maximum nutrient absorption, accelerate the digestive process, and avoid constipation. Fennel has been used as a digestive aid for thousands of years. It can even assist in repairing damaged tissue and guard against additional harm to the digestive tract5
- Treat IBS- Fennel tea may help cure flatulence and stomach muscular cramps, which can help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Muscle relaxation brought on by the non-caffeinated tea may reduce intestinal cramps and aid in expelling gas that has been trapped
- Treat colic- Infants are typically given fennel tea to soothe them and prevent colic. It can aid in avoiding infant colic spasms and gas.
Note: Infants under the age of 4 months should not be given fennel tea. Before providing any herbal product to a baby, it is advised to consult a medical professional
- Antispasmodic effect- Fennel tea’s inherently calming properties can lessen spasms in the gastrointestinal tract and other areas of the body, which may diminish stress hormone production and have a less negative impact on your body as a whole. Eliminating inflammation and stomach distress can be accomplished by calming the stomach and other organs
- Boost immunity- Fennel tea may be a good immune system booster due to its potentially effective antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti fungal properties. Additionally, it is well recognised to prevent colds and the flu before they fully develop into infections. Therefore, consuming this tea may be both a potential preventive action and treatment to help you stay healthy6
- Balance hormonal level- Few herbs are as crucial as fennel when preserving female reproductive health and fitness. Fennel tea has substances that mimic oestrogen, making them capable of reducing many uncomfortable menstrual symptoms, regulating hormones, boosting libido, and promoting the production of breast milk in breastfeeding women, in addition to alleviating menopausal symptoms7
- Promote eye health- Fennel seed extracts have been discovered as potential treatment for glaucoma. Fennel tea can be applied directly as eye drops or as a compress
- Promote gum health- Fennel, a powerful antibacterial, helps in gum inflammation treatment
- Helps treat acne- Certain essential oils found in fennel, including anethole, myrcene, and limonene, have demonstrated anti-inflammatory qualities and may be used to treat skin disorders like acne. Fennel aids in removing extra fluids from the skin that would otherwise contribute to acne
Side effects and other concerns
Although fennel tea has many health advantages, some people may experience allergic reactions to it. Hives, dizziness, difficulty breathing or swallowing, and facial swelling are just a few examples of these allergic reactions. An allergic reaction to fennel is more likely to occur in people who are known to be allergic to carrots, celery, or mugwort. Your sensitivity to the sun may increase if you drink fennel tea, and you might develop sunburn as a result.
According to some studies, fennel mimics the effects of oestrogen and has oestrogenic effects. Women who are expecting or nursing should avoid drinking fennel tea.8 Fennel consumption should also be avoided by those with oestrogen-sensitive malignancies. Estragole, a main component of fennel, has been found as a probable carcinogen, so people with cancer or those at high risk for the disease are advised to reduce or altogether avoid consuming fennel tea.9
Fennel tea can assist you in losing weight quickly and prevent the accumulation of belly fat. This is because fennel contains dietary fibres that aid in improving digestion. Additionally, fennel lowers flatulence, increases metabolic rate, and releases digestive enzymes that aid in burning fat molecules during digestion. All of these effects contribute to weight loss. Fennel seed consumption may lessen fat formation by enhancing the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Additionally, this spice has diuretic qualities, which can improve the flow of urine and remove toxins from the body.
- Fennel tea: 6 wonderful health benefits you need to know about - the pink velvet blog [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2023 Jan 5]. Available from: https://www.thepinkvelvetblog.com/health-benefits-of-drinking-fennel-tea
- Dang S. Fennel seeds - benefits, nutrition, and weight loss [Internet]. Blog - HealthifyMe. 2022 [cited 2023 Jan 5]. Available from: https://www.healthifyme.com/blog/fennel-seeds/
- 5 benefits of fennel seed for weight loss [Internet]. Masala Monk. 2022 [cited 2023 Jan 5]. Available from: https://www.masalamonk.com/5-benefits-of-fennel-seed-for-weight-loss/
- Badgujar SB, Patel VV, Bandivdekar AH. Foeniculum vulgare mill: a review of its botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology, contemporary application, and toxicology. Biomed Res Int [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2023 Jan 5];2014:842674. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4137549/
- Bae J, Kim J, Choue R, Lim H. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) tea drinking suppresses subjective short-term appetite in overweight women. Clin Nutr Res [Internet]. 2015 Jul 31 [cited 2023 Jan 5];4(3):168–74. Available from: https://synapse.koreamed.org/articles/1059796
- Ruberto G, Baratta MT, Deans SG, Dorman HJD. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of foeniculum vulgare and crithmum maritimum essential oils. Planta Med [Internet]. 2000 Dec [cited 2023 Jan 5];66(8):687–93. Available from: http://www.thieme-connect.de/DOI/DOI?10.1055/s-2000-9773
- 19 amazing benefits of fennel tea [Internet]. Organic Facts. 2017 [cited 2023 Jan 5]. Available from: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/fennel-tea.html
- Benefits of fennel tea and its side effects [Internet]. Lybrate. [cited 2023 Jan 5]. Available from: https://www.lybrate.com/topic/benefits-of-fennel-tea-and-its-side-effects
- Rahimi R, Ardekani MRS. Medicinal properties of Foeniculum vulgare Mill. in traditional Iranian medicine and modern phytotherapy. Chin J Integr Med [Internet]. 2013 Jan 1 [cited 2023 Jan 5];19(1):73–9. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11655-013-1327-0