History,Region and Habitat of Fennel Origin.
- Basic Botanical Information of Fennel,Fructus Foeniculi.
- What Is It?General Description of the Fennel Seed.
- History,Region and Habitat of Fennel Origin.
- History and Modern Use of Fennel.Traditional and Ethnic Uses of Fennel.
- Fennel Legends,Myths and Stories.
- Constituents and Pharmacology Properties of Fennel.
- Medicinal Properties,Healing with Fennel for common health problems.
- Various Common Uses Of Fennel.
- Fennel:Administration and Indications Guide,Dosages and Safety.
- Research Update:Fennel.Fructus Foeniculi.Foeniculum vulgare Mill.
History,Region and Habitat of Fennel Origin.
Fennel is native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean area. The name comes from the Greek word for "marathon" because the famous battle at Marathon (490 BC) against the Persians was fought on a field of Fennel. Pliny said that snakes casting off their skins ate Fennel to restore their eyesight.
Foeniculum is a Roman name, from the Latin word foenum, 'hay' and was corrupted to Fanculum in the Middle Ages, where the common name 'Fenkel' comes from Culpepper states: 'It is a herb of Mercury, and under Virgo, and therefore bears antipathy to Pisces'.
Fennel is a tall perennial herb native to the Mediterranean region, now widely cultivated as an annual or perennial in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, Germany, Egypt, India, and China. Fennel is one of Germany's more important medicinal plant crops. The material of commerce comes mainly from Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Egypt, and China.
Fennel seeds are popular in both sweet and savory dishes. Fennel seeds are a component of Chinese five-spice. The spice is said to cure everything from hiccups and coughs to earaches, toothaches, and asthma. Fragrant fennel oil is used both to flavor sweets and perfume soaps.
Fennel is a licorice flavored, feathery, aromatic herb. It grows to be several feet tall with umbels of small, yellow flowers that look very similar to a dill plant. This digestive herb relieves heartburn, gas, colic, and an upset stomach. The seeds can be chewed to sweeten breath and help a toothache, and a gargle will relieve a sore throat. Fennel also increases breast milk. To use as a compress, put crushed seeds in hot water for relief of swollen, tender, nursing breasts.
Fennel was well known to the Ancients and was cultivated by the ancient Romans for its aromatic fruits and succulent, edible shoots. Pliny had much faith in its medicinal properties, according no less than twenty-two remedies to it, observing also that serpents eat it 'when they cast their old skins, and they sharpen their sight with the juice by rubbing against the plant.' A very old English rhyming Herbal, preserved at Stockholm, gives the following description of the virtue of the plant:
"Whaune the heddere (adder) is hurt in eye
Ye red fenel is hys prey,
And yif he mowe it fynde
Wonderly he doth hys kynde.
He schall it chow wonderly,
And leyn it to hys eye kindlely,
Ye jows shall sang and hely ye eye
Yat beforn was sicke et feye."
A very old English rhyming Herbal, preserved at Stockholm
Many of the older herbalists uphold this theory of the peculiarly strengthening effect of this herb on the sight. Longfellow alludes to this virtue in the plant:
"Above the lower plants it towers,
The Fennel with its yellow flowers;
And in an earlier age than ours
Was gifted with the wondrous powers
Lost vision to restore."
In mediaeval times, Fennel was employed, together with St. John's Wort and other herbs, as a preventative of witchcraft and other evil influences, being hung over doors on Midsummer's Eve to warn off evil spirits. It was likewise eaten as a condiment to the salt fish so much consumed by our forefathers during Lent. Like several other umbelliferae, it is carminative.
Though the Romans valued the young shoots as a vegetable, it is not certain whether it was cultivated in northern Europe at that time, but it is frequently mentioned in Anglo-Saxon cookery and medical recipes prior to the Norman Conquest. Fennel shoots, Fennel water and Fennel seed are all mentioned in an ancient record of Spanish agriculture dating A.D. 961. The diffusion of the plant in Central Europe was stimulated by Charlemagne, who enjoined its cultivation on the imperial farms.
It is mentioned in Gerard (1597), and Parkinson (Theatricum Botanicum, 1640) tells us that its culinary use was derived from Italy, for he says:
The leaves, seede and rootes are both for meate and medicine; the Italians especially doe much delight in the use thereof, and therefore transplant and whiten it, to make it more tender to please the taste, which being sweete and somewhat hot helpeth to digest the crude qualitie of fish and other viscous meats. We use it to lay upon fish or to boyle it therewith and with divers other things, as also the seeds in bread and other things.
Gerard (1597), and Parkinson (Theatricum Botanicum, 1640)
William Coles, in Nature's Paradise (1650) affirms that -
both the seeds, leaves and root of ourGarden Fennel are much used in drinks and broths for those that are grown fat, to abate their unwieldiness and cause them to grow more gaunt and lank.
William Coles, in Nature's Paradise (1650)
The ancient Greek name of the herb, Marathron, from maraino, to grow thin, probably refers to this property. It was said to convey longevity, and to give strength and courage. There are many references to Fennel in poetry. Milton, in Paradise Lost alludes to the aroma of the plant:
"A savoury odour blown,
Grateful to appetite, more pleased my sense
Than smell of sweetest Fennel."
Milton, in Paradise Lost
The ripe fruit, or seed, of Foeniculum vulgare Mill., a perennial or biennial aromatic herb of the family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae).
According to a Greek myth, knowledge came to man from Olympus in the form of a fiery coal contained in a fennel stalk. Native to southern Europe and Asia Minor, fennel is cultivated in the United States, Great Britain, and temperate Eurasia. All parts of the plant are aromatic and used in flavoring; the blanched shoots are eaten as a vegetable; and the seed is a traditional carminative (an agent expelling gas from the alimentary canal so as to relieve abdominal pain or irritation.)
The cultivated plant is about 1 m tall and has stalks with finely divided leaves composed of many linear or awl-shaped segments. The grayish, compound umbels bear small yellow flowers. It is in leaf all year, in flower from August to October, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The scented flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects.
The plant cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
The fruits, or seeds, are greenish brown to yellowish brown oblong ovals about 6 mm long with five prominent longitudinal dorsal ridges. Their aroma and taste are suggestive of anise. The seeds and extracted oil are used for scenting soaps and perfumes and for flavouring candies, liqueurs, medicines, and foods, particularly pastry, sweet pickles, and fish.
Fennel is cultivated everywhere in China. Reaped in autumn when the fruit ripens, it is then dried in the sun for use when raw or after being fried with brine.
- 1.Fennel Seed or Xiao HuiXiang,the seed of Foeniculum vulgare Mill,a pungent herb nature warm,its botanical introduction,chemical constituents,history and uses since ancient till today.
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