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Health Benefits of Fennel
The fennel herb is a versatile vegetable which can not only be eaten cooked or raw but is also a basis for anise, and is one of the ingredients of licorice. The fennel plant also flavors some brandy-based drinks, whilst the fennel leaves are an important culinary herb.
It is not surprising then that fennel and its juice contain some valuable constituents. The nutrients are similar to those in celery, which belongs to the same family, but it is the essential oil that is the basis for its good action on an upset stomach and its stimulating properties. The oil is present in relatively large amounts, from 3-6% of the total weight.
The Greeks called fennel marathon which derived from their word meaning to become slim; later the Emperor Charlemagne ensured that it was grown on all his farms. He and other people in early times, thought fennel gave courage and were good for the eyes. Bedrooms were protected from the evil spirits of the night with fennel in the keyholes. The plant was an essential component of the wreath used above the door on Midsummer Day to keep the witches quiet.
Insects keep away from fennel so the floors were spread with stalks so that the fleas kept their distance. The stalks were cooked as an alternative to asparagus, or put under bread while it was baking to give it an aromatic flavor. With carrot juice, fennel is very good for night blindness or optic weakness. These two plus beet juice make a good remedy for anemia especially the son resulting from excessive menstruation.
Fennel juice forms part of formulae for convalescence and for indigestion. The French use it for migraine and dizziness where good results have been noted. The nutritional analysis of fennel leaves reveals an excellent quantity of iron (2.7mg per 100g), high calcium (109mg per 100g) and a very impressive supply of the following vitamins: carotene (4. 7mg per 100g), folic acid (100 micrograms per 100g) and vitamin C (93.0mg per 100g).
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