Ayurveda and Herbs: The Amazing Fennel

We spend a lot of time here talking about the importance of healthy digestion. According to Ayurveda, digestion is huge; improper digestion is where ill health begins in the physical body. To get to the root of an ailment, digestion is always treated. What this means is that if you ensure that you have healthy digestion –  EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU EAT SOMETHING –  you are proactively helping yourself avoid illness. This places your health squarely in your own hands!

One very simple way to help ensure optimal digestion is by chewing fennels seeds after meals. Fennel seeds are one of the best digestive herbs. They strengthen digestive fire (agni) without aggravating pitta dosha, as many other digestive herbs do. They are good for all three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) and have a pleasing flavor a bit like licorice.


Some of the many benefits of fennel seeds include dispelling flatulence (gas), stopping cramping, aiding with heart burn, calming tummy aches, and soothing acid indigestion.


Chew about one teaspoon raw or lightly toasted fennel seeds after meals or when experiencing digestive issues. Keep some in your pocket, purse, office and car so you have them with you at all times. Add fennel to your cooking (seeds or powder) to help ensure that you will digest the food well. Fennel also combines well with cumin and coriander as three cooling digestive spices. 


Fennel tends to be great for everyone, including children and the elderly. They can even help colicky babies – simply have her or him sip a tea brewed from fennel seeds, or a nursing mom can ingest fennel seeds and the baby will receive the benefits from the breast milk. 


Happy Digesting!


By Dr. Marisa Jackson-Kinman, C.A.S., P.K.S., A.Y.T., faculty member of the California College of Ayurveda 


Reference: “The Yoga of Herbs,” by David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad