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Fennel is a popular vegetable that is a bit of a cross between celery and licorice (there’s a reason it’s an ingredient in absinthe!).
It has a mild aniseed taste, which gives the licorice its unique taste. And the whole plant, from the roots to the flowers, can be used for cooking. The seeds are usually dried to use as a condiment or to make fennel tea, a classic herbal tea that makes the stomach wean.
Fennel tea is a popular after-dinner drink because it can help promote healthy digestion and keep things moving. It can have some other benefits as well, such as making it easier to lose weight and improving breast milk production.
Here are some reasons why you should finally try (fennel-y?) Fennel tea.
Fennel tea could be a useful addition for nursing parents and hungry babies. It contains a phytoestrogen called anethole, which can increase breast milk production and lead to increased weight gain in infants.
A small 201
Although this study did not examine the long-term effects of fennel tea on weight, appetite management and feeling full are important factors in successfully losing weight and keeping it off.
So a sip of fennel tea can be a great way to keep hunger pangs at bay.
Fennel tea is used regularly (pun intended) to aid digestion. It’s a key ingredient in the popular and aptly named Smooth Move tea, which was designed (and really works) to relieve constipation.
There’s also evidence that fennel tea alone can make it a little easier to get number two, especially in situations where it can be tricky (like after surgery). It’s the brew that will help you throw up!
Finally, fennel tea can help soothe fussy babies suffering from colic characterized by crying that doesn’t. Ever. Stop. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
The exact cause of the colic is not known, but it may be due to tiny abdominal discomfort that the active ingredients in fennel could correct.
But (and that’s a giant, though) talk to your baby’s pediatrician before you start adding fennel tea to the bottles. Babies have notoriously sensitive stomachs, which – at least in the first few months – are really only equipped to handle breast milk or formula.
You can buy fennel tea online or in stores in the form of tea bags, loose tea, or powder. Since dried fennel seeds are a common spice, you can also search the back of your spice cabinet to see if there’s anything lying around.
How to do it:
From a tea bag
Pour boiling water over the tea bag in a cup and let it steep for about 5 minutes (or longer if you prefer a stronger-tasting tea).
Made from dried fennel seeds or loose tea
Loose fennel tea should be good to go with. However, if you use fennel seeds, you need to crush them before making tea to allow the good material in the seeds to penetrate the water. You can do this with a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder (in the “coarse” setting).
Load a teapot with about 1 tablespoon of crushed fennel seeds or loose tea and soak it in boiling water for about 5 minutes.
Made from powdered fennel
Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of fennel powder in a cup of hot or cold water. Dead easy.
Once your tea is ready, you can add some sweetener if needed. We recommend honey or stevia. A squirt of lemon or some grated ginger can also help improve the taste while also providing additional health benefits.
Fennel is generally recognized as safe by the FDA and is well tolerated by adults.
However, some research suggests that because fennel contains phytoestrogens, it can affect hormone levels (especially in children) when used frequently or in high doses.
Do you sip a cup after dinner when you need digestive aid? Absolutely OK.
And because it’s worth repeating: always talk to a pediatrician before giving your baby fennel tea.
- Fennel tea is made from dried fennel seeds, which have a mild liquorice flavor.
- Siping fennel tea can help increase breast milk production, suppress appetite, and relieve constipation.
- You can make it from tea bags, loose tea, dried fennel seeds, or powdered fennel. Just make sure to mash or grind whole fennel seeds before making your tea.
- Fennel is generally considered safe, but high doses can affect hormone levels, especially in children.
- The third time is the appeal: loop a pediatrician into the convo before giving your baby fennel tea.