Fennel teas are plentiful and easy to find in tea bags in many grocery stores, but making your own straight from the seeds is so much more effective and therapeutic if you are really looking for the health benefits it has to offer. And what are those, you might say?? Well, personally, I like to think of fennel tea being a digestive “cure-all” for many stomach & GI issues. I think that is its biggest strength. Upset stomach, heartburn, gas, bloating, nausea, IBS symptoms, even pain from stomach ulcers can be relieved by fennel tea. You can also modify fennel tea with a few other herbs to customize it to your own taste and need, although it’s already pretty delicious on its own. Another benefit of fennel - the naturally sweet & cool flavor makes a great breath freshener. It would be wonderful to serve a large glass pitcher of this herbal tea alongside lunch for friends or family- they will never suspect you are looking out for their health as well as relishing their company. :) Here is my recipe for basic fennel tea, with some additional variations you might find work best for your tummy:
3 tsp crushed, whole fennel seeds (crushed with a mortar and pestle works just fine to release the oils)
3 C water
Bring water and fennel seeds to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain and drink up to 3 C daily for health benefits.
Fennel + Licorice Root Tea: Licorice has been researched and proven to help with stomach ulcers, heartburn, and as a general digestive aid. You can buy whole licorice root from an herbal pharmacy and use about 3 grams with the recipe above. *
Fennel + Ginger Root Tea: More warming and stimulating, ginger adds another benefit for digestion by helping nausea, bloating, or feeling “stuck” or cold in your gut. Cut up 3-4 slices of fresh ginger root and add to the recipe above.
Fennel + Dandelion Leaf Tea: Dandelion focuses more on digestive issues related to the liver. Promoting bile flow, helping digest fats, & cleansing from a rich diet. Add 2 tsp of bulk dandelion leaf in a cheesecloth bag or metal tea ball to the recipe above for a great digestive “detox” tea. *
*Always consult with your healthcare practitioner or nutritionist to be sure licorice and dandelion are right for your body type before consuming in large amounts.