Fennel In TCM – Know How To Use

Georg Rath
Reading Time: 5 min

Fennel: A Herb Of All Cultures

Chinese Herbal Medicine, a 3000-year old healing system, uses herbs to bring energy balances in your body and thus treating conditions. Several herbs have medicinal qualities, and Fennel is one such herb. This article speaks about Fennel herb, Fennel seeds, and its bulb that are traditionally used not only in Chinese culture but several others too. On reading this, you will get to know the usage of Fennel in TCM, the indications, and treatment.

Herbal treatments in TCM happen with mixtures of herbs; the quantity varies between five and up to fifteen different herbs. In Chinese tradition, herbs are not synonymous with plants alone. 

You may find Chinese herbal recipes with ingredients such as shredded animal teeth. The mixtures often are a composition of very native elements, including plants cultivated in China.

How Can We Classify Chinese Medical Herbs?

Chinese medical herbs are classified according to certain qualities and aspects. They are as follows:

  • The taste defines the effect; sourly taste supplements the juices and contracts, bitterly taste dries out and lowers, sweetly taste relaxes and tones etc.
  • The temperature behaviour (how the Chinese medicinal herb thermally affect the organism) tries to balance; for example, when inflammation is present, the cold temperature of the medicine (herb) balances this heat.
  • The meridian determines the area of application (which meridian/functional circle, which organ/part of the body);
  • The function determines its activity, e.g. reduces abscesses, conducts heat and takes moisture away etc.

Mixtures Of Medicinal Herbs

Chinese mixtures of medicinal herbs are therefore particularly suitable for chronic diseases in the field of internal medicine. Here they are mainly taken as granules that are mixed with water and drunk in the morning and evening. For acute illnesses, such as colds, often you would find decoctions as a prescription.

The herb mixtures pretend to generate a synergistic combination. Therefore, in-depth and exact knowledge of the different combinations is needed. 

Hence, when you go to a TCM practitioner, he/she, based on the practical experience documented for centuries will,

  • intensify the effects of each of the herbs
  • minimize possible side effects
  • tune thermally

and make the mixture of the individual herbs a harmonized one.

The resulting mixture is directed to the meridians, etc. and can thus be adapted very flexibly to the needs of the patient. It is highly recommended to consult a practitioner and purchase Chinese herbal powder, pills or teas from certified providers. 

So, with those few basics, let’s talk about Fennel and its effects in the terminology of TCM.

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Fennel is a medical plant known and used in many cultures, and that offers a multitude of benefits.

Botanical name, temperature, taste, organ reference, and effects of Fennel in TCM
  • Botanical name: Foeniculum Vulgare
  • Chinese name: Ciao Hui Xiang
  • Temperature: Warm
  • Taste: Sweet, Hot
  • Organ reference: Liver, Kidney, Spleen, Stomach (the energetic axis between the elements Wood and Earth)
  • Effects: Regulates Qi, Relieves pain, Harmonizes the middle, Relieves Gas, Eliminates ulcers, Warms the kidneys (especially fennel bulb and seeds reduce pain due to wind wetness). 

Also Read: Cupping Therapy FAQs Answered

Cupping Therapy is an age-old Chinese Treatment that offers several benefits.

Uses Of Fennel In TCM

One of the theories Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on is the Yin-Yang balance. When your interior organs are colder, a Yin-Yang imbalance occurs; in such cases, Fennel seeds can help to warm the interiors, and thus create a Yin-Yang balance.

Fennel seeds are useful in the following cases:

SymptomsPain in the lower abdomen, genitals, hernias (chordapsus pain), cold feeling and pain in the stomach.

Treatment: You can take Fennel juice from the tuber and herb together with hot wine.

2. Stomach cold: 

Symptoms Sensation of tension and discomfort in the abdomen such as belching, vomiting, reduced appetite 

Treatment: To treat the conditions, you can use the herb as a filling for dumplings. 

3. Measles

Indications If the exanthema occurs too slowly or too weakly and in the case of ulcerations associated with Measles

Treatment: Brew Fennel herb into a decoction and consume it. Also, external applications (compresses) on the rashes help. By the way, some specific acupuncture points of the Metal Element (Large Intestine) can regulate the body’s temperature. So, in addition to Fennel herb treatment, you can also approach an Acupuncture therapist for the condition to improve quickly.

4. Stomach complaints

Symptoms Stomach and intestinal complaints such as a feeling of fullness.

Treatment: Slices of the fennel bulb are baked as a spice in brown bread and consumed. The bulbs can also be infused into a tea. The Fennel tea has a calming effect on the stomach and thus relieves you from the symptoms mentioned.

5. Colic in Babies

Symptoms Relieving abdominal pain in Infants suffering from stomach gases.

Treatment: Brew fennel seeds into a decoction to make Fennel tea; cool it down well before feeding it to the child. 

Dosage – If the child is less than 6-months old, feed one or two drops of cold fennel tea. You can give a teaspoon of that tea when the child is more than six months old.

Fennel in a few other languages

Final Word

Cuisines such as European, Indian, Chinese, and Middle-eastern use Fennel seeds extensively in the dishes, which further establishes the popularity of Fennel seeds among different cultures and regions. In India, the Fennel seeds are used as mouth fresheners. That said, not only the seeds but also Fennel herbs and bulbs have medical use in TCM. With simple preparations such as Fennel tea, you can enjoy the benefits for general health. However, to treat specific conditions, it is best to consult a TCM expert for the proper dosage and method of use.

Edited by love4wellness | Images from canva

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