Fennel: A Herb Of All Cultures
Chinese Herbal Medicine, a 3000-year old healing system, is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It uses herbs to bring energy balances in your body and thus treat conditions. Several herbs have medicinal qualities, and Fennel is one such herb. This article speaks about the Fennel herb, Fennel seeds, and its bulb that are traditionally used in Chinese culture and several others. On reading this, you will get to know the usage of Fennel in TCM, the indications, and treatment.
Chinese Herbal Medicine – What Does It Contain?
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?
Every herb has certain qualities. And, every medicine has an impact on specific organs or parts of the body. Accordingly, the Chinese herbal medicines are classified as follows:
- Based on the qualities of the herbs used:
- The taste of the herb defines the effect – sourly taste supplements the juices and fluids, bitterly taste dries fluid and moves things in a descending direction such as inducing bowel movements, sweetly taste relaxes and tones etc.
- The temperature behaviour (how the Chinese medicinal herb thermally affects the human body) tries to balance; for example, when inflammation is present, your body is experiencing excess heat, and the cold temperature of the medicine (herb) balances this heat.
- Based on how and where the medicine will act on your body:
- Every herb has a specific impact on your meridian which means the medicine will impact one or more organ systems.
- The function determines its activity, e.g. reduces abscesses, conducts heat and takes moisture away etc.
How Does A TCM Expert Treat You?
Chinese mixtures of medicinal herbs are very effective for chronic diseases such as chronic hepatitis, chronic gastritis, diabetes, and cerebrovascular diseases.
The medicine prescribed is taken as granules mixed with water and drunk in the morning and evening to treat such chronic illnesses. For acute illnesses, such as colds, the physician often prescribes herbal decoctions.
The herb mixtures generate a synergistic combination. Therefore, in-depth and exact knowledge of the different combinations is needed.
When you go to a TCM practitioner, he/she, based on practical experience, will,
- intensify the effects of each of the herbs
- minimize possible side effects
- tune thermally
and make the mixture of the individual herbs an effectively blended medicine.
The resulting mixture is directed to the meridians and can thus be adapted flexibly to the patient’s needs. 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: 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).
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 warm the interiors and thus create a Yin-Yang balance. Thus, the seeds generally relieve various stomach discomforts and reduce flatulence.
Fennel seeds, herbs, and bulbs are particularly useful in the following cases:
1. Pain in lower abdomen and genitals
Symptoms – Pain in the lower abdomen, genitals, hernias (chordapsus pain), cold feeling and pain in the stomach. The condition arises due to cold blockades in the lower burner (Triple Warmer Meridian).
Treatment: You can take Fennel juice from the tuber and herb together with hot wine. Just blend well-cleaned tubers and herbs in a blender. Strain it, and your fennel juice is ready.
2. Stomach discomforts due to indigestion:
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. Consuming fennel tea also has a calming effect on your abdomen.
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. Abdominal bloating
Symptoms – Stomach and intestinal complaints such as a feeling of bloating and fullness.
Treatment: Slices of the fennel bulb are baked as a spice in brown bread and consumed. The bulbs can also be infused into the 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 gas (flatulence).
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 seeds can be consumed raw, brewed into a tea, or ground into powder and added to various dishes for aroma and health benefits.
- Fennel tuber and bulbs can be chopped and added to your soups and salads, and they too give a wonderful aroma besides the medicinal value.
- The tubers and bulbs can be blended into juice. You can, in fact, get creative and combine other juicing ingredients with fennel juice.
How Is Fennel Called In Other Languages?
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, 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.com