Fennel is easy to grow. They prefer full sun and a well drained soil. They will do best in rich soils.Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week. Add a general purpose fertilizer once or twice a season.
Harvest leaves as at any time. Harvest flower heads after seeds have formed and the flower head has died. Extract seeds and dry them in a cool, dry location.
Harvest bulbs when they reach tennis ball size or bigger. Pull every other one out as needed to allow those remaining to grow even bigger.
Do not pull these plants up in advance of the first frost. They are very hardy and should continue to thrive and grow, even after a number of hard frosts.
Fennel has a delicate flavor; light and sweet, similar to anise. Use of fennel has a long history, dating back to the Chinese and Hindus who used it as a cure for snake bites. Fennel was hung over doors in the Middle Ages to ward off evil spirits. In Italy, "to give fennel" meant to flatter someone.
Fennel has always been considered an aid to digestion, and many people still drink fennel tea.
Fennel Seeds (Sauf) are very effective for digestive problems. These seeds can be chewed upon or had as a tea decoction for beneficial effects upon the stomach. In India, these are routinely chewed upon after meals to aid in digestion after a rich meal while acting as a herbal mouth freshener.
Fennel seeds often provide quick and effective relief from many digestive disorders. They help to overcome gas, cramps, acid indigestion, and many other digestive tract maladies.
What Fennel seeds contain?
These seeds are very rich in minerals including magnesium. Two of its main constituents are Anethol and Fenchone. Anethol and other terpenoids may inhibit spasms in smooth muscles such as those in the intestinal tract. Fenchone may be responsible for the medicinal properties associated with Fennel.
Recent studies have found that consumption of fennel can increase the production of bile and may also possess diuretic, pain-reducing and anti-microbial activities.
Taste: Seeds taste like licorice when chewed upon.
How to consume?
Fennel seeds may be chewed upon after every meal or even more often. About 2-3 gms may be had at a time and chewed upon. Daily intake about 7 gms. (or 1½ teaspoon).
Fennel may be also had as a tea decoction. For this, boil about 3 gms. (1/2 teaspoon) of seeds in 250 ml. of water. Let the water boil for about 5 minutes while keeping the pot covered. Cool the mixture and then sip as required. 2-3 cups may be had daily in this manner.