Large, bright yellow flower umbels bloom on 3-5 foot plants. Grow in sun or part shade. Self seeds.
Traditional Healing Uses: Fennel seed tea has been used to stimulate milk production in nursing mothers, to freshen breath, and to relieve flatulence, hiccups, and colic. Fennel tea was used to treat infant colic and to relieve coughs and bronchitis. Fennel seeds have been recommended both to stimulate appetite and as an aid to dieters. Fennel oil has been used externally to ease pains of rheumatism, arthritis, and sore muscles.
Other Uses: Leaves or seeds add a mild licorice flavor to salad, soup, meat, fish, potatoes, baked goods or pickles.
Harvest: Collect seed when ripe, in dry fall weather. Dry in the shade.
Preparation: Pour 1 cup of boiling water on 1-2 teaspoons of lightly crushed seeds and infuse for 10 minutes, 3 times a day. A cup of this infusion half an hour before meals may ease flatulence.
Caution: Oil distilled from fennel is not for internal use; applied externally it may cause allergic skin reactions.