Fennel Seed

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Fennel seed is a common kitchen herb used in several tasty meals. It is often found in varying quantities in sausages. We use it frequently in homemade pizza sauce that we make and can for weekly pizza nights. It tastes like a bitter licorice, but the licorice part isn’t as overbearing as the bitter. Its taste is similar to anise seed and the two can often be substituted for each other in culinary dishes, and even occasionally for remedies.

Fennel seed’s main benefit is found in its carminative properties. Being a carminative makes it especially helpful for digestive issues such as flatulence, colic, and constipation. Fennel seeds help gas move down and out of the digestive system and can even be mixed with other herbs for a nausea aid.

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Photographed by Amanda Harman

You don’t need to make a tea to make fennel seed work for flatulence. Chewing on some seeds after a meal (especially one you know will make you gassy) can be just as effective. This is nice because I am generally in no mood to infuse a tea if my stomach is killing me–I hate gas pains!

Another neat fact is that fennel seeds can aid in minor bad breath. Even if you don’t like the taste, it does kill bad breath. You can chew it or consume it as a tea (steep in a powdered form).

That’s fennel seed! Pretty easy to use and its main use is for digestive issues, usually gassiness. I can appreciate this herb, not only for its taste, but for its ease of use when needed.

Want to see what herbs we have in our medicinal garden? Take a look here.

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Sage

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Sage. Antimicrobial, bitter, carminative, diuretic, and astringent. There’s a lot going on with this herb, so it’s a great addition for many dishes to help get the benefits. You can also use this herb in medicinal recipes.

Antimicrobial

Something that is antimicrobial kills microorganisms, or stops their growth. Natural or synthetic antimicrobials are grouped based on the microorganisms they act against. So that means, something that is antibiotic is antimicrobial; something that is antifungal is antimicrobial. But something can be antimicrobial, but not necessarily antibiotic or antifungal. And the antimicrobial is then further categorized based on which strain of bacteria, fungi, etc. they fight against. There are TONS of herbs that are antimicrobial, but their microorganism fighting speciality differs. Sage fights against Bacillus Cereus. Bacillus Cereus is a bacteria that causes diarrhea and vomiting. Sage can also fight against minor skin infections/acne.

Bitter

Fun fact, bitter-tasting herbs aid in digestion, strictly because of the bitter taste. If you have chronic stomach issues with bloat or gas, or you want to give your digestive system a good kick-start, drink an herbal tea that is bitter about 20 minutes before eating. If you’re taking sage for an illness this bitter taste can be beneficial. 75% of your immune system is in the gut and keeping your digestive system healthy and running smoothly, especially when you’re sick, is important. You want your immune system to be focused on fixing you and not working extra hard on an ill functioning digestive system. How does this work? As soon as your taste receptors detect the bitter taste, your vagus nerve gets going, meaning all the digestive organs responsible for secretions begin as well as other functions involved in getting food from point A to point B.

Carminative

In short? Got the farts? Yeah, carminative properties help with flatulence.

Diuretic

Increases urine flow. This can help with water retention and high blood pressure.

Astringent

If you have oily skin, applying a sage infusion (especially if your skin is sensitive) can help because it tightens the skin.

In Ayurveda

Sage is classified as a drying and slightly heating herb, which makes it great for colds with lots of phlegm. It’s not something I would recommend by itself for a fever, but you can use it in combination with other herbs that are diaphoretic and fever breaking. Since sage is drying, avoid use in dry coughs.

So, that’s sage! I could actually do a second post in sage for culinary use to maintain good health as well. I can even write a third post on its history in different cultures. This herb is awesome and so easy to grow. Mine is going nuts.

Curious about other medicinal/culinary herbs we have on the farm? Click here and check it out.

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