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Different parts of the fennel plant get used for cooking, and you can usually find its seeds dried in whole or powdered form.

Fennel seeds have a recognizable long, thing shape and are pale green or brown in color. They give a sweet licorice-like taste and scent to curries, stews, bread, desserts, and beverages.

In some parts of the world, people chew plain or sugar-coated fennel seeds after a meal. Chewing fennel seeds is thought to help aid digestion and prevent gas.

Fennel seeds may help prevent or reduce gas in several ways. Let’s take a look.

Fiber-rich

Fennel seeds pack a lot of fiber in their tiny forms.

A tablespoon (6 grams) of dried fennel seeds gives you about 2 grams of fiber. By comparison, an apple has about 3–4 grams of fiber.

The recommended daily amount of dietary fiber is up to 25–30 grams.

In cases of the stomach flu, fiber helps to bulk up and treat watery diarrhea which helps to slow down and prevent loose or runny bowel movements.

Adding fiber to your diet may help relieve constipation, other digestive problems that can cause gas, and generally help keep things moving properly in the digestive tract.

Antimicrobial

According to a 2016 review, components naturally available in both fennel plants and fennel seeds have:

  • antibacterial properties
  • antifungal qualities
  • anti-inflammatory properties

This may help get rid of bacteria that can cause gassiness in cases of food poisoning or an upset stomach.

Antinflammatory

Fennel seeds also reduce inflammation. This may help soothe swelling or irritation in the intestines and improve digestion.

Fennel seeds may also relax muscles in the intestines, which can help relieve constipation. Soothing muscles in the stomach and intestines helps to relieve gassiness that’s from constipation or acid reflux.

Anethole is the main component that gives fennel seeds these beneficial effects.

Fennel seeds contain higher concentrations of oils than the fennel plant. For this reason, you only need to use a teaspoon to 1 tablespoon (about 2 to 6 grams) of dried, whole fennel seeds in most recipes.

If you’re making tea with fennel seeds, you’ll only need about 1 teaspoon. To use:

  • Crush or grind whole fennels seeds just before you add them to your cooking or tea. This helps to release more of the oil and flavor.
  • Add toasted fennel seeds to dishes to give them a sweet, licorice flavor.
  • Make a simple tea by crushing a spoonful of fennel seeds and pouring hot water over them.
  • Add a tablespoon of the seeds to batter for baked goods.
  • You can also try a supplement. Fennel seed is available in capsule form. According to one manufacturer, the recommended dose is 3 capsules (480 milligrams) per day.

Some people use fennel and fennel seeds to make a natural gripe water for older babies. This water may help relieve symptoms of gassiness or colic in infants.

Fennel is available to buy from stores and online:

  • Shop for fennel seeds here.
  • Get a fennel supplement here.

Fennels seeds contain oils that can be extracted into concentrated forms. All types of natural oils contain powerful chemicals. They can cause side effects if you use too much.

An research study on animals in 2015 found that high amounts of fennel seed oils raised female hormones in mice. It isn’t known if fennel seeds have the same effect on people or how much you would need to eat.

It’s also possible to be allergic to fennel seeds. More research is needed on the possible benefits and side effects of fennel seeds.

Fennel seeds are known to have several health benefits. They may help to prevent or get rid of occasional gas. You can add fennel seeds to your diet to help you get more fiber and get other natural health benefits.

Talk to your doctor if you have chronic gassiness. It may be a symptom of a digestive problem or disease. You may need medical treatment.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, don’t take fennel seeds. Not enough is known about their safety. Talk to your doctor before you add fennel seeds or other supplements to your diet.