December 05, 2014
Fennel Seeds: A Cure for Bloating
We're going to talk about bloating. Of the trapped gas variety. Not the hormonal variety (I can't help you there). And we're going to talk about because we all know that feeling of needing to unbutton one, if not two, buttons on your pants after eating just that bit too much. And, with Christmas dinner just a shade under three weeks away, I thought it might be a good time to share how you can easily beat the bloat after eating the equivalent of a small child in turkey, ham, roast potatoes, brussel sprouts, pudding, ice-cream, mince pies, cream, cheese and crackers in the space of about two hours! The cure? Fennel seeds.
Yep. Fennel seeds.
You might even already have them in your kitchen.
Basically, if you are feeling bloated or, err, gassy, consuming a small handful of fennel seeds can help to alleviate that discomfort. Using dried fennel seeds as a digestive aid has been commonplace in India for years as the seeds are considered a strong carminative i.e. a herb that works to shift gas that becomes trapped in the intestinal tract.
You can either consume them by chewing slowly on a small handful or by adding to a mug of boiling water and leaving to sit for 5 minutes and then drinking. The flavour is a bit like aniseed or black licorice but, not unbearably so - and that's from someone who can't even smell black licorice without feeling queasy!
As is commonplace in India, many herbalists recommend consuming fennel seeds after each meal to maintain a healthy, gas-free digestive system. I have been doing this for the last few weeks and have been feeling noticeably less distended/full in the lower abdomen. Obviously, do your research to make sure you are happy with supplementing your diet in this way but, even just as an aid for when you feel the bloat, fennel seeds are A1.
Oh, and remember, that trapped gas? It will need to come out at some point!