Posted 07 May 2003 - 02:17 PM
Maybe this info could help:Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare): Fennel�s effects have a warming, respiring and loosening nature. It warms and stimulates the digestive organs, especially when they become sluggish. This relieves gas and headaches that are related to improper digestion. An excellent stomach and intestinal remedy for treating flatulence and colic conditions, while also stimulating healthy appetite and digestion. Fennel frees the respiratory system, rendering a calming anti-spasmodic effect on coughs and bronchitis. It gives a delicious flavor and aromatic lift to herbal blends and cough syrups. Helpful for cancer patients after radiation and chemotherapy. To help with indigestion and gas, pour boiling water over crushed fennel seeds (1 tsp seed to a pt of water). The seeds are simmered in syrups for coughs, shortness of breath, and wheezing. The leaves and seeds when boiled with barley increase breast milk. The seeds and root help clean the liver, spleen, gallbladder, and blood. The tea and broth of this herb are said to help in weight loss programs. Fennel oil mixed with honey can be taken for coughs, and the tea is used as a gargle. The oil is eaten with honey to allay gas and it is applied externally to rheumatic swellings. The seeds are boiled to make an eye wash for inflamed and swollen eyes. Use an infusion of the seeds as a gargle for gum disorders, loose teeth, laryngitis or sore throats. Fennel increases the libido of both male and female rats. Fennel has compounds that act like the female hormone estrogen and has been used for centuries to promote milk flow in nursing women. Don�t use the oil, however because in pregnant women, the oil can cause miscarriage. And in doses greater than about a teaspoon, it can be toxic. As an estrogenic herb it has been used as a breast enlarger. Anethole, the main constituent of the oil, has demonstrated anti-microbial activity. Dissolve a total of 25 drops of thyme, eucalyptus and fennel oils in 25 ml sunflower or almond oil as a chest rub. Fennel should not be used in high doses as it causes muscular spasms and hallucinations. America�s 19th century Eclectic physicians prescribed fennel as a digestive aid, milk and menstruation promoter. Latin Americans still boil the seeds in milk as a milk promoter for nursing mothers. Jamaicans use it to treat colds. And Africans take fennel for diarrhea and indigestion. A decoction of the seeds is used in Chinese medicine for abdominal pain, colic and stomach chills. Enters the Liver, Kidney, Spleen, Stomach channels. Spreads the Liver qi, warms the Kidneys, expels cold and alleviates pain: used to warm and encourage movement in the Liver channel or the lower burner as in cold hernial disorders or any kind of lower abdominal pain due to cold. Use with caution in cases of yin deficiency with heat signs. One study suggests fennel has oddly contradictory effects on the liver. It aggravates liver damage in experimental animals but spurs liver regeneration in animals with parts of their liver removed Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) Uses have been an aid to digestion and treat inflammations. Medicinal use and commercial cultivation is at present on the increase. Its seeds are high (40%) in mucilage, an emollient soothing to the skin and used as an emulsifier in drugs and food. The seeds also contain diosgenin, a steroid that can be converted to pregnenolone (a steroid formed during the synthesis of hormones) and progesterone, the anti-estrogen hormone secreted by pregnant women. The seeds are reported to contain chemicals that inactivate trypsin and chymotrypsin, enzymes making it possible for your body to digest protein. But there is no evidence that fenugreek used to season food has any such effect. Seeds are high in protein and contain trigonelline, a nitrogen compound found in many legumes. When trigonelline comes in contact with acids or is heated, it yields nicotinic acid (niacin), the B vitamin that prevents pellagra. Grind seed coarsely, infuse and drink as a tonic tea to stimulate digestion and milk flow, ease coughing, flatulence and diarrhea. Make a mushy poultice of crushed seed and hot milk for inflammation, ulcers, swollen glands, sciatica and bruises. Said to be effective in treating fevers. The seeds have galactogenic and anthelminthic properties; the ancients believed them to be aphrodisiac.