– shared from Veraveg.org
After I read the article you’re about to review, I *made sure* I came home with fennel in my basket of green smoothie goodies. And as I prepare this blog post for you, I am sipping one of my most tasty green smoothie creations yet.
Actually, I’m trying not to gulp the thing. It’s sooooo good. I should have come home with two or three of these!
And yes… I’ll share the recipe. 😉
But first, for those of you (like me) who are interested in the raw food diet and had maybe seen this odd veggie in the store, but never thought about bringing it home, you need to read the article below… especially if your goals have anything to do with weight loss or coping with yesterday’s 4-bean chili… hehe!
Fennel: Chosen by Emperors!
Fennel is one of the oldest cultivated plants and was much valued by the Romans. Warriors took it to keep good health, while their ladies took it to stave off obesity.
They grew Fennel for its edible shoots and aromatic fruits, and it was much revered by Pliny the Elder (aka Caius Plinius Secundus) who used it in twenty two medicinal remedies. He even thought that serpents sucked the juice of the plant to improve their eyesight prompting him to recommend the herb for “dimness of human vision”.
Its Greek name is marathon, meaning “to grow thin”. It was given to the plant because of its reputation for promoting weight loss.
The ancient Chinese believed that it could cure snake bites, although these day’s you are best off going straight to a hospital!
Fennel is thought to be one of the nine herbs held sacred by the Anglo-saxons. The others are still not totally certain but they are thought to be Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), Greater Plantain (Plantago major), Watercress (Nastrurtium officinale), Wild Chamomile (Matricaria recutita ), Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica), Crab Apple (pyrus malus) , Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium), Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare ) and Atterlothe. This last one remains a mystery but it is thought to be either Cockspur, Wormwood or Deadly Nightshade.
In 812 CE, Charlemagne declared it was essential in every garden because of its healing properties. In medieval times, the seeds were chewed to stop gastric rumblings during church services.
Inhaling herbs was often a means of treating respiratory disorders. The Lacnunga, a 10th century Anglo-Saxon medical text, recommends “Take fennel and hassuck (dried grass or rushes) and cotton and burn all together on the side which the wind is”. The practitioner it is said should, “reek” patients with steam. This is similar to the Native American use of the sweat lodge or the modern sauna, where herbs are placed on the hot rocks to be added to the steaming process.
Fennel tea can be used as a carminative [prevents formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract or facilitates the expulsion of said gas] with antispasmodic effect against cramps of the digestive tract in combination with flatulence. To make the tea put a teaspoon of the seeds in a tea pot, pour on boiling water and leave to ‘stoop’ for five minutes.
Fennel can also be used for bad breath, constipation, colds, flu and as a diuretic.
About the authors: Situated in the heart of historic East Cowes, the VERA allotments offer fun, friendship, peace, tranquility and, if you’re prepared to make the effort, the opportunity to grow and eat your own fantastic veg.
Stacey’s De-liquorice Delight
by Stacey Terry
- 1 small Mexican mango
- 6 strawberries including tops
- 1 peach
- 1 bunch of green tops from fennel
- water as needed to blend
Blend fruit and water first until smooth. Chop up your fennel greens (including all stems and leaves) and add to your green smoothie. This wasn’t a particularly “green” smoothie, but it was soooo sweet and yummy. I’m normally not a liquorice fan, but this sweet and natural taste (versus those plastic-y, hard candies people used to offer me) that is the perfect perky start to any morning!
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