Botanical Name: Foeniculum vulgare
Components: Also known as common fennel, F. vulgare is a biennial or perennial plant that provides seeds and lacks the rounded bulb of Florence fennel. The fennel seed has a strong licorice fragrance and a sweet anise flavor.
Overview: A culinary staple, fennel seeds are one of the most popular spices in Italy, where they appear in many tomato-based sauces, cured sausages, and seafood dishes. The seeds are considered an amalgamating spice, and they complement other warming spices such as cumin and cardamom. Important in Ayurvedic medicine, the seeds are used as a digestive aid and are believed to relieve asthma and other bronchial disorders. Extracts are estrogenic enough to stimulate the production of breast milk in some women.
Uses: Dried seeds used as a culinary spice (whole or powdered), tea, tincture, and powdered and encapsulated.