The Remarkable Health Benefits of Saunf (Fennel Seeds)
06-09-2017 | Posted By: Harneet | 1679 View(s)
The Fennel seeds commonly known as Saunf in most parts of India finds extensive application in households across the country because of its numerous health Benefits.Its popularity can be gauged from the fact that it is the most widely used mouth freshener after meals and no wonder you will get saunf or sweetened saunf in a lot of Restaurants after a meal. Our ancestors emphasized on it and advised that fennel seeds should form the part of the meals. It’s their legacy that Indians feel a close association with the seeds. Today we shall look into the fennel seeds, their uses, advantages and disadvantages vis a vis their impact on the human body.
The perennial plant is related to the family of carrots. Its seeds are considered spice whereas the rest of the plant is a herb. The aromatic properties of the woody seeds yield a distinct flavour to the food. The uncanny resemblance to the anise seeds increases confusion between the two. Our Ancestors Realised the importance of these seeds for the human body and made it a part of various Indian foods and even encouraged it’s raw consumption after the meals (along with mishri.)
The nutrient count of The seed includes potassium, vitamins, zinc, and calcium amongst others. A boon in disguise is that these are natural gas relievers.Fortified with Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, A and C and electrolytes like sodium and potassium, it provides numerous benefits to the body.It finds application in a lot of medicines because of its healthy Benefits.
The Many Health Benefits of Saunf :
1. Fennel seeds are a Rich source of Dietary Fibre
Fennel Seeds are a rich source of Dietary Fibre. On an average 100 g fennel seeds provide roughly 8g of Fibre. The Dietary fibres help in improving digestion thus leading to better immunity and Health.
2.Controls Bad Breath
Saunf is a good and affordable alternative for regulating oral care. Its use can help ward off bad breath. So next time you have that morning bad breath, you know what to look for. The anti-inflammatory property of this seed after being boiled in water helps to reduce tooth and gum problems.
Fennel Seeds or Sauf is a rich source of Anti Oxidants like kaempferol and quercetin which help to prevent Degenerative Reactions.The antioxidants also Help to counter the unwanted free radical reactions in the body preventing escalation of Health Issues at a later stage.
4.Aids Digestion and improves Immunity
This is one of the reasons why we Indians love Saunf. We love to binge and then for digestion you don’t have to look for antacid tablets. It controls acid reflux. Apart from aiding in digestion, this seed goes a long way in easing the visit to the bathroom.Fennel bulb is known to be rich in Vitamin C which helps to improve the immunity thereby helping to fight infections and help you stay away from diseases.
Its constipation relieving property is commendable. The phytoestrogens aid the stomach and help to have a healthy relationship with food. The diuretic nature of the seeds reduces water retention by increased perspiration.and also aids in the removal of toxic substances from the body through frequent urination thereby helping to reduce the inflammation that is Known to cause rheumatism and swelling. It also prevents the formation of kidney stones.
The nitrates in this seed help control blood pressure Ultimately warding hypertension. The potassium levels get elevated and increase the urge to drink water (Thereby reducing weight and increasing oxygen levels.)
7. It helps reduce Cholesterol Absorption
Another astonishing Benefit of fennel seeds is that it helps to prevent cholesterol absorption in the arteries keeping you fit. Fibre present in the fennel seeds helps to decrease the reabsorption of cholesterol, thereby preventing any heart-related diseases
8. Helps in Fighting Acidity
Fennel bulb offers natural cooling and neutralising benefits and is used to treat the acidity problem in the duodenum. It eases the process of absorption by making the intestines active helping toxins to get separated from useful minerals which are then easily flushed out of the body system helping to restore the normal PH levels in the Body resulting in relief from acidity problems.
From iron packed benefit, an anaemic can avoid a Visit to the Doctor and stimulate the production of red blood cells. This increased production of RBC helps to keep the skin healthy and supple.
10.It reduces the free Radicals
It Helps to reduce the free Radicals making you appear younger. So say goodbye to those expensive anti-ageing creams. Its antioxidants contribute to reducing the detrimental effects of ageing.
The expectorant nature helps relieve cold and coughs. The asthma patients can get the benefit through its tea.
12. Helps in Body Growth and Development
Fennel seed is a source of Zinc which aids in the overall Growth and Development of the Body.
13. Eye Health
Fennel is known to contain nutrients which can help improve Vision.The application of Fennel Juice in helpful in reducing Eye irritations and fatigue.The antioxidants and amino acids in fennel juice rejuvenate the eyes, preventing macular degeneration.
Fennel essential oil is known to contain chemicals, which exhibit antiseptic and bactericidal properties.It Helps to prevent Wounds from turning septic. Fennel essential oil prevents tetanus and other post-surgical infections as well.
The seed finds its use especially for boosting mother’s milk. Lactating mothers can regularly drink fennel juice to increase the production of milk.
16. Female Health
For the ladies, this seed carries great tidings. From keeping menstrual pain at Bay to boosting blood, this seed is a lady’s best friend. The Fennel juice is known to have phytoestrogen, a chemical that is similar to the hormone estrogen. This makes Fennel Juice immensely useful for women who suffer from Menopause related issues. Fennel Juice eases menstruation problems by regulating hormonal actions in the body. Fennel bulb is also known to regulate hormonal changes in the human body, and its mild analgesic properties work as a boon to control and cure menstrual pain in women. For pregnant females, the foetus can receive added protection from mental disorders
The next time your little child throws a tantrum due to poor digestion, you can boil the seeds and relieve his teeny stomach. Fussing, crying and distress all will be a historical event.
18. Mental Health
Fennel juice contains Potassium which increases Brain Function and the cognitive abilities of The Brain.It also helps to increases the oxygen supply to the Brain and contributes to fighting the onset of Dementia.Endorphins are believed to be released by Fennel juice into the bloodstreams, which can help in relieving depression associated with certain diseases and creates a mood of euphoria.
The Disadvantages of Saunf
Although the benefits are many yet it is not entirely harmless
1. The excess usage increases hallucinations and affects mental health.
2.Its regular application on skin leads to hypersensitivity to sunlight (inviting sunburn)
3.Excess consumption during pregnancy can lead to bleeding and uterine contractions.
4.May also cause chances of developing breast cancer.
5.May also cause ulcers.
The Right Quantity:
The seeds can be consumed in raw form or by boiling in water or tea. The consumption should be limited to one or two spoons a day.
As the adage goes “Excess of everything is bad” Similarly the excess of something as common as fennel can have adverse outcomes. Hence it is best that its consumption should be in moderate quantities to sustain its positive aspects.