Herb Of The Month ~ July 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

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  • Herb of the Month for July 2012 ~ Fennel

     Please forgive me for the lateness of this post.  I'm a few days behind schedule because the heatwave we've been experiencing for the last week has fried my brain.  Now that my brain has almost stopped sizzling, it's time to talk about the herb for the month of July: Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare).  Fennel (seed/stalk) is a masculine herb that is ruled by the element fire. Its folk names are Sheeh, Sweet Fennel and Samar.  Mercury is its ruling planet and Dionysus and Prometheus are its ruling deities.  

Fennel Seeds
Fresh Fennel Stalk

Dry Fennel Stalk

Fennel has been popular among cooks for years, but it also possesses a number of magickal purposes as well.  Fertility, protection, healing and courage are a few of the powers carried by Fennel.  Plant Fennel on your property for protection and to ward off evil spirits.  Traditionally, Fennel is hung over windows and doorways on Midsummer's Eve to keep bad spirits away and keyholes were filled with the seeds to keep ghosts at bay. Carrying it with you (in a sachet in your pocket or bag) will also bring protection and instill strength and courage.  Eat the stalk and seeds of Fennel to improve fertility and increase the chance of conceiving.  Sex drive on the fritz?? Steep Fennel seeds with red wine to regain your mojo in the bedroom.  Fennel can also help you with communication. Sprinkle Fennel seed around your computer and phone to increase and maintain clear communication, especially where business is concerned.  If your looking for inspiration in the realm of creative money making ideas, chew some Fennel seeds or add it to a spell for the same purpose.  Fennel also improves memory and Fennel tea was once a remedy for stroke victims. Fennel tea can also be given to someone with belly troubles (nausea & indigestion).

Will Fennel kill me?
Absolutely not. As I mentioned earlier Fennel has been used in kitchens all over the world for centuries.  You can use Fennel in recipes for stew, soups, fish/meat/poultry dishes, salads etc. Some people even juice the bulb (root) and stalk of the Fennel plant.  High levels of vitamin C, manganese, fiber and potassium combine to make Fennel a great supporter of the immune and digestive systems. So the answer is no, Fennel will not kill you. It's a powerful healing herb, will make your next meal even tastier, strengthen your immune system and keep you regular.

Use Fennel to help with:

  • Cough and sore throat  
  • Liver detox
  • High cholesterol
  • Indigestion
  • Flatulence
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Arthritis
  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  • Colic (Fennel tea can sooth colic in babies. Give the tea a teaspoon full at a time)

Fennel Eye Wash
Do you have red, dry eyes that leave you with blurred vision? A simple Fennel eye wash can help you get this under control.  All you need is some Fennel seed, clean water and a pinch of sea salt.

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of Fennel seeds with 2 cups of water.
  • Add a pinch of sea salt and bring to a boil.
  • Allow the mixture steep for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture through a very fine strainer and it's ready to use.
  • Hold it over your eyes as a compress or hold your eyes open and wash them with the liquid.
  • Cleanliness is super important, especially when dealing with the eyes. Make sure the water you use is clean and make the wash fresh every time you use it.***

Pink eye can also be treated using Fennel. I know I discussed a pink eye remedy in last months' herb of the month installment but I thought I'd include a slightly different approach using Fennel.  Mother nature has been kind enough to give us more than one remedy for different ailments!

  • Start with two cups of water. Once the water has boiled add 2 tablespoons of dried Fennel seed to the water and 2 drops of lavender essential oil (lavender is a natural antiseptic).
  • Stir and let the mixture steep for 10-15 minutes then strain it.
  • Once the liquid has cooled use it to wash the eyes at least 3 times a day.
  • You can also use the liquid as a compress. Dip a clean cloth into the liquid. Ring out the cloth leaving it damp and hold it over your eyes.***

Interesting Tidbits:  1.Ancient Greeks used Fennel stalks to construct the thyrsus (rod) for Dionysian ceremonies and fertility rites.  The thyrsus was made from Fennel stalks and pine cones were usually attached to the ends.  2. Roman soldiers chewed Fennel seeds before a battle to increase courage and confidence.  3. During long religious services, Puritans chewed Fennel seeds to help them stay awake.  

If your lacking courage or need a bit of protection, carry Fennel with you. Plant it around your property for protection and remember to hang some over the doors in your home next Midsummer's Eve.  Need some help putting a bun in the oven?? Fennel can get your 'motor running' and increase your chance of conceiving.  Fennel can keep things flowing where digestion is concerned.  Try using it in your next cooking endeavor.  Chew some during your next board meeting or painfully long class to keep your eyes open.  Fennel is versatile and should have a place in both your magickal and culinary cabinets. There's more information out there so make sure you do some research on your own.

Bright Blessings


***I am not a doctor and I don't play one on TV. Do your research before you consume any herbs via potions etc.

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by: Scott Cunningham
The Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients by: Lexa Rosean
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies by: C. Norman Shealy MD, PhD


OathBound said...

Thanks for the info! I recently found a lot of fennel growing wild near my home, I am so happy! :D

Gexton said...

It looks really amazing!! I have to try it!! Thanks for sharing :-)
sesame seeds
fennel seeds

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