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Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

Names: No others we can find.

Medicinal Uses: Soothes digestion, especially flatulence, constipation, and indigestion. Promotes milk production in lactating woman and animals. The herbalist Nicholas Culpeper relates a common use of it, its seed or leaves boiled in barley water and then drunk by nursing mothers to increase their milk and its quality for the infant. Used in China for food poisoning. Infusion is used for gum disease, loose teeth, laryngitis, and sore throats. Chew to relieve hunger pangs. Fennel has a mild stimulant effect. Recently found to reduce the toxic effects of alcohol on the system. Fennel seed, bruised and boiled in water, and then added to syrup and soda water will relieve flatulence in infants.

Household Uses: Cook in any kind of meat dish, or put in salad. Use in baths for deep cleansing. Chew to sweeten breath.

Traditional Magical Uses: Romans believed that serpents sucked the juice of the plant to improve their eyesight after shedding their skins. Greeks used it to magically lose weight and grow thin. Grown around the house or hung in doors and windows, it is protective. Carried, it wards off ticks and biting bugs. Burn for purification and healing mixtures. In Lacnunga, Fennel is used in charms against all manner of ill-meaning wights, from elves to sorcerers, and even against insanity.

Shamanic Magical Use: This is the herb of Svartalfheim and Nidavellir. Together with Sweet Cicely, it is used to protect against elf-shot, and to treat cases of that remedy. Also like Sweet Cicely, Fennel aids in the Gift of Sight, but it gives the ability to see the darknesses in life - the hidden anger and pain, the inner rot, the creeping deaths. This makes it useful in shamanic client-work when one must discern hard truths about someone's behavior, or find hidden disease or poisoning. Drink in tea or smoke it or eat the seeds (preferably seven of them).