Leaves are eaten in salads and as a garnish and flavouring, especially with olives and fish dishes. Fennel leaf bases are eaten raw in salads, and cooked as a vegetable. Whole cracked or ground seeds are used to flavour bread, biscuits, sausages and stuffings. Seeds and leaves can also be used to make herb tea.
A sweet, aromatic, diuretic herb that relieves digestive problems and reduces inflammation.
Internally for indigestion, wind, colic and urinary disorders, and externally as a mouthwash or gargle for gum disease and sore throats.
How to grow
Fennel benefits from light, well-drained soil, neutral to alkaline soil in full sun. Grow from seed or plants in spring, and treat as a half-hardy annual.