Q. In India we offer fennel seeds after meals. This helps avoid flatulence. Fennel is also good against sore throat and sinus problems.

I use the following recipe for my sinus trouble: Combine 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger, 1 clove, ½ inch piece of stick cinnamon and 1 teaspoon brown sugar in 2 cups of water. Boil it until there is 1 and ½ cup of liquid left, strain it, and drink it hot with a little milk. You can substitute honey for the brown sugar.

In India we use many such home remedies from our grandmothers to avoid overusing antibiotics. I also rinse my nasal passages with a home-made saline solution and find it very helpful.

A. Your recipe sounds delicious. Traditional uses for fennel include preventing flatulence and treating upper respiratory infections. Whether that extends to sinus congestion, we are unsure.

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  1. Mary H.
    Reply

    Does Sweet Fennel Powder work as well as the seeds? I had the powder, so I tried to dissolve about at tablespoon in boiling water, but it never really dissolved. I stirred it a lot and drank it adding a little sweetener and sugar. It tasted great and seemed to help some. I also take, when I remember, Beano, but it doesn’t work 100%. Do I need the seeds? Thank you.

  2. MH
    Reply

    How many fennel seeds are recommended to avoid flatulence?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: MAKE A TEA WITH A TEASPOON OF FENNEL SEEDS, SMUSHED WITH THE BACK OF THE SPOON, IN A CUP OF HOT WATER. STEEP IT FOR FIVE MINUTES; SWEETEN IT WITH A LITTLE HONEY IF YOU WISH.

  3. RC
    Reply

    I would think “one clove” refers to a single (whole) clove–the spice–since the author also mentions cinnamon and ginger.

  4. bc
    Reply

    I want to try this recipe but am not familiar enough with all the items listed. What is meant by “1 clove”?
    Thank you.

  5. Brent B
    Reply

    Yogi Tea makes a Stomach Ease tea which also contains fennel seeds (in addition to cardamom, coriander, and cinnamon). Looks like that would be a great buy for winter maladies — or try making your own, as suggested!

  6. Mahmood A.
    Reply

    He is right. This recipe and the fennel seeds are used to cure for cold and sinus problems. I have used them. I do not know about the Saline solution and rinsing of nasal passage. Salt water gargling is done for to suppress throat infection.

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