fennel seeds

Q. A few months ago you offered a solution to a problem I’ve had on and off for years, but especially recently. I’ve had explosive flatulence during my work day.
I tried the crushed fennel seed tea three times a day for the past week. It’s proven an almost instant cure. Thanks so much for sharing the tip. Now that I know it works, I wonder if you have any idea how.

A. Fennel originated in southern Europe and western Asia, but it was widely known in the ancient world, from China to Greece. For centuries it has been used to treat indigestion and flatulence. How it relieves gas, however, remains mysterious. We’re glad you got such great results. Other ways to fight flatulence include Angostura bitters, ginger, epazote and hing (asafoetida). You can learn much more about how to overcome flatulence, heartburn and other tummy troubles in our 8-page Guide to Digestive Disorders.

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  1. Paula

    How safe is it to drink, regularly, because of chronic constipation, a commercial tea made with fennel leaf and other herbs?

  2. Joan

    I take magnesium for constipation and sometimes think that causes flatulence, but can’t tell for sure.

  3. Wayne C.

    I went on a strict low carb diet a year ago and mysteriously all flatulence disappeared. Eat any highly refined product or sugar containing food and “boom” . . . the gas returns. The rule: “Don’t eat (refined) white stuff” or potatoes or rice, etc.

  4. Louise

    JF, I’m not surprised that going gluten free has improved your digestive gas problem. Wheat and other gluten products are a relatively new addition to the human diet (perhaps going back 10,000 years, which in terms of human existence is a drop in the bucket). Our ancestors (the cavemen) ate mostly lean meat, roots, greens and fruit. They also suffered with famine on a regular basis. Our rich diets are wreaking havoc with our bodies. Note the tremendous increase in obesity, diabetes, cancer, autism and other neurological issues, etc.
    I have similar problems and am slowly eliminating gluten, sugar, salt and fat from my diet. But I still suffer occasionally with heartburn and gas, so the improvements I am seeking will take time. I would like to download the “Guide to Digestive Disorders” but am wondering if remedies are detailed (such as how to make the fennel tea).
    Please advise and thank you–Louise

  5. J.F.

    I read the book “wheat belly” about six months ago and have been experimenting with not eating gluten. When I do not eat wheat products, I find I have little, if any, flatulence. Even when I eat legumes or eggs, I have few “results.” Interesting, eh?

  6. Judy Z

    When your letter writer does not feel like crushing fennel seeds, Puritan’s Pride online sells Fennel Tea bags. They work well, and I often add ginger to the tea to help in two ways.

  7. HN

    Excessive flatulence can be a sign of incomplete or ineffective digestion. Many times, it’s from foods that are not being digested completely, especially as we get older. If so, that may be helped by adding a good quality digestive enzyme to every meal. I take Garden of Life’s Omegazyme Ultra, which I’ve found has more specific enzymes than most others on the market, even the enzyme that’s in Beano that works so effectively on beans, legumes, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. (FYI, I don’t work for Garden of Life, but I’ve been a highly satisfied customer for over ten years)

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