The ancient Greeks placed great emphasis on Fennel, its symbolism as well as its medicinal, magical and culinary uses. Indigo Herbs is a great believer in spreading ancient plant wisdom and so we offer three great Fennel products: Fennel Essential Oil, Fennel Tincture and Fennel Seed Tea. These three comprise the essence of this refreshing plant and can be utilised to help in whatever capacity you see fit. We are also delighted to offer a range of guest brands including Fennel Toothpaste, Fennel Capsules and a choice of delicious herbal tea combinations.
Not only does Fennel feature heavily in the medical practice of the ancient Greeks, it also has a place in their mythology. When Prometheus introduced fire to the human race he used a fennel stalk topped with a pine cone as the vessel to carry it. In the temples of Dionysus a fennel stalk and pine cone sceptre called a ‘Thyrsus’ was used in a ceremonial capacity and as a wand. The Athenian Pheidippides, in one version of the well-known legend, brought a stalk of Fennel from the field of Marathon with him when he brought news of the Persian invasion to Athens. A medicinal quality of Fennel is that it is known to be able to suppress hunger and so it is thought that Pheidippides ate the fennel as he was running to Athens. The word ‘Marathon’ has a triple meaning; firstly for the Greeks it was known to mean ‘Place of Fennel’ and from the root word ‘marino’ which means ‘to become thin’ – and thirdly it is the name of the longest distance run in the Olympic Games.
The Greek uses of Fennel probably came from the Egyptians who included it in the burials of their Pharaohs and as mentioned in the 3,500 year old Ebers Papyrus, was a remedy for flatulence. The Romans thought that Fennel induced strength and so many Roman soldiers included it in their diet. The Roman physician Pliny subscribed Fennel to 22 different blended remedies mentioning this herb had the power to be able to clear ‘darkened sight’.
Fennel is a perennial plant that grows from a large round fibrous juicy bulb that sprouts 5 to 6 stalks. The stems are hollow with very thin feathery web like leaves. The whole plant resembles a fountain of water coming from the ground. The flowers also come out in sprays of tiny yellow sprays in the summer that then turn into a small brown seeds.