Other Names: Saunf, Mouri, Shombu, Veriyari
Fennel is a highly aromatic perennial herb, erect, glaucous green, and grows to 2 m tall. The leaves grow up to 40 cm long; they are finely dissected, with the ultimate segments filiform, about 0.5 mm wide. The flowers are produced in terminal compound umbels 5—15 cm wide, each umbel section with 20—50 tiny yellow flowers on short pedicels. The fruit is a dry seed from 4—9 mm long, half as wide or less, and grooved.
The bulb, foliage, and seeds of the fennel plant all have secure places in the culinary traditions of the world. Dried fennel seed is an aromatic, anise-flavoured spice; they are brown or green in colour when fresh, and slowly turn a dull grey as the seed ages. For cooking, green seeds are optimal.Fennel seeds are sometimes confused with aniseed, which is very similar in taste and appearance, though smaller. fennel seeds are eaten after a meal as a mouth-freshener. Fennel is also used as a flavouring in some natural toothpastes. Some people employ it as a diuretic, while others use it to improve the milk supply of breastfeeding mothers.
Essential oil of Fennel is included in some pharmacopoeias. It is traditionally used in drugs to treat chills and stomach problems.