The Health Benefits of Fennel powder (Saunf powder) include its use in the treatment of diabetes, bacterial infections, sore throat, painful periods, anxiety and liver disorders. It improves digestion, reduces gas formation and gives relief from abdominal discomfort.
What is Fennel Powder or Saunf Powder?
Fennel powder (Saunf powder) exerts antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, carminative, anti-bacterial, analgesic and anti-spasmodic properties. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, natural antioxidants, polyphenols, essential oil and flavonoids that promote overall good health.
It is a galactagogue which makes it beneficial for lactating mothers. Thus, it improves the quality, quantity and flow of breast milk. Hence, fennel seed powder should be consumed regularly to promote longevity and improve strength.
Composition of Fennel Powder
Fennel powder is a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin and phosphorus.
Besides these nutrients, fennel seed powder contains essential oil which is responsible for its excellent flavour and aroma.
Furthermore, it also contains phytochemicals (health promoting compounds) and flavonoids such as rutin, quercetin, kaempferol and Rosmarinic acid. These compounds prevent the onset of diseases and disorders that are induced by oxidative stress. (1, 2)
Health benefits of Fennel Powder
The main benefits of fennel powder are discussed below:
Fennel powder is a traditional medicine used for the management of diabetes mellitus. Essential oil present in it possesses antioxidant properties. These antioxidants protect pancreatic beta-cells against attack by free radicals and lower the level of oxidative stress. Such a protective action of fennel seed powder helps in reducing high blood glucose level (hyperglycemia). It further prevents the onset of diabetic complications.
In addition to this, high phytochemical content and presence of dietary fiber in fennel powder slows down the entry of glucose into the blood post meal and thus, prevents spike in the blood glucose levels. (3)
Fights Bacterial Infections
Essential oil present in fennel powder is effective against growth of S. mutans. S. mutans is bacteria that contributes to tooth decay.
Consumption of fennel powder inhibits the growth of this bacteria in the oral cavity and thus, it helps in maintaining oral hygiene. Anethole, an active compound of fennel seed powder is responsible for its anti-bacterial property.
Furthermore, studies have found that fennel powder protects against fungal infection of mouth, intestine and respiratory tract. Such a potential of saunf powder is attributed to the presence of various phytochemicals in it. (4)
An Effective Galactagogue
Prolactin is a hormone that enhances milk production in breast-feeding mothers.
A very interesting research found that the level of prolactin in the blood increased after consumption of fennel powder. This further improved breast milk sufficiency in feeding mothers.
Active ingredients present in saunf powder such as anethole, fenchone and estragole promote lactation by increasing the milk volume and improving the composition.
These ingredients are phytoestrogen that mimic the action of estrogen, a female hormone. Estrogen increases the secretion of breast milk in women. Thus, fennel seed powder acts as an galactagogue and enhances overall milk production and its flow. (5, 6)
The immunomodulatory properties of fennel powder is attributed to its high content of polyphenols and antioxidants.
Consumption of this powder increases the production of red blood cells. Increased oxidative stress and free radicals attack the red blood cells and damage their cell membrane. This further suppresses the immune system and increases the risk of infections.
Antioxidants present in fennel powder neutralize the harmful action of free radicals. Thus, it treats anemia, enhances immunity and keeps infections at bay. (7)
Role in Dysmenorrhea
Dysmenorrhea is also known as menstrual cramps or increased pain during periods.
An interesting study found that consumption of fennel powder completely relieved pain in 80% menstruating females.
It inhibits the contractions and lowers the intensity of pain.
Besides this, fennel seed powder also helps in the treatment of nausea and weakness which are common during menstruation. (8)
Enhances Liver Health
Essential oils present in fennel powder protect the liver against injury caused by chemicals. Antioxidants present in this powder scavenge free radicals that otherwise cause damage to the function and structure of the liver.
Fennel powder contains phenolic compounds that help in the regeneration of livers cells. Active ingredient such has ‘anethole’ restores normal function and structure of the liver.
Furthermore, oxidative stress increases the level of liver enzymes. As fennel seed powder possesses strong antioxidant properties, it helps in bringing back liver enzymes within normal range.
Thus, fennel seed powder protects the liver against harmful action of chemicals. (9)
Anti-Stress and Anti-Anxiety Potential
Fennel powder plays a significant role in lowering stress level. It reverses memory deficit and enhances overall memory too.
Furthermore, fennel powder acts as a natural drug that is used for the treatment and management of anxiety associated with physical and psychological symptoms.
Antioxidants present in this powder neutralize free radicals that attack the brain cells and thus boosts overall brain health. (10, 11)
Other Health Benefits
Studies have revealed that fennel powder is a natural pain-killer that helps in relieving pain and spasms. Furthermore, it acts as a potent diuretic, a drug used to increase production of urine. Besides this, fennel seed powder (saunf powder) helps in weight loss and promotes lowering of high blood lipid level. (12)
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