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How to Make Fennel Tea Using Seeds

Living on a farm in Brazil, I've gained local in-depth knowledge of food, plants, and traditions, which I share through my articles.

Learn to make fennel seed tea

Learn to make fennel seed tea

Making Fennel Tea

If your experience of making tea is only using a teabag, I'll show you how simple it is to make fennel tea from seeds. Don't be misled by sites that say you have to grind the seeds; you don't need to do this which makes it even easier.

When I make fennel tea, I normally make half a teapot. That will give me enough for two large mugs of tea. I fill a medium-sized saucepan one-third full of tap water. This is about 20 ounces or 600 ml.

Into this, I sprinkle two teaspoons of fennel seeds. These seeds are left whole as in the photo below. I don't grind them or crush them. I cover the pan and bring this to a boil. Once the tea has boiled, it will have a greenish hue, and the anise smell will tell you that the seeds are reacting with the boiling water.

I pour the boiled water and seeds into my teapot. My teapot has an internal strainer, which is called an infuser, that prevents any particles from passing through into my cup. If you don't have this type, a simple tea strainer will work.

That's all there is to making fennel tea. You don't need to try and source fresh fennel bulbs; there is no chopping or pounding involved and no mess! I just tip the boiled seeds into my compost bin.

Although I don't sweeten my tea, you can use a sweetener such as sugar, honey, agave, or stevia.

Fennel seeds

Fennel seeds

Since arriving in Brazil, I've been introduced to many different things, one of which was making various medicinal teas. Don't get hung up on the term medicinal because you don't have to be ill to enjoy a cup of fennel tea.

When I looked on the internet about fennel tea, most of the pages I saw were using the fine leaves or cutting up the bulb and making tea with this. For me, this wasn't helpful because in all the time I have lived here, I have never seen the bulb for sale. I live in a provincial area and rarely go to a large supermarket.

For me, using the seeds was the only option. Here too, I looked on the internet and was surprised to see people weren't making the tea the same way I was. I don't crush the seeds, as it's unnecessary.

Medicinal Uses of Fennel

Fennel has been used for centuries in many countries for its curative properties.

I drink it as a warming tea but have made it for people who visit and complain of feeling nauseous. For me, I have seen benefits to digestion problems in myself and my children. When I lived in the UK, I bought gripe water which is sold as a traditional remedy for intestinal wind and colic. Gripe water is made with a base of fennel seeds. Sometimes it contains ginger, lemon balm, and even charcoal to help soothe an irritable baby due to having a tummy ache or trapped wind.

That is as far as I will go without seeing concrete studies proving more.

I have seen wild unsubstantiated claims that it will:

  • Burn fat by speeding up the metabolism
  • Help with weight loss because of its diuretic properties
  • Clean the kidneys
  • Treat liver disease

The list goes on and on, and although I search those pages for references of medical sites confirming their validity, there doesn't seem to be research data to back up these claims.

Cane toad

Cane toad

A Cure for Toad Venom

Here in Brazil, fennel tea has other uses. A few years ago, we had an incident where my husband was removing cane toads from our farm. Cane toads secrete a poisonous substance when they feel threatened, and some of this hit my husband in the eye. He quickly rinsed his eyes, but he still felt there was something wrong. I drove him to the hospital, where a doctor examined his eyes. He said there was no permanent damage.
After speaking with a friend who was a nurse here in Brazil, she came over to help my husband. The first thing she did was to put fennel seeds in a pan of water for tea. She carefully rinsed the eyes with a gentle eyewash solution and then applied human breast milk using an eyedropper! Here in the rural area where I live, breast milk application to eye problems is typical. I was surprised but thankful for this local knowledge.
She said that the milk would neutralize the venom, and the fennel tea's drinking would remove toxins from the body because of its diuretic properties.
My husband suffered no long-term effects from his ordeal other than remembering to be more careful when removing them.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2018 Mary Wickison


Mary Wickison (author) from USA on June 23, 2019:

Absolutely! You don't want to mess with them. However, you now have the knowledge of what to do if necessary.

poetryman6969 on June 22, 2019:

I may try the tea but I think I will skip the toad venom. The toad can keep that for himself.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on October 02, 2018:

I wasn't aware of the mixture of fennel seeds and mishri. I can see that would be a pleasant way to end a meal.

Thanks for reading and your comment.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 30, 2018:

The fennel seed cure for toad venom is new to me. We do make fennel seed tea. It is great for relieving a stomachache and toning up the digestive system.

We, like you, use the whole seeds to make fennel tea. A mix of fennel seeds and mishri is an excellent digestive and mouth freshener. Restaurants in our country serve it after meals.

Useful information.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on March 09, 2018:

Hi Larry,

Coffee can be hard on the digestion system and nervous system. I notice I feel better when I drink tea.

There are many herbal teas you can buy, but even most herbs in your spice rack can be used as a tea. Rosemary, oregano, and thyme to name a few.

There's a wealth of health waiting for you, as a new tea drinker.

Larry W Fish from Raleigh on March 08, 2018:

Interesting, Mary. I have never been a tea drinker at all until just recently. I have been drinking Chamomile herbal tea for several months to help the pain of my trigeminal neuralgia. I do use a tea bag. I have been reading more and more articles about the benefits of different teas. I have always been a coffee drinker, but my mindset is changing.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on March 05, 2018:

Hi Nikki,

It's good to read that you and your family are experiencing the benefits from it. Nowadays it's almost too easy to go to a chemist (drugstore) to look for a remedy.

I'm certain your children will remember this when they have kids of their own and also opt for a natural product to ease any discomfort. It's a good habit and way of life to share with our children.

Thanks for reading and your comment.

Nikki Khan from London on March 05, 2018:

I normally make this for my kids and I drink it sometimes,, it's good for indigestion as well, when my kids complain of tummy pain, I give them one tea spoon of this.

Thanks for sharing the benefits of using it.Didn't know about all these.

Very interesting read.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on February 25, 2018:

Hi Peggy,

I see you're another fan of fennel!

Regarding the toads, they can be deadly for our dogs and wildlife such as snakes, that may try to eat them.

There is no shortage of them as nothing wants to predate them. The last owner, had them taken away by the sackful.

There is a huge problem with them in Australia, where they were introduced to reduce an insect that was damaging crops. It didn't solve the problem and now they are an invasive pest.

We will never be able to eliminate them, merely control the numbers.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on February 25, 2018:

Hi Dianna,

Do try it. It's a great one to have especially for digestion. As we age, our digestion seems to slow down and this will help calm that full and bloated feeling.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 24, 2018:

I love the taste of fennel and eat it. Most people toss the tops above the bulb but I add it to soups and the fennel fronds to salads, etc. I have fennel seeds in our spice cupboard and will definitely be making some fennel tea after reading this.

Now I am curious as to why your husband would be removing cane toads from your property. Glad his eyes were not damaged and the "cures" were certainly interesting.

Dianna Mendez on February 24, 2018:

I will have to give this tea a try as I see how much benefit it is to the body.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on February 21, 2018:

I have seen so many things that are considered normal here that to residents of a 1st world country would seem strange. For example, I go to our corner shop and the female owner has a bird sitting on her head.

When you think about it, many traditional remedies work, it's just that we have been brainwashed to think the answer lies in a medicine bottle or only on the advice of a doctor.

I hope you do try the tea, I think you'll like it.

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 20, 2018:

I’m just now getting to this but wow was this fascinating in so many ways. I like fennel and will be experimenting with making the tea. And those cane toads in Brazil sound awful but just as curious is the idea of having someone’s breastmilk in your eye as a solution.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on February 19, 2018:

Hi Brian,

You should be able to find the seeds at the supermarket with herbs and spices.

Or you may be able to grow it. Kalamazoo is a 6a growing zone, but I have read that fennel can be grown in Michigan but that was in a growing zone of 7.

It makes a nice change from traditional black tea or coffee.

I hope you get to try it, thanks for your comment.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on February 19, 2018:

Hi Dora,

The weight loss results I presume are from it being a mild diuretic. I have noticed in myself, fluid retention.

I also believe that sometimes we eat when really that desire could be quenched with a liquid such as tea.

I'm glad you found the information useful. Let me know what you think of the tea.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on February 19, 2018:

Hi Jill,

I think you'll like it. I don't have it every day but try to have it a few times a week. I can't drink coffee or tea in the afternoon or I won't sleep. For me, I have no problems with fennel tea.

Our climate necessitates drinking a lot of fluid during the day, and although I drink copious amounts of water, I like to vary this with different types of tea.

Let me know what you think of it, thanks for your comment.

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on February 19, 2018:

Definitely someday maybe I'll try fennel tea, if they sell fennel here in Michigan. A local teas and chocolates shop, called Chocolatea, sells dozens of kinds of teas. I'll see if they have any made from fennel.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on February 19, 2018:

Hi Mary,

Do give it try, a good supermarket or farmers market will have the seeds for sale. I think any extra liquid, that isn't carbonated, caffeinated, or alcoholic, during the day is a good thing for our bodies and our health.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 18, 2018:

Thanks, Mary. This article is a life saver for me. I've got fennel seeds but didn't quite know what to do with them. Now I do. The weight loss benefits make it attractive.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on February 18, 2018:

Hi Louise,

It is definitely easy to make and is good as a standby tea. In a closed container, the seeds will stay fresh longer.

Plus when you compare the cost of tea bags to buying seeds, it's much less expensive. Although I use two teaspoons of seeds, that amount and the brewing time can be changed to suit your tastes.

Thanks for reading.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on February 18, 2018:

Hi Dale,

I'm glad you liked the article. Since moving to Brazil, our diets are much healthier. I cook from scratch and we eat basic foods.

We do live in an interesting place, although I wonder how many people would opt for this lifestyle. We chose to get out of the rat race.

If you want to read more about it, I have a blog on Patreon. There is a link in my profile. Most of the posts there are open for public viewing.

Thanks for your comment.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on February 18, 2018:

Bill, I'm envious as I have thought about growing it but I can't find a spot that doesn't get pummelled by the wind.

If you've got it growing wild, you can make it from the bulb as well.

Let me know if you like it.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on February 18, 2018:

Hi Heidi,

I can't believe the types of tea they have here in Brazil. They seem to make everything into a tea. Although they have normal herbal and fruit tea in bags, they also have dried loose herbs I have never heard of.

There are still a lot of people who make homemade remedies from plants they find in the scrubland. We have a plant growing (a weed) that cures coughs.

The people here where I live prefer to use a homemade remedy than go to a doctor.

I hope you'll try it, it's a tea that's gentle on the system.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on February 18, 2018:

Hi Glenis,

You should try some fennel tea, it might just do the trick.

I know in some countries they will even chew a few fennel seeds after a meal to help with digestion. I have seen these offered in a restaurant after a meal but can't for the life of me, think of what type of food we were eating.

Also, some gripe water may be beneficial.

Thanks for reading and I hope it gives you some relief.

Jill Spencer from United States on February 17, 2018:

I'm definitely going to try this. Thanks so much for the info. The tea sounds amazing.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 17, 2018:

I will definitely try this. I like the smell of fennel seeds and the bonus of helping with metabolism is what I need now.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on February 17, 2018:

I've never tried fennel tea before, but it sounds really nice to make. I'll give this a go, thankyou.

Dale J Ovenstone from South Wales UK on February 17, 2018:

Mary your article was highly informative and well structured making a good read. The rural area you live sounds a fantastic place to live also. I am into learning any natural ingredients which detox the body and aids in eliminating waste, and have never looked deeply into fennel before.

Thanks for sharing, have a great day

Regards, Dale

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 17, 2018:

This actually grows wild in our backyard, so I think I'll give this a try. Thanks, Mary!

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on February 17, 2018:

Hi Amy, I'm glad you liked it, thanks for reading.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on February 17, 2018:

I never realized that fennel could be made into a tea. But since I drink a lot of tea (mainly green), I'll definitely have to try this out one day. Thanks for sharing with us and have a great weekend!

Glen Rix from UK on February 17, 2018:

Thanks for this idea Mary. Nowadays I seem to have constant digestive problems, so it’s worth trying fennel tea. We eat fennel bulbs in our house - in fact had some sliced into a stir fry yesterday evening. I like the slightly aniseed taste. It’s a long time since I heard gripe water mentioned! Used to give it to my eldest son when he was a baby, but never checked the list of ingredients.

Amy from East Coast on February 17, 2018:

Great tip. Thanks!