Fennel seeds have a botanical name Foeniculum vulgare. These seeds belong to carrot family. This plant with yellow flowers and feathery leaves grows in dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks. These highly aromatic and flavourful seeds have found their ways into many cuisines as spice and main herbal ingredient in various herbal preparations. The fennel plant is grown all over India and fennel seeds find a special place in Indian kitchen. Fennel seeds are also known as “saunf” in hindi. Texts of Ayurveda mention this herb by names “mishreya”, “Madhurika and madhura “
The fennel seeds are sweet and spicy to taste. These seeds are light to digest and increase moistness of tissues. It is cold in potency and retains the sweetness even in the end of digestion. These seeds normalise pitta and vata. Hence these seeds are used as carminatives.