Fennel: The Emperor’s Essential Choice for Every Garden!

– shared from Veraveg.org

fennel green smoothie recipe

After I read the article you’re about to review, I *made sure* I came home with fennel in my basket of green smoothie goodies. And as I prepare this blog post for you, I am sipping one of my most tasty green smoothie creations yet.

Actually, I’m trying not to gulp the thing.  It’s sooooo good. I should have come home with two or three of these!

And yes… I’ll share the recipe.  😉

But first, for those of you (like me) who are interested in the raw food diet and had maybe seen this odd veggie in the store, but never thought about bringing it home, you need to read the article below… especially if your goals have anything to do with weight loss or coping with yesterday’s 4-bean chili… hehe! 

Fennel: Chosen by Emperors!

Fennel is one of the oldest cultivated plants and was much valued by the Romans. Warriors took it to keep good health, while their ladies took it to stave off obesity.

They grew Fennel for its edible shoots and aromatic fruits, and it was much revered by Pliny the Elder (aka Caius Plinius Secundus) who used it in twenty two medicinal remedies. He even thought that serpents sucked the juice of the plant to improve their eyesight prompting him to recommend the herb for “dimness of human vision”.

Its Greek name is marathon, meaning “to grow thin”. It was given to the plant because of its reputation for promoting weight loss.

The ancient Chinese believed that it could cure snake bites, although these day’s you are best off going straight to a hospital!

Fennel is thought to be one of the nine herbs held sacred by the Anglo-saxons. The others are still not totally certain but they are thought to be Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), Greater Plantain (Plantago major), Watercress (Nastrurtium officinale), Wild Chamomile (Matricaria recutita ), Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica), Crab Apple (pyrus malus) , Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium), Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare ) and Atterlothe. This last one remains a mystery but it is thought to be either Cockspur, Wormwood or Deadly Nightshade.

In 812 CE, Charlemagne declared it was essential in every garden because of its healing properties. In medieval times, the seeds were chewed to stop gastric rumblings during church services.

Inhaling herbs was often a means of treating respiratory disorders. The Lacnunga, a 10th century Anglo-Saxon medical text, recommends “Take fennel and hassuck (dried grass or rushes) and cotton and burn all together on the side which the wind is”. The practitioner it is said should, “reek” patients with steam. This is similar to the Native American use of the sweat lodge or the modern sauna, where herbs are placed on the hot rocks to be added to the steaming process.

Fennel tea can be used as a carminative [prevents formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract or facilitates the expulsion of said gas] with antispasmodic effect against cramps of the digestive tract in combination with flatulence. To make the tea put a teaspoon of the seeds in a tea pot, pour on boiling water and leave to ‘stoop’ for five minutes.

Fennel can also be used for bad breath, constipation, colds, flu and as a diuretic.


About the authors: Situated in the heart of historic East Cowes, the VERA allotments offer fun, friendship, peace, tranquility and, if you’re prepared to make the effort, the opportunity to grow and eat your own fantastic veg.

Stacey’s De-liquorice Delight

by Stacey Terry

fennel green smoothieIngredients:

  • 1 small Mexican mango
  • 6 strawberries including tops
  • 1 peach
  • 1 bunch of green tops from fennel
  • water as needed to blend


Blend fruit and water first until smooth.  Chop up your fennel greens (including all stems and leaves) and add to your green smoothie.  This wasn’t a particularly “green” smoothie, but it was soooo sweet and yummy.  I’m normally not a liquorice fan, but this sweet and natural taste (versus those plastic-y, hard candies people used to offer me) that is the perfect perky start to any morning!

Looking for more green smoothie recipes?
Find more than 80 green smoothie recipes  HERE!


  1. says

    Hey! I’ve really enjoyed browsing through your green smoothies blog…so many good ideas and helpful advice! I have a question though…our family started green smoothies about 2 months ago and have suffered from constipation and bloating ever since. Why is this? I thought it was supposed to do the opposite. We only mix fruits and greens in our smoothies, and drink lots of water throughout the day as well as eat a healthy diet too. Any ideas? Suggestions? Should we stop doing green smoothies and give our bodies a ‘rest’? Or should we keep drinking them? (we’re only drinking 1 a day). I’d love some help/advice if you have any. :) Thanks so much!


    Reply by stacey on March 31st, 2011

    @Andrea: There could be many reasons, so here are some troubleshooting ideas to start with: The first thing to check is to make sure your fruits are genuinely ripe. The second is to make sure you don’t put toooooo much water in your green smoothies – it dilutes your stomach acid making them less digestible. On that note, any water/liquids you drink should always be at least a 1/2 hour before or after a meal for this reason. The third is to make sure you are drinking your green smoothies slowly and allowing your saliva to mix with the smoothie in the mouth to properly start the digestive process.

    These are good things to start with!
    Hope it helps!


  2. says

    I have used fennel a lot. It goes really well with a purple cabbage and green onion salad. The flavor is sweet but subtle. I have wondered if you can use the tops…this recipe sounds amazing and can’t wait to try it. I didn’t know about all the medicinal qualities for fennel.


  3. laura says

    oh goodness! i feel so wasteful! i love fennel and have used the bulbs lots for salads and snacks but always threw away the greens not knowing wat to do with them! thanks for the post :)


    Reply by stacey on March 31st, 2011

    @Laura – No worries! Most people don’t realize that the tops of many of our favourite veggies are even more nutritious than the veggie. Carrots are another one, but I’d go easy on those. They’re a very strong green, so a little goes a long way!


  4. alexandra says

    I had no idea fennel was so good for you. I’m totally NOT a licorice fan, but I will try Fennel! Hope that it will go down easy- and I can really use the tea as well to help with my tummy issues. Thanks for posting!


  5. Susan says

    Hi Stacey,
    I have been trying your green smoothies and am not sure about mixing fruits and veggies for green smoothies. I thought that was a no-no for the digestive process. I often use blueberries with kale/collards, mixing in a little coconut water and cranberry juice (unsweetened). Do you know the reasoning behind why it seems OK to mix veggies and fruits in smoothies?



  6. sandiegolymer says

    @Andrea – I was following the Martha’s Vineyard Detox Diet which initially introduced me to the world of green smoothies! One of the things they have you do with each Green Drink is to take a Digestive Enzyme. I used to just open up a capsule and pour it in the shake in the blender.

    Most pre-made green smoothie drinks have these added in – but if you are making your own – it’s good to take these. It reduces bloating, indigestion, constipation, etc.

    Here is a great site that goes into greater detail: http://www.wisegeek.com/do-digestive-enzyme-supplements-work.htm

    Also Dr. Oz recommends taking Magnesium for bloating. 200 mg of magnesium per day should do the trick.

    Hope that helps!


  7. sandiegolymer says

    I also just wanted to say that I LOVE this blog! I’ve learned so much – and look forward to trying the fennel recipe above!


  8. Donna says

    Andrea – one more little trick I have learned with the smoothie “eating” is if you drop a few small pieces of raw fruit ie: frozen or not blueberries into your smoothie then you have to chew them and it reminds you to “chew” your smoothie. So when Stacey was talking about the saliva to start the digestive process that is what chewing does. So even if you don’t have pieces to chew it is the chewing that action that starts the saliva and it really works so take her advice seriously and go for the long haul on the smoothies in the end there is such great benefit!!
    I love fennel and have used it before and loved it every time in a smoothie, salad (bulb and leaves), or just a bag of raw fennel bulb for on the road – great in a brown bag lunch!! Now I am going to try the tea- thanks Stacey.


  9. says

    I’ve had cramps in my feet and legs, on and off for years. I thought it was from sugar or caffein (which I did not eat often, but it seemed to occur when I did). I am now having severe feet and lower leg cramps (when I lie in bed) which surprises me, since my diet is so clean (and I’m eating all these bananss). I have a spray that helps the cramps disappear, but I’m wondering why I’m getting them and what to do to eliminate them. Thanks! (By the way..I am not overweight and very physicaly fit.)


    Reply by stacey on April 4th, 2011

    @Diane – Hi sweetie… when it comes to genuine physical conditions, it’s always best to consult with a health professional who can take into account all of the health variables. We refer people to Doctor Ariel Policano as a great support for natural women’s health: http://www.doctorariel.com/contact/


    P.S. – There is a post on help for foot cramps in The Emerald Lounge (you must login to view this page): http://www.greensmoothiequeen.com/theemeraldlounge/viewtopic.php?f=84&t=659

    You can become an Emerald Lounge member by taking our free 3-day minicourse!


  10. Theresa says

    this was absolutely delicious, i never gave a thought about fennel in a smoothie, i was pleasantly surprised. thanks Theresa


  11. kendra says

    @Diane re: leg cramps.
    I’ve been doing raw foods and raw smoothies for a years now and I have to really use bananas with caution as well. Too many in a month’s time and I’ve foot and leg cramps throughout the day. Generally they occur at night or early morning and it took me a bit to discover it was the bananas or rather the ingestion of too many too often that caused it. Now that I know, I only do bananas about once every 2 weeks and I’ve not had any leg or foot cramps in many, many months!



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