Have you ever considered the potential benefits of fennel seed for fertility? While these tiny, aromatic seeds are often used as a flavorful addition to various dishes, their lesser-known properties extend beyond just enhancing culinary experiences. Fennel seeds have been traditionally valued for their medicinal properties and are believed to offer several health benefits, including boosting fertility.
Today, we will explore the nutritional facts of fennel seeds, health benefits, and potential side effects, and examine how they can be used to support fertility. So grab a cup of tea and let’s discover the fascinating world of fennel seed and its impact on fertility!
Fennel Seeds and Fertility
The benefits of fennel seeds for fertility are often overlooked, but they deserve attention due to their various health advantages. Fennel seeds are not only rich in nutrients but also possess numerous medicinal properties that can support overall reproductive health.
Nutritional Facts Of Fennel Seeds
Let’s explore the nutritional facts of fennel seeds. These tiny wonders contain essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, potassium, manganese, zinc, iron, and calcium [1, 2]. They are also a great source of dietary fiber and antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol, which help protect the body against oxidative stress.
Benefits Of Fennel Seed For Fertility
Fennel seeds benefit females. Fennel seeds contain polyphenols such as rosmarinic acid, chlorogenic acid, quercetin, and apigenin. These compounds have been linked to several fertility and health benefits, as some protect us from them. oxidative stress which has been linked with many chronic diseases. Here are some evidence-based benefits of fennel seed for fertility.
May Improve Reproductive Function
When it comes specifically to fertility support, studies suggest that consuming fennel seeds may enhance reproductive function. The phytoestrogens [3, 4, 5] found in these seeds mimic estrogen hormones in the body and can potentially improve hormonal balance which supports menstrual flow and ovulation necessary for optimal fertility.
For example, one study found that women who took fennel extract for 6 weeks had a significant increase in the number of eggs released during ovulation. Another study found that women who took fennel extract for 3 months had a higher rate of conception.
May Relieve Menstrual Cramps
It is believed that fennel seeds contain compounds with anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease menstrual pain [6, 7].
Anecdotal evidence also suggests that drinking fennel seed water extract may improve the menstrual cycle in women, The water extract is prepared by Soaking two tablespoons of fennel seeds in 1 cup of water and leaving it overnight. Strain and drink the water in the morning.
Helpful In Treating Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. However, research suggests fennel extract may help prevent ovarian cell proliferation and also promote ovarian growth and follicle development, and boost fertility as revealed in a rat study . It is believed to have compounds that can help regulate hormones and reduce androgen levels.
Can Boosts The Immune System
A strong immune system means strong health and fertility. However, our immune system tends to weaken in the fight against free radicals because it uses a lot of our body’s antioxidants to counter the impact of oxidative stress.
Interestingly, fennel seeds are rich in antioxidant compounds such as rosmarinic acid, chlorogenic acid, quercetin, apigenin, kaempferol, and vitamins C [9, 10, 11]. This means intake of the seeds can increase our body’s antioxidant levels which can help prevent oxidative damage , and also boost our body’s immune response.
Did I forget to mention that free radicals are detrimental to fertility?  It has been reported in several scientific research that oxidative stress caused by free radicals can lower sperm quality and alter DNA [14, 15].
Inflammation is detrimental to fertility just like oxidative stress, and has also been linked with several chronic infections and diseases .
However, fennel seeds possess anti-inflammatory properties [17, 18, 19] and may promote fertility combating inflammation, making our skin glow, and preventing acne breakouts. Their antioxidant properties contribute towards maintaining healthy vision as well as the seed contains carotenoids.
Prevents obesity and aids weight management
Don’t be surprised, several studies have linked obesity and infertility. According to one of them, overweight and obese women stand a high risk of infertility. Have a high risk of subfecundity and even if these women happen to get pregnant, their chances of miscarriage rates, and pregnancy complications are high [20, 21, 22].
However, the intake of fennel seed promote can help you manage your weight, and can act as an appetite suppressant and as well aids digestion. However, further, study is needed for confirmation .
Fennel Seed and Male Fertility
Fennel seed may have both positive and negative effects on male fertility, depending on the specific study and dosage. Here is the intake of fennel seeds that may benefit male fertility and how it can be harmful.
- Fennel and cumin extracts improved semen parameters in obese male rats, possibly due to their effects on weight loss, decreased food consumption, and reduced leptin concentration [24, 25].
- Fennel acts as a sedative for sperm, preventing them from expending energy unnecessarily, and protecting the reproductive DNA inside the sperm from breaking down.
- In one study, the application of a hydro-alcoholic extract of fennel seed induced changes in the spermatogenesis process and reduced sperm count in male Wistar rats [26, 27].
- In another study, fennel oil led to a decrease in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), testosterone, and sperm count in male albino rats .
Overall, the impact of fennel seed on male fertility is not yet fully understood, and more research is needed to determine the optimal dosage and potential side effects.
How to Use Fennel Seed For Fertility
Using fennel seed for fertility is very easy and some of the known ways to use them are explained below.
Add them to your food.
Fennel seeds have a mild, licorice-like flavor that can be used to flavor a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, salads, and breads. You can also add them to curries, stir-fries, and rice dishes to enhance their flavor. When using fennel seeds in cooking, start with a small amount and add more to taste. The flavor of fennel seeds can be strong, so it’s important to add them gradually.
Make fennel tea.
Fennel tea is a great way to soothe an upset stomach and improve digestion. To make fennel tea, simply steep a teaspoon of fennel seeds in a cup of hot water for 5-10 minutes.
Chew fennel seeds after a meal.
Fennel seeds can be chewed raw or roasted. Chewing the seeds can help freshen your breath and relieve gas and bloating.
Take fennel seed capsules.
Fennel seed capsules are a convenient way to get the benefits of fennel seeds. You can find them at most health food stores.
Health Benefits Of Fennel Seeds Beyond Fertility Support
Moving on to the health benefits of fennel seeds beyond fertility support.
- May Help Regulate Blood Pressure.
They have been found to regulate blood pressure levels due to their high potassium content. Additionally, fennel seeds aid in improving digestive health by reducing bloating and easing constipation.
- Aid Weight Management
Fennel seeds are a good source of fiber, so they can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied. If you’re trying to lose weight, you can the roasted seeds as snacks or try adding fennel seeds to your diet can be a helpful way to suppress your appetite.
- Support Heart Function
Fennel seed may improve heart health. It’s believed the intake of the extract may help eliminate sinuses and be beneficial for asthma patients.
Fennel seeds are generally safe for most people to consume. However, some people may experience side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. If you experience any side effects after consuming fennel seeds, stop taking them and talk to your doctor.
Overall, fennel seeds are a versatile and healthy spice that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. If you’re looking for a way to improve your digestion, freshen your breath, or lose weight, fennel seeds may be a good option for you.
Fennel Seed Side effects
Pregnancy: Fennel is possibly unsafe to use when pregnant and has been linked to preterm birth.
Breastfeeding: Fennel is possibly unsafe for breastfeeding mothers, and there are some reports of breastfed infants with damage to their nervous systems after they were exposed to herbal tea containing fennel through breastmilk.
Allergic reactions: Some people may react differently to common herbs and foods, and if you experience any side effects after using fennel seeds, you should immediately reach out to your healthcare provider.
JC is passionate about finding the impact of foods (feeding habits) on human fertility and reproductive health and a way to improve fertility.