Typically an her of the culinary scene, fennel has been referred back to the ancient Greeks. Know to them as “marathoron” meaning “to grow thin”, fennel had the reputation of an appetite suppressant.
Fennel seeds, in general, have been seen as an aid to digestion and stomach (gas/acid) problems. The seeds can be seeped in hot water to make an interesting tea, flavored somewhere between licorice and anise. The tea also has been used historically as an aid to infant colic, settling the upset stomach.
Fennel oil has been used as a natural cough remedy. Once to three drops of fennel oil in a teaspoon of honey soothes the throat to help with hoarseness and control coughing. The fennel oil will help to expel mucous accumulations as well.
Although somewhat limited in health care uses, fennel offers a wide range of uses in healthy cooking. It is also said to be easy to grow and an excellent butterfly attractor.