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Wait — the answer to farting might have been fennel seeds the whole time?
If you (or your long-suffering partner) are desperately seeking freedom from your farts, we’ve got good news. You can soothe the bloat with natural remedies such as probiotics and, yes, fennel seeds!
Folks in some parts of the world regularly nosh on fennel seeds as a post-meal digestive aid. Whether you decide to eat them plain, coated in sugar, or crushed into a powder, these magical bloat busters could be the relief you need.
Fennelly! A solution is at hand (or butt?). Fennel seeds are tiny, licorice-flavored seeds from the fennel plant. They’re packed with nutrients that could soothe gas attacks, bloating, and constipation.
Fennel seeds are nature’s perfect little fart fighters. Here’s why.
The fiber factor
Fennel seeds are tiny but mighty. Just 1 tablespoon has more than 2 grams of fiber — a key contributor to good digestion. (For comparison, an entire apple has only 3 to 5 grams of fiber.)
Noshing on fennel seeds helps smooth the way for poop and gas. It might sound gross, but it ultimately means you’ll feel better (this is the definition of “better out than in”).
On the flip side, fiber adds bulk to watery diarrhea. So if you’ve got the runs, a spoonful of fennel seeds could help slow the flow.
Science says the fennel plant and its seeds are:
What’s all this got to do with farting? A lot, actually.
Bloating and gas attacks have two common causes: swallowed air and the fermentation of fiber from certain foods by bacteria in your gut.
The antimicrobial properties of fennel seeds could help keep gut pathogens in check — especially if your second wind is the result of food poisoning or food sensitivity. Fennel may also inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, bacteria that can lead to gastrointestinal infections and dysbiosis
Easy on the inflammation
Remember how fennel seeds are anti-inflammatory? That’s good news for a bloated tummy too.
Research suggests the anethole in fennel seeds could help soothe irritation and tension in your intestines. Relaxed intestines are better at their job — escorting poop and gas toward the exit sign.
So many ways! Just remember that the seeds have a pretty potent aroma (but probably less potent than farts), so a little goes a long way.
- Crushed in your favorite baking recipes. To maximize the benefits and flavor, buy dried fennel seeds whole and crush or grind them just before using. Sprinkle about a tablespoon into your batter or dough. It adds a nice anise-like flavor.
- Toasted and sprinkled on top. Want to highlight fennel seeds’ sweet, licorice-y taste? Toast them in the oven or on the stovetop for a few minutes. Chew a spoonful after a meal (yep, you can swallow them) or add a teaspoon to a smoothie or granola.
- Sipped in fennel tea. Prefer to drink your remedies? Buy fennel tea (or make it by steeping a spoonful of crushed fennel seeds in hot water). Fennel seeds are the star ingredient in Smooth Move tea, which manufacturers formulated to get your bowels movin’. (Some research suggests it may be effective for relieving constipation in certain populations.)
- Taken as a supplement. Not a fan of fennel seeds’ flavor? Get the fart-busting, constipation-crushing benefits with fennel seed supplements. One manufacturer recommends taking three capsules (480 milligrams each) per day. But it’s *always* best to talk with your doc before taking a new supplement. They can help you figure out if fennel seeds will play nice with your other meds or any health conditions.
There’s a chance you could be allergic to fennel (a risk with any new food), but the FDA considers fennel seeds generally safe.
Fennel seeds have natural plant oils, which can be pretty powerful. It *is* possible to consume too many of the seeds and experience unpleasant side effects. (They’re a low-key laxative, after all.)
That’s all good, but it means you shouldn’t take fennel seed supplements or use fennel seed essential oil if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding or if you’ve been diagnosed with ovarian, uterine, or endometrial cancer. It’s still likely safe to consume fennel seeds in typical amounts, though.
If you feel like your gas is out of control, try stacking a few remedies to see if any combos make a difference:
- Ease up on the fizzy drinks (the bubbles don’t just stay in the liquid, if you catch our drift).
- Avoid chewing gum.
- Sip more H2O throughout the day.
- Eat slowly.
- Fully chew your food.
- Try deep breathing.
Excessive gas can be a sign of an underlying health condition or food intolerance, so be sure to contact your doctor if nothing seems to stop the bloating or the fartstorm.
Fennel seeds may be a natural solution to help you fart less.
They can help regulate bacteria, inflammation, and fungi in your gut, which may mean less bloating and tooting.
Get your daily fill of fennel seeds by eating them whole, crushed into a powder, or in a supplement capsule. And remember to go easy on the amount — that licorice-y flavor is strong as heck.
Fennel seeds are considered safe for most people when eaten in normal amounts. But be sure to talk with your healthcare provider before taking concentrated fennel supplements, because they may not be safe for certain populations.
Contact your doc or a dietitian if you have questions about whether fennel seeds are a good remedy for you.