Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pagan Blog Project F is For Fennel

Fennel is a masculine herb associated with the planet Mercury, the element of Fire, and the deities Prometheus and Dionysus.

It is similar in smell and taste to anise and is frequently used in salads, sauces, soups, and fish broths.  It is also a main seasoning used in the making of Italian sausage, and one of the principle ingredients of absinthe.
Magickally fennel is used for protection, purification, and healing. 
Planting fennel around the home helps to protect it, while hanging some in windows and doorways will ward off evil spirits (and evildoers presumably), as will carrying the seeds with you.  Making a fennel infusion and using it to wash the doors of your home also helps to keep negativity from entering; and leaving some in the keyholes is said to bar admittance to ghosts. 
Historically fennel has been used to add scents to perfumes and soaps that were worn to give extra protection.
The herb can be burned as an incense, providing energy for purification, protection, longevity, and healing.  If you don't wish to burn it as an incense, you can use it in a sachet that will serve the same purpose(s). 
Fennel has many varied uses in healing.  As always, any information here is not intended as medical advice.  Please contact your medical professional with any and all health concerns. 
Like many herbs fennel has multiple healing properties: expectorant, laxative, stimulative, diuretic, and antispasmodic. 
Chewing fennel seeds acts as an appetite suppressant, breath freshener, and also eases indigestion.  So, you can use it to not eat, or to fight the effects of eating what doesn't agree with you! 
Fennel also helps in the treatment of colic, the reduction of flatulence, and as a mild laxative. 
The herb is also beneficial to the eyes, and can be used as an eyewash when in solution, and in the treatment of glaucoma. 
It is also helpful in the treatment of hypertension, possibly through its diuretic effects. 
Brewing fennel seeds into a tea makes a liquid that can be used as an antidote to poisonous herbs and mushrooms, and that also treats chronic coughs. 
Ingesting fennel also helps nursing mothers with lactation, regulates menstruation, and is said to help repair damage done to the liver through alcohol abuse. 
If you choose to grow fennel, your garden will be blessed with a multitude of birds, helpful insects and even butterflies that are attracted to the plant.  
However, powdered fennel will help drive away fleas, and perhaps other less useful insects. 
Its also said that keeping a piece of fennel in your left shoe will prevent wood ticks from biting-again the less helpful insects! lol
As something of a kitchen witch, I can't help noting the irony that fennel seeds help suppress the appetite while fennel itself is used so often as a seasoning!  

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