Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fennel, Don't Fail Me Now!

As we walked out of the House of India today, there was a bowl of some kind of seed with a little spoon resting in it...this instead of the usual mints and toothpicks. Curious, I asked the host the purpose of the display, and he said, "digestion," so we took a spoonful and shared it. The black licorice flavor was readily apparent, as was the fact that I'd just put some exotic seed in my mouth...which is probably not all that different from putting something exotic in my mouth at McDonald's. I was not sure where anise came from, but I'd heard that it also tasted like black licorice, so this certainly could have been that ingredient for all I knew. Fortunately, my dining companion said, "fennel" as she shoved me out the door.
Digestive aid. That's exactly what I needed! My mind was still in sharp focus concerning the last time I'd eaten Indian food: less that 24 hours later, I was in the hospital having been diagnosed with a rather severe ulcer...not caused by spicy food, mind you, but totally exposed by it as my stomach tried to process the sauces. Just as I turned to grab another mouthful "just in case," I was dragged to the car still feeling a bit uncertain...and I think my stomach was as well.
Not to be cynical, but I had to look up the medicinal benefits of fennel at my first opportunity, and found, to my stomach's relief, that the seeds were, indeed, used by many traditional peoples as a cure for indigestion, stomach disturbances and nausea as well as a curative for coughs and cold symptoms.
According to Ed Smith, author of The Therapeutic Herb Manual, the ingesting fennel also promotes healthy stomach action (?) and prevents or reduces intestinal gas (won't my wife be happy to hear THAT?).
Some five hours later, my fears have somewhat dissipated though I'm not sure the same can be said about intestinal gas. If the little licorice-flavored seeds keep my stomach in good shape tomorrow, there might be a return trip to eat Indian food.
Until then, though, I'll have to depend on Good 'n' Plenty.


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