It's the holiday season, also known as the season for indulging. If you're worried about your waistline and your health, Dr. Mehmet Oz wants you to try nature's most versatile herb: Fennel, which he featured on his Dec. 9 talk show.
Fennel tastes like licorice but it's much healthier than those tasty licorice whips that you buy in the candy store. Among the benefits of fennel:
- Reduce cholesterol: High in fiber, fennel clears your arteries and can help with "bad" cholesterol levels.
- Regulate digestion. Try sipping fennel tea after meals or when you have tummy troubles.
- Ease constipation.
How to use:
- Drink fennel tea. You can use the recipe below or buy fennel tea bags, such as Heather's Tummy Teas Organic Fennel Tea Bags (click for details).
- Saute in a small amount of olive oil and add to soups or stews.
- Add raw to your salad.
- Limit to the equivalent of one-half cup of fennel bulbs daily.
To make fennel tea:
- Add crushed fennel seeds to warm water. (You can buy fennel seeds at health food stores or online, such as Frontier Fennel Seed.)
- Steep for 10 minutes.