Fennel is a plant whose medicinal properties have been known to people for more than 5 thousand years. Fennel is a close relative of dill and has a strong physical resemblance to it.
It is used as a spice for food and as a remedy for many diseases. Has an antispasmodic effect, helps newborns with colic in the tummy.
The composition of this spice is so unique that it is actively used for the treatment and prevention of diseases, even in young children.
Is it possible to fresh spice for newborns, infants and babies after a year?
Fresh fennel, being a spice, contains a large amount of essential oils that can irritate the mucous membrane of a fragile children's digestive tract. For this reason Doctors are not allowed to give fresh fennel to newborn babies.
However, tea or a decoction of fennel can be given to babies: in this form, the spice is absolutely safe and is used in the treatment of digestive problems in babies and infants.
From 7-8 months, fennel root can be gradually introduced into the diet, but only in a thermally processed form. Usually fennel is added to baby soups. Only from 1.5 years old can you gradually introduce fresh herbs into the diet and the root of this plant.
Can I have a decoction, fruits and tea?
Starting from two weeks of age, to eliminate gas formation and colic, it is allowed to introduce teas and decoctions based on seeds, herbs and fruits of this plant into the child's diet.
Fresh fennel fruits (root) cannot be introduced into the diet of young children. Only from 8 months it is allowed to add it to the composition of the first and second courses in a processed form in small quantities.
We wrote in this article about in what form and how fennel can be given to newborns.
Benefits for Infants and Older Children
- Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B6, C, PP.
- Trace elements: iron, copper, zinc, manganese.
- Macronutrients: calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus.
- Proteins, fatty acids.
Tea and decoctions based on this herb are very useful for babies:
- relieve intestinal spasms and relieve pain;
- eliminate gas formation;
- improves sleep;
- promotes better assimilation of food.
For older children who do not suffer from colic, fennel is also very beneficial:
- improves appetite;
- prevents and treats constipation and diarrhea;
- strengthens the immune system;
- soothes, improves falling asleep.
Contraindications and possible harm when using
Fennel is a practically harmless plant. It is considered that when used correctly in doses prescribed by a doctor, it cannot cause any harm to health neither newborns nor older children.
However, fennel tea should not be given to newborns under 2 weeks of age. During this period, the formation of the intestinal microflora and the establishment of its work occurs. Otherwise, the newborn's digestive system will get used to the stimulating properties of tea and will not be able to fully function without it.
Neither grass nor plant root in any form can be given to a child in the first months of life: a large amount of essential oils and organic acids can seriously harm the fragile digestive organs, cause severe allergic reactions and poisoning.
The only exception is tea, infusion and decoction based on fennel: in this form, the spice will not harm the baby's digestive organs, but, on the contrary, will improve the digestion of food, relieve pain and reduce gas formation. Up to 7 months, only fennel tea can be given, then the boiled root of the plant can be introduced into the diet along with the first complementary food.
Babies (from a month to a year) may suffer from exceeding the daily dosage of drinking tea: this leads to weakening of the digestive system and frequent constipation after stopping the use of fennel tea. Fennel root must be introduced into the diet carefully, observing the body's reaction: whether there is an allergy or problems with the passage of food through the digestive tract.
Frequent use of fennel by children from one year old leads to diarrhea.
Contraindications to the use of fennel in any form for all ages:
- individual intolerance (allergy);
- the presence of epilepsy or the risk of developing this disease.
Healing recipes for babies and over a year
There are several ways to make a fennel health drink. All parts of the spice are used: seeds, roots and grass. All constituent parts of the plant have an identical vitamin and mineral composition, the dosage and the result of consumption do not differ.
Fennel decoction or tea can be given to newborns from two weeks of age and only after consulting a pediatrician. A spice drink is given to infants as a cure for intestinal colic and excessive gas formation. Usually by 5-6 months, the colic stops, and the use of tea or fennel infusion can also be stopped.
The initial dose is no more than half a teaspoon (about 15 drops) per day. The medication is taken after a meal. If after 4-5 days the newborn does not have an allergy, the dose can be increased by a few drops per week. The maximum dose is 3 teaspoons per day. The starting dosage and its increase should be discussed with your doctor.
After a year, a medicinal decoction is introduced into the nutrition of children to improve digestion and sleep, as well as to combat vitamin deficiency. You should take 1-3 tablespoons of the medicinal decoction daily after meals.
Children under one and a half years old should not be given fresh fennel herb. After 1.5-2 years, it is allowed to gradually introduce this green into the diet as a vitamin food product, as well as in case of digestive problems (constipation, diarrhea).
The fennel sprigs must be thoroughly rinsed, and it is better to soak for a while, then rinse in running water.
Fresh fennel herb, which is collected near roads and industrial enterprises, should not be introduced into the children's diet: such greens contain a large amount of toxic compounds that cannot be removed by soaking.
The broth is prepared from the roots of the plant, resembling an onion head. Preparation:
- a piece of root weighing about 5 g, rinse thoroughly and chop finely;
- put the root in a metal container, pour 200 ml of boiling water and boil over low heat for 2-3 minutes;
- let the broth brew for 10-15 minutes and strain;
- cool to a comfortable temperature.
The infusion is prepared from herbs and fennel seeds.
Preparation of herbal infusion:
- Put 1 tablespoon of dry or fresh herbs in a glass or ceramic container and pour half a glass of boiling water (100 ml);
- cover the container and leave to infuse for 1 hour;
- strain the infusion through cheesecloth folded several times.
Preparation of infusion from seeds:
- Grind 1 teaspoon of seeds in a coffee grinder or mortar;
- place the seeds in a ceramic or glass container and pour 250 ml of boiling water;
- insist 30 minutes;
- strain the infusion thoroughly through cheesecloth, cool before use.
Of all the fennel drinks, the seed infusion is believed to be the favorite for newborns.
This healing drink has the strongest effect on colic and gas in babies. Dill water is made from essential oil extracted from fennel seeds.
- boil 1 liter of water, let cool;
- add 1 drop of essential oil to the water and mix thoroughly.
This medicine can be stored in the refrigerator for about 30 days. Before use, a portion of dill water should be heated to a comfortable temperature in a water bath.
Medicinal tea is made from seeds.
- take about 3 g of plant seeds, grind;
- pour 200 ml of boiling water over the seeds in a ceramic mug, let it brew for 20-30 minutes;
- strain the tea and bring the resulting volume to 200 ml with warm boiled water.
You will learn more about the use of fennel tea for newborns and older children in a separate article.
Where can I get the product?
Fennel can be grown on your own backyard. This plant is unpretentious and grows well in central Russia. In the summer, you can use all parts of the plant for medicinal purposes, in the cold season, pre-prepared dried seeds and grass are used.
You can also buy fresh seasoning at the market or health food store. In Moscow, fennel costs about 400 rubles per kilogram. In St. Petersburg, the price starts from 350 rubles.
Fresh herbs and root are sold from late summer to October. When choosing a seasoning, you need to pay attention to the greenery: it should be bright. The root is firm, free of dents and brown streaks. Fresh root has an even white color, let's say a greenish tint.
High-quality seeds do not have impurities and inclusions, have the same shape and color, and are devoid of moisture.
Children's fennel tea is available from various manufacturers and is sold at the pharmacy. In Moscow, tea with fennel costs from 60 rubles (20 g), in St. Petersburg - from 55-57 rubles.
Fennel tea and decoction is a natural and inexpensive remedy for normalizing digestion in newborns. A healing drink made from this spice gently tones up the bowels and saves the baby from pain, and the mother from anxiety. However, only a pediatrician can prescribe treatment with such drinks. The health of a newborn is very fragile, and self-treatment, even with a natural remedy, can be harmful.