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Fennel: A Cooling Digestive Spice

ISSUED // February 21


In Ayurveda, spices are found in nearly every dish because they can be used to help balance the doshas, aid digestion, synergistically support nutrient absorption, and more. 

Fennel is popular as a cooling spice, contributing mainly the sweet taste with an undertone of the bitter taste. Its taste is reminiscent of licorice. It has a nutty flavor and a strong aroma when sautéed in ghee. Here are a few of the Ayurvedic benefits of fennel seeds, and some tasty ways to cook with it.

Fennel for digestion 

According to Ayurveda, fennel is extremely good for digestion. It acts as a general toner for the digestive system, and is particularly good for enhancing agni, the digestive fire, without aggravating Pitta. In India, chewing a few toasted fennel seeds after a meal is a common practice, both to aid digestion and to freshen the breath.

Cooking with fennel seeds

Fennel seeds can be used whole or ground. Whole fennel seeds, sautéed in ghee, contribute aroma and flavor to dry vegetable dishes, and ground fennel works very well in sauces. Fennel combines well with other Ayurvedic spices such as: 

Sauté turmeric, ground cumin, ground ginger and ground fennel in ghee, blend cashews in water to make a thin paste and add to the spices to simmer—cook into a rich sauce for vegetables. For convenience, try a ready-to-use spice mixture like Organic Pitta Churna.

Fennel seeds can also be baked into cookies and muffins and a small quantity of ground fennel can be added to rice pudding for an exotic flavor.

Fennel seeds are a great addition to any meal, to boost digestibility without adding heat. Explore more recipes with fennel and other Ayurvedic spices at the blog.

© 1999, 2021 Maharishi AyurVeda Products International, Inc. (MAPI). All Rights Reserved. MAPI does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. See additional information.

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