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Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is native to the Mediterranean and to Southwest Asia. The Romans originally named it Foeniculum. Its flavor is similar to anise and its seeds are often mislabeled as such. Fennel was used in the original preparation of absinthe. Traditionally, it is considered one of the best herbs for fish dishes and to flavor breads, cakes and confectionary. Medicinally, fennel has been used traditionally to treat chills and stomach problems.

Longfellow alludes to this virtue in the plant:
"Above the lower plants it towers,
The Fennel with its yellow flowers;
And in an earlier age than ours
Was gifted with the wondrous powers
Lost vision to restore."

Fennel contains the connexin-enhancing molecules, quercetin and kaempferol. Quercetin is a flavonol that has been shown to have anti-tumor properties. In addition to helping combat cancer, quercetin may also be beneficial for prostatitis, heart disease, cataracts, bronchitis, asthma, and various allergies and inflammatory disorders. Kaempferol has been shown to have antibacterial activity, studies have suggested it may be a chemopreventative agent, and it has been shown to be antinociceptive (pain relieving).

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