Fennel Seeds During Pregnancy – Benefits, Side Effects & more

You have probably entered the incredible phase of motherhood and are perhaps experiencing discomforts because of the many changes that come with pregnancy. For some mothers, such symptoms may last till the day of delivery however, the good news is that you can always take refuge in home remedies like herbs or spices- easily available in the kitchen to get temporary relief. One such common herb is fennel seed or better known as ‘saunf’. Let us look at the curative aspects of the herb and find out if they are safe and effective for you during pregnancy.

What is Fennel Seed?

A fennel seed is an aromatic, anise- flavoured herb which looks brown or green when fresh and turns dull grey when it ages. The seeds are derived from a plant which was originally found in Europe. The plant belongs to the parsley family and has fluffy leaves. This herb is commonly found in our kitchens and is known for its medicinal properties. It is popularly known as ‘saunf’ and most of us consume it as a mouth freshener besides using it in cooking. It has been proven to be beneficial for tooth pain and gum issues, apart from having several other health benefits such as aiding digestion. Consuming saunf in pregnancy can help reduce nausea and address issues related to digestion.

How to Consume Fennel Seeds in Pregnancy?

Fennel seeds are packed with a nice aroma and are slightly sweet. If they are added to food while cooking they work as a flavouring agent and impart a subtle flavour to the dish. You can consume it in the form of tea as well, or chew some raw after a meal. While fennel agrees with most people, make sure you avoid it if you are allergic to celery, carrot or mugwort because it might cause a reaction. It is advisable to check with your doctor or dietician before you include fennel in your pregnancy diet.

A common way to consume fennel seeds is in the form of fennel tea. Not only does it help curb nausea but is replete with other medicinal properties as well.

Fennel Tea For Pregnancy Nausea

The Food and Drug Administration of the United States has not regulated the use of herbal teas including fennel tea during pregnancy. When we say that herbs and herbal tea blends are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, it means that the herbs do not undergo the same level of scrutiny as over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Note that this does not mean that the FDA advises against consumption of herbal teas.

To be safe, you can have fennel tea once in a while when you are pregnant. However, you may want to check with your gynaecologist before you do so.

Making Fennel Tea for Pregnant Women

The medicinal benefits of fennel are well known. If you are looking for a way to incorporate it into your diet, you may consider making a cup of fennel tea.

Here is how you can brew yourself a cup of fennel tea:

  • The chief ingredients for making the tea are water, crushed fennel seeds, jaggery syrup or honey
  • Take approximately one teaspoon of fennel seeds and then, crush or powder the seeds with the help of a blender
  • Take a pan and heat a cup of water until it boils, and then add the powdered fennel
  • Put a lid on the pan and switch off the gas to let it cool for around five minutes. Then, slowly strain the brewed tea and mix honey or jaggery to it, according to your taste.


Is It Healthy To Have Fennel Seeds During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, fennel seeds are recommended in very small amounts because they are a natural emmenagogue which basically means that they help trigger or increase menstrual flow. . You can add a small amount of these seeds, for instance, 1 teaspoon to your food. Your doctor can help you understand how much fennel seeds you should be consuming basis your health requirements and conditions

Benefits of Saunf for Pregnant Women

  • Saunf has been traditionally been used in fighting nausea and morning sickness. The seeds are supposed to contain certain anaesthetic components that help control symptoms which are common in expecting mothers, especially during the first three months
  • The anti-flatulence properties help in relaxing the muscles of the digestive tract which stimulates bile flow and helps in checking cramps often linked to digestion. Hence, it is quite effective in giving relief from bloating during pregnancy
  • Most pregnant women complain of loss of appetite due to indigestion and gas. Fennel seeds are a natural carminative and help in eliminating gas from the intestinal tract. This ultimately helps in better digestion. Once issues related to the gut are taken care of, the appetite returns too

So, are fennel seeds good for pregnancy? There is not enough evidence that to say that fennel seeds are unsafe. Likewise, there is not enough evidence that suggests fennel seeds are completely safe. Hence, it is better to consult your doctor before you consume them and also check on the doses.

Side Effects of Eating Fennel Seeds While Pregnant

Now that you know about the benefits of fennel seeds, it is time you consider the side effects as well.

  • Fennel seeds affect the ability of your blood to coagulate, making the process of clotting slow. So, if you suffer from a bleeding disorder, it is better to avoid fennel —especially, if you are susceptible to bruises and bleeding
  • Eating fennel seeds can make your skin dry and extremely sensitive. If you have sensitive skin, avoid fennel seeds during pregnancy
  • The antispasmodic, phytoestrogenic and anti-inflammatory properties in fennel are found to stimulate the uterus leading to premature contractions

It is important to remember that food items that suit one pregnant woman may not necessarily go well with the other. Therefore, it is imperative that you consult your doctor before adding anything new to the diet advised.

Does Fennel in Pregnancy Lead to Miscarriage?

Many people eat fennel seeds after a meal because it helps in digestion. But it is important to remember that fennel is a natural emmenagogue, which means it could trigger the menstrual cycle and lead to vaginal bleeding, ultimately causing miscarriage. It is important to consume it in moderation, and avoid it altogether if your doctor advises against it.

If you are plagued by morning sickness and indigestion, you can turn to this home remedy which is easily available in your kitchen, for relief. However, check with your doctor before you make this a part of your diet.


Also Read:

Green Tea during Pregnancy

Flax Seeds During Pregnancy