In many parts of the world, fennel seeds are used medicinally to treat everything from menstrual cramps to bad gas. Some of these uses have been confirmed by research while others are still being tested.
Fennel seeds are sometimes marketed as a weight loss tool. There may be some truth to the claim that fennel seeds can aid in weight loss.
One early study suggests that eating fennel seeds reduces appetite and significantly reduces overeating at mealtimes. For people with obesity caused by food cravings and overeating, fennel seeds could be helpful. However, further studies are needed to confirm the effect. Check with your doctor before using fennel seeds to help with weight management.
One of the major compounds found in fennel seeds is anethole, which has been shown to have cancer-fighting properties.
Research has shown anethole is effective at destroying breast cancer cells and stopping the spread of both breast and liver cancer cells. These studies have not yet progressed past the lab, but initial findings are promising.