Fennel is an herb and also a spice and has leaves and seeds that have a sweet and aromatic taste similar to anise. In fact, there is no different word for fennel and anise in some languages, such as Amharic and Hebrew.
Fennel originated around the Mediterranean and gradually spread to India, where it is widely used in cooking. It is a basic ingredient of five-spice powder and is used in a lot of fish recipes.
Fennel is used in some natural toothpastes and, in India, is chewed as a breath freshener.
Fennel has some medicinal applications, mainly as a gas-relieving agent and has been used to aid pain relief and as a diuretic. It is also used to improve the taste of some natural herbal medicines.
Fenugreek, like fennel, is an herb and also a spice. Fenugreek has a strong, aromatic and bittersweet taste similar to burnt sugar.
Fenugreek originated in India and around the Mediterranean region.
Fenugreek is used in five-spice powder and is widely used in curry powders, particularly the hot vindaloo powders.
Similar to lots of spices, fenugreek is used as a digestive aid. The spice reduces the sugar levels in blood and is used to help treat diabetes. Fenugreek also lowers blood pressure and helps relieve congestion and reduces inflammation. It’s a very useful spice.