Fennel, an upright perennial herb that grows three to ten feet tall. The plant contains thick, ribbed, hollow stems that grow from its rooted bulb (known as the crown). Green branches and feathery foliage sprout off the stems. As the plant matures it creates an umbrella-shaped cluster of bright yellow flowers.
Fennel contains a combination of phytonutrients that gives it strong antioxidant properties. It is one phytonutrient, anethole, that has been used in studies and proven to reduce inflammation and help reduce the risk of cancer. Fennel has been used to treat various digestive symptoms, including heartburn, gas and bloating. Fennel is entirely edible. Slice and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast with other root vegetables. Shave or thinly slice and add raw to green salads, with blood orange segments and olives. Saute with onions as a base for risotto.