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Fennel Seeds for Everyone

Several months ago Cora was experiencing intermittent chest pains. I was reasonably certain it was some sort of heartburn and treated it homeopathically, since it never seemed to immobilize her. But after about a week of it, I began to worry she was having some sort of heart attack (I know, I know, but I’m a mommy) or something and I was missing all these signs, so I took her to the pediatrician. Just in case.

The pediatrician felt around and asked Cora a few questions. “Where does your chest hurt?”

Cora pointed right around her heart. “Here”.

“And what does your mommy give you when it hurts?”

“Fennel seeds.”

The pediatrician blinked. I slouched down further in my seat.

“And do you eat them?”

Cora nodded.

It’s true. When my girls are having some sort of food-related gassiness or acid reflux-y type thing, I give them fennel seeds. Take a pinch, swallow them with water, and five minutes later your stomach doesn’t hurt any more. I swear.

Fennel seeds have worked so well for Cora that she now prefers it over Tums, and will refuse to take Tums. She’s got a love-hate relationship with wheat, so too much of it will give her a crabby stomach and she’ll go running for the fennel seeds. She now carries a small vial in her backpack so she can pop a few during school if her stomach acts up – all her idea, I promise.

But back to the doctor.

Our doctor, fortunately, is very open to homeopathic treatments and had already heard about the fennel seeds – in fact, uses them herself. So I wasn’t turned into to CPS. Cora, it turned out, had some random acid reflux and the doctor suggested Tums with every meal for a week to blot it out, and Cora (successfully) argued – er, petitioned – the doctor to allow her to do fennel seeds instead. I added a bit of ginger-infused water when necessary, and a couple days later, she was fine.

We now have fennel seed vials in backpacks, purses, bathrooms, and cars – just in case. Yes, we’ve officially become those people.


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