Fennel --- sombu

It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses

Fennel seeds are sometimes confused with those of anise, which are similar in taste and appearance, though smaller. Fennel is also used as a flavouring in some natural toothpastes.

Fennel features prominently in Mediterranean cuisine, where bulbs and fronds are used, both raw and cooked, in side dishes, salads, pastas, vegetable dishes and risottos. Fennel seed is a common ingredient in Italian sausages and meatballs and northern European rye breads

Many cultures in the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East use fennel seed in their cookery.
Fennel is one of the most important spices in Kashmiri Pandit and Gujarati cooking.
It is an essential ingredient of the Assamese/Bengali/Oriya spice mixture panch phoron
and in Chinese five-spice powders.
In many parts of Pakistan and India, roasted fennel seeds are consumed as mukhwas, an after-meal digestive and breath freshener

Medicinal aspects

Fennel has through history been considered an appetite depressant, and as such, a weight loss aid.

Fennel Tea increase the flow of milk in nursing mothers.

Menopausal women may want to try it to ease the associated symptoms

The leaves or stems can be pounded into a paste and given to nursing mothers to relieve breast swelling.

Fennel Water or Fennel tea have been used throughout history
to break up kidney stones,
quiet hiccups,
prevent nausea,
aid digestion,
prevent gout,
purify the liver,
reverse alcohol damage to the liver,
and treat jaundice

For babies, it is said to to relieve colic and flatulence, and to expel worms.

It may be effective when used along with conventional treatments in prostate cancer (and it is definitely worth trying, but consult with your doctor first)

The tea can also be gargled as a breath freshener and applied as an eye wash.

Fennel is a cleansing and medicating herb, and can be used for a steam facial for opening pores and rejuvenating facial skin.