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The healing power of bear root or mountain fennel

  1. Bearroot is a 60 cm high and 30 cm wide perennial plant that grows throughout Western and Central Europe. It belongs to the umbelliferous species and likes to grow in mountainous areas such as the Alps. Mountain fennel roots are a widely consumed vegetable in Scotland. Mountain fennel is also used as a medicine throughout Europe, for example for urinary tract problems. Mountain fennel does not grow wild in the Netherlands; you will have to breed it. The advantage is that it is a plant that you don't have to worry about.


  1. Naming Eat bear roots Five fun facts about mountain fennel Spread bear root Mountain fennel in the vegetable garden Ingredients Dodoens about mountain fennel Traditional use in Europe


  1. The Latin name we use in science for this medicinal plant is Meum athamanticum. In Dutch we say both bear root and mountain fennel. An older name for this plant is pork root. The English name for this plant is baldmoney; it is dedicated to the Norse mythological God Baldr. In Germany the plant is called Bärwurz. In France, mountain fennel is called Fenouil des Alpes. The Latin word Meum comes from the Greek word "meon" or "meion" which means pig's fennel. Athamanticum has a Latin origin; it is more commonly used for plants but it is not entirely clear where this name comes from.

Eat bear roots

  1. Bear root roots are eaten. These roots can be collected in the months of September and October. In Scotland it is a true ubiquitous custom to use the roots as a vegetable. They are eaten there just like parsnips; the carrots are boiled and eaten as is or added to a soup as an extra vegetable. The leaves can be used as a spice or addition to salads, soups and hot dishes. The leaves resemble dill in shape and have a very spicy taste. This leaf herb goes well with chives in a herb curd. The scent of the leaf is a kind of combination of anise and carrot but its taste is quite bitter.

Five fun facts about mountain fennel

  1. Bearroot is sometimes also called meum.

Spread bear root

  1. Bearroot does not grow in the Netherlands and is rarely found in the Ardennes of Belgium, but all the more in the mountainous regions of Europe such as the Pyrenees, the Vosges, the Alps, Northern Spain, the Apennines, the Scottish highlands and the Balkans. The plant has been successfully introduced in Southern Norway. It particularly likes chalky soil and prefers to grow in wild grasslands and pastures.

Mountain fennel in the vegetable garden

  1. Mountain fennel does not occur in the Netherlands, but this edible and medicinal plant could grow in a vegetable garden in the Netherlands. This highly aromatic medicinal plant prefers moist soil and partial shade. Mountain fennel is sold in some garden centers. Mountain fennel likes to be next to a shrub or a tree. It is not a proliferating plant; it gives space to other plants. Mountain fennel blooms from May to August. You don't have to worry about this plant; it is an ideal plant for people who do not have much time to work in the vegetable garden. If the plants get too big, you can split them and move them to another spot, or give them to a friend who loves gardening. You can keep the seeds and grow them individually in a pot. The seeds should be sown as early as possible in the year, preferably when it is still cold. Growing a plant from seed is a slow process. Mountain fennel takes several years to have a beautiful full foliage.


  1. Essential oils are an important part of medicinal plants. According to Spanish research from 2004, mountain fennel contains the following essential oils: betaocimene, gamma terpinene, terpinolene and p-cymene. The Spanish researchers saw that mountain fennel in Spain has different proportions of essential oils than mountain fennel from France and Germany. This is a known fact. Any soil, environment and growing conditions give rise to changes in proportions of compositions of medicinal substances. It also contains coffee acid derivatives as active ingredients.

Dodoens about mountain fennel

  1. Rembert Dodoens, the pioneering herbal scientist from the Netherlands in the 17th century, described that in ancient Greece people already knew bear root. The ancient Romans used it, according to Pliny, for kidney problems; it can discharge excess fluid from the body, Dodoens described. It is also a warming agent that makes 'Cramps and rumbles' disappear in the stomach, as Dodoens noted in his Cruyde book that he published in 1644. It was also prescribed in his day to cure fevers and other ailments that mothers developed. Incidentally, Dodoens agreed with Galenus, a pioneer in medicine that the roots of mountain fennel should not be eaten too much because the heat emitted from them can cause head pain. [! 164700 => 1130 = 3688!] Traditional use in Europe

  1. In folk medicine, bear root is a medicine for menstrual problems and urinary tract disorders. It is a diuretic, which means that it is a diuretic. In addition, it is used for catthar, hysteria and stomach diseases, at least according to English herbal medicine. In the Middle Ages in Germany it was seen as a plant that is good for the bladder, urinary tract, liver and kidneys. It was used for dropsy or edema, jaundice, painful bowels and bladder stones. In the Black Forest in Germany, the cows eat a lot of mountain fennel, which gives the cheese from this milk an extra delicious taste. In Germany, there is the medicinal herbal honey called Bärwurzbirnenhonig. Literally this means: mountain fennel pear honey. It is made from honey from bees to which herbs such as mountain fennel have been added, mixed with a pear puree. Mountain fennel also has a healing effect on stomach ulcers, digestive problems and menstrual problems. Hildegard van Bingen wrote that mountain fennel was good for gout, but she is quite alone in this prescription.

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