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While living in NYC I was invited to a celebratory event where I was seated at a table of people that either worked at a top end brokerage firm, or married to someone who did. This is going to be a long night, I remember thinking. Further into the evening, and after a great deal of wine and alcohol had been consumed, the conversation turned in a direction that I never expected, which was pooping. Furthermore, it was an all male conversation with me and a couple of other women listening in a state of amused awe and disbelief. The dialogue was centered around the ritual of rising very early each weekday morning to get to Starbuck’s, then to  the office so their brain clearing poop would not be interfered with, and their day could be started on track. Laughter, more laughter underscored by an underlying seriousness. This is not a conversation these people would have without being fully lit up. Lit up or not, the undeniable message was pooping and thinking are connected. These men were defending their morning ritual, and it was very clear that without that morning dump their day would be totally disrupted. Anyway, I totally related to what they were saying and I am pretty sure you can, too.


The second incident was with a woman who was a CEO of a international company. She had attained the kind of title and salary that our society deems successful.  This woman told me that she would give up all she had attained if she could just poop regularly and loose weight. No, I thought, that is not the answer. You would just have more fun doing what you do and life would be happier. Constipation is a burden in more ways than one.


Most of us do not talk to others about our bowel movements in a direct way, but in other ways we never stop talking and hearing about them. That may not make sense to you, but let me explain. So, if a person, maybe you or I, have a complaint about how we look and feel something can be done about it by improving our digestion and eliminations. Yes, we see commercials online, television, etcetera that show people finding gut relief and then soaring with happiness and freedom. That feeling is something most EVERYONE can relate to, and the reason why that behavior is front and center in these commercials. The glitch is that the products that are being sold to us do not get to the root of the problem. Why is that? Because underlying causes of long term constipation are years and decades in the making. This is not a one trick pony solution. There is something pretty serious going on when more water, fiber, fermented foods, probiotics, herbs, enemas, colonics, etcetera do not improve digestion and bowel function at all, or for more than a short period of time.


One thing I have noticed about myself and others is that when increasing water, fiber, herbs, etcetera do not produce long term relief there is a deeper, potentially more serious problem and stronger measures need to be taken. The message the body is sending is clear, that something needs to be addressed on a deeper level. There is an over abundance. or lack of something that keeps the body from eliminating regularly, and the Intestines are only part of this unsolved equation.


Again, when people get short term, very little, to no relief from herbs, intestinal cleanses, more fiber, water, gut massage, enemas, colonics, etcetera the need for a more potent solvent needs to be introduced. If any of this makes sense to you, then check out The Candida Cleanse and other information from Dr. Jennifer Daniels, MD. The level of success that people have with the advice Dr. Daniels gives is, in my experience,  is pretty unquestionable. Of course, how those results play out, in terms of response time, are unique to each person. If you are looking for some information to resolve the nagging daily suffering of poor digestion and elimination, Jennifer Daniels, MD may be there person that can help you.



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There is some information online about the medicinal properties, especially for digestion, of Fennel Seed and Star Anise that intersect with one another. It is also made clear that Fennel Seed and Star Anise are two different plants that have some distinctly different uses. This is information that is easy to find online. My experience is that Star Anise can be a  more potent digestive aid to take with, during, and after meals than is Fennel Seed. Even after having these positive results with Star Anise, I still depend on Ground Fennel Seed for smoother bowel function.

One stand out difference is that Star Anise has a more potent scent and taste. This may be a reflection of the amazing configuration of the flower that resembles a Starfish. It is a work of art in terms of its complexity of design. Fennel Seeds, like most seeds, are simple in appearance in their structure. My personal experience and taste tells me that a person can consume much more Fennel Seed than Star Anise without having any issues with loose bowels, etcetera.

The information that I have read directs people to make a tea from the Star Anise, but I decided to grind it in a mechanical – easy to use herb and spice grinder. Taking small doses, pinches to 1/8 tsp, with, during, and after meals yields immediate results. I find it especially helpful with meals after 2 pm. What kind of results? Well, food feels like it is absorbed and digested with no hint of acidity or indigestion of any kind. I do eat slowly and chew my food well, but depending on a few factors, I sometimes need extra help. I do take Cardamon and some other herbs and spices with my food, but I noticed immediate indigestion relief with the Star Anise. Again, Star Anise may be most helpful for inducing bowel function-peristalsis soon after eating. This is especially true for times when using Cider Vinegar or Sauerkraut Juice, as a digestive aid, has not been possible for me.

My personal experience tells me that ground Fennel Seeds are very helpful for healing the GI tract, reducing bloating and cramping, and helping to create a healthier gut in general. Consuming Fennel Seeds in larger amounts, tablespoons if necessary, has been helpful for the reasons I mentioned above. Fennel Seeds and Star Anise have similar tastes, and according to what I have read and experienced, are undeniably helpful for many digestive complaints. For immediate stomach help (acid reflux type of symptoms) Star Anise has been the most effective in much smaller doses than Fennel Seed. Compare the appearance, potency of taste, and aroma of each to experience the difference.