Saturday, December 6, 2008

Foeniculum vulgare GAERTN.

Family : Apiaceae

Synonym(s) : Foeniculum officinale (All.) Foeniculum capillaceum Gil. ,Anethum foeniculum, Linn., Meum foeniculum, Spreng., Foeniculum sativum, Bertol., Foeniculum panmorium, DC., Foeniculum dulce. DC.

English Name : Fennel or Sweet Fennel

Origin : Mediterranean to Asian parts


It has a thick, perennial root-stock, stout stems, 4 to 5 feet or more in height, erect and cylindrical, bright green and so smooth as to seem polished, much branched bearing leaves cut into the very finest of segments. The bright golden flowers, produced in large, flat terminal umbels, with from thirteen to twenty rays.


Assam, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and hilly areas of southern India; sandy and chalky soils of England, as well as other parts of Europe; Mediterranean, Persia, Asia Minor and southern Russia.

Parts Used : Fruit, seed, leaf and root

Herb Effects

The essential oil is bactericidal, carminative and stimulant; expectorant and antiinflammatory (fruit); laxative and antispasmodic (root); antimicrobial (essential fruit oil); carminative (leaf and fruit); oxytocic and abortifacient (essential seed oil).

Active Ingredients

Anethol (main compound), methyl chavicol, D-alpha-fenchone, D-apinene, D-alpha-phellandrene, camphene, dipentene and foeniculin (P-anol prenyl ether) (fruit oil); flavonoids (seed, leaf and fruit); a nisic acid, anisaldehyde, bergapten, grandivitin.

Medicinal Use

Spleen, kidney and chest diseases, gastrointestinal problems, eye and eyelid inflammations and medicine for cattle (fruit); colic (of infants) and kills hookworm (oil); as an emmenagogue, edema, rheumatism and asthma (essential seed oil).


1 tsp of crushed drug (fruit)/cup boiling water consumed slowly 3 times per day (enteric).
Tincture: 2-4 ml taken three times per day.


People with a history of alcoholism, hepatitis, or liver disease avoid this herb. Pregnant or lactating women, as well as anyone with an estrogen-dependent cancer, should avoid fennel in large quantities until the importance of its estrogen-like activity is clarified.


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