Raw fennel has a pronounced
and distinct taste, close to anise or licorice. In olden times, fennel
has been used both as an appetite suppressant and digestive aid, to
counter witchcraft, as a culinary garnish, and varied medicinal uses.
Haras is a biennial plant with a thick rootstock, erect, much-branched, smooth, often 1 meter or more in height. Leaves are 2-, 3-, or 4-pinnate and about 20 centimeters long; the segments are filiform and 2 to 4 centimeters long. Umbels are 5 to 10 centimeters in diameter; the rays number 8 to 15, about 2 to 3 centimeters long, but longer in fruit, each with 20 to 30, pedicelled, yellow flowers. Fruit is ridged, very aromatic, oblong or ellipsoid, about 5 millimeters long. Seeds are somewhat dorsally compressed.
- Nowhere spontaneous.
- Native of Europe. Now cultivated in all warm countries.
• Considered analgesic,
anti-inflammatory, aromatic, emmenagogue, expectorant, hallucinogenic,
• Warming, carminative, stomachic, antispasmodic, antidepressant,
a weak diuretic, and a mild stimulant, galactagogue.
• Infused fruit considered
• Roots considered aperative and purgative.
• Shoots of young plants
considered carminative and respiratory.
• Considered energizing,
tranquilizing and anti-spasmodic.
• Fruit yields a volatile
oil, 2.9% to 6%, 50 to 60 % of which is anethol; fixed oil, 8.9%;
pectin, 1.3%; pentosan, 5.12%.
• The oil of fennel includes 50 - 60% nethol, also the chief constituent
of anise oil and 18-22 percent fenchone. (Rodale's Encyclopedia of Herbs)
Whole plant, roots, seeds,
oil of seed.
The fruit, seeds and young leaves are used for flavoring sweets,
dishes and dainties.
- The young leaves, raw or cooked, used as flavoring.
- The seeds have an anise-like flavor.
- In the Philippines, infused fruit is carminative.
- Roots employed as aperative; also as purgative.
Crushed fruit is inhaled to counter faintness.
- Infusion of fruit used for flatulence.
- Shoots of young plant used as carminative and respiratory.
- Juice of fruit used to improve eyesight.
- Decoction is gargled as a breath freshener or applied as an eyewash.
- Decoction of seeds help regulate menses.
- Used as diuretic and emmenagogue.
- Poultice has been used to relieve breast swelling in nursing mothers.
- Infusion of seeds used for stomatitis, abdominal cramps, colic, flatulence.
- Fennel water (aqua foeniculi) used for colic and flatulence in children.
- Hot infusion of fruit used for amenorrhea and suppressed lacteal secretion.
- Infusion of roots given for toothaches and postpartum pains.
- Hot infusion of roots given for amenorrhea
- Infusion of seeds used for flatulence in babies.
- Infusion of root used for urinary disorders.
- Oil used for flatulence.
- Oil of seeds used for intestinal deworming in 3-4 ml doses.
- Paste of seeds or fruit used in cooling drinks for fevers.
- Also used for increasing breast milk production, easing childbirth,
- Used to enhance libido.
- An ingredient of "gripe water" used for infantile colic.
- In Madras, fruits used for venereal diseases.
- In Mexico, decoction is
used as galactagogue.
- In Antilles, used as a
- Infusion of ground seeds as a steam facial.
- Used as mouthwash and toothpaste.
- Used in skin-care products.
- Anticellulite massage oil: In a dark bottle, 8 drops of fennel, 8 drops
of juniper, 10 drops of grapefruit, 5 tsps of sweet almond oil and 5
drops of jojoba oil; massage to affected area daily. (Illustrated
Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies: C. Norman Shealy, MD)
- Insect repellent.
- Crushed leaves used for dog fleas.
• Repellent: Mosquito repellent isolated from Foeniculum
vulgare fruit: The
fennel oil and E-9-octadecenoic acide are used as insect repellent components
due to its lack of human toxicity.
Colic: The effect of fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare) seed
oil emulsion in infantile colic: a randomized, placebo-controlled study:
Fennel seed oil has been shown to reduce intestinal spasms and increase
small intestinal motility – Study on fennel seed emulsion was
superior to placebo in decreasing intensity of infantile colic.
• Bronchodilator Effect: Relaxant
effect of Foeniculum vulgare on isolated Guinea pig tracheal chains:
Study showed bronchodilator
effects of the ethanol extract and essential oil from FV.
(1) Investigation of Hepatoprotective Effect of Foeniculum vulgare Fixed
Oil in Rats: The study indicates
that FV fixed oil has a potential hepatoprotective action against induced
liver fibrosis in rats. (2) Study showed Fv essential
oil has a potent hepatoprotective action against carbon tetrachloride-induced
hepatic damage in rats.
Study results suggest Foeniculum vulgare extract can be effective in
reducing the severity of dysmenorrhea.
Activity : Aqueous extract of Fv possess
significant oculohypotensive activity, comparable to timolol. Further
studies are warranted before Fv finds its place in the arsenal of antiglaucoma
Leaf and Seed Comparison:
Results of analysis of leaves and seeds of Fv showed the leaves contained
higher concentrations of fat and flavonoids whereas the seeds were higher
in saponins, protein, amino acids and other organic compounds.
The antioxidant potential of the herb might explain some of its empirical
uses in folk medicine. The study found the shoots to have the highest
radical-scavengiing activity and lipid-peroxidation capacity in agreement
with the highest phenolic and ascorbic acid contents in this part. The
shoots also showed a high concentration of tocopherols and were the
only part plants found to have flavonoids.
• Anti-Hirsutism / Toxicity Studies: Study found the fennel extract to be safe with no adverse effect in topical application and presents as a treatment of hirsutism.
The efficacy of treatment with cream containing 2% fennel is better than 1% fennel cream.
Pour a cup of boiling water into 1-2 tsp of crushed seeds; cover and
infuse for 10 minutes. For flatulence, take a cup, half an hour before
Capsules, fennel oil, capsules or teas in the cybermarket.