Ann Complement Altern Med | Volume 1, Issue 1 | Review Article | Open Access

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.): A Common Spice with Unique Medicinal Properties

Akbar S

Department of Pharmacology, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia

*Correspondance to: Shahid Akbar 

Fulltext PDF


Introduction: Foeniculum vulgare is a perennial, aromatic plant belonging to Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family. The fruits, commonly referred to as seeds, are ridged, aromatic and oblong or ellipsoid shaped. Originally indigenous to the Mediterranean region, it has now been naturalized and cultivated throughout the world and is universally known as fennel and by more than 100 other names. The dried fruits and aerial parts have widely been used since ancient times in culinary and traditional folk medicines in many cultures around the world. It was well-known to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese. Hippocrates and Dioscorides described it as a diuretic and Emmenagogue and to strengthen eyesight. The fruits are reputed as carminative, stomachic, diuretic, Emmenagogue and Galactagogue and to promote menstruation and facilitate birth. Photochemical and Pharmacological Studies: Fennel fruits contain carbohydrates, alkaloids, Phytosterols, phenols, tannins and flavonoids. They are also a rich source of dietary fiber, protein, calcium, iron, magnesium and manganese. Pharmacologically, the fruits possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, diuretic, antihypertensive, antimicrobial, Gastro protective, estrogenic, Hepatoprotective and antithrombotic activities. Discussion and
Conclusion: This article reviews the use of fennel in medical practices in various parts of the world and reflects upon the scientific studies conducted and how they reconcile with its traditional uses. The clinical studies in small number of patients revealed several clinical effects but are not sufficiently wide ranging and have not been reproduced in numbers that would make them conclusive. Randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trials would establish the clinical usefulness of fennel in a scientific manner


Foeniculum Vulgare; Anethole; Fenchone; Estragole


Akbar S. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.): A Common Spice with Unique Medicinal Properties. Ann Complement Altern Med. 2018; 1(1): 1001.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter