Fennel - Research
Scientists have studied the internal use of fennel in infant colic,8 and painful menstruation.9
The dried ripe fruit (or seed) and the oil that is obtained by steam distillation have similar medicinal applications. Both fennel seed and oil are approved by the German Commission E for stomach spasms, fullness, and gas, and for inflammation of the upper respiratory tract.4 In Europe, fennel syrup is approved for inflammation of the upper respiratory tract in children.5
The Chinese pharmacopoeia acknowledges the use of fennel in vomiting, diarrhea, and severe menstrual cramps.7
1 Leung AY., Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics. 2nd ed. New York: Wiley-Interscience; 1996.
2 Tanira MOM, Shah AH, Mohsin A, et al. Pharmacological and toxicological investigations on Foeniculum vulgare dried fruit extract in experimental animals. Phytother Res. 1996;10:33–6. Cited in: Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, editors. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council; Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.
3 DerMarderosian A, Beutler JA. The Review of Natural Products: The Most Complete Source of Natural Product Information. 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons; 2002.
4 Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, Gruenwald J, Hall T, Riggins CW, Rister RS, editors. Klein S, Rister RS, translators. The Complete German Commission E Monographs Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council; Boston: Integrative Medicine Communication; 1998.
5 ESCOP. “Foeniculi aetheroleum” and "Foeniculi fructus.” Monographs on the Medicinal Uses of Plant Drugs. Exeter, U.K.: European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy 1997.
6 Karnick CR. Pharmacopoeial Standards of Herbal Plants. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications; 1994.
7 Tu G, editor. Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China (English Edition) Beijing: Guangdong Science and Technology Press; 1992.
8 Alexandrovich I, Rakovitskaya O, Kolmo E, Sidorova T, Shushunov S. The effect of fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare) seed oil emulsion in infantile colic: a randomized, placebo-controlled study. Altern Ther Health Med. 2003 Jul-Aug;9(4):58-61.
9 Namavar-Jahromi B, Tartifizadeh A, Khabnadideh S. Comparison of fennel and mefenamic acid for the treatment of primary dysmonorrhea. Int-J-Gynaecol-Obstet. 2003 Feb;80(2): 153-157.