Foeniculum vulgare L.
Botanical Name: Foeniculum vulgare L.
Synonyms: Foeniculum vulgare var. sativum C. Presl
Family: Apiaceae / Umbellifarae
Species: F. vulgare
Local Name: Saunf
Sindhi Name: Wadaf
English Name: Fennel
Part Used: Whole plant
F. vulgare is erect and glabrous herb. Leaves are strongly scented when rubbed. Flowers are yellow in compound. Fruit is oblong. Seeds are flattened.1
F. vulgare is native to the Mediterranean region.2 It is also cultivated in India, Argentina, China, Indonesia, Russia, and Japan. In Pakistan, it is found in Punjab province.3
Anethole is the major constituent of F. vulgare. Other constituents include fenchone, anisic aldehyde, anisic acid, alpha pinene, beta pinene, beta myrcene, camphene, dipentene, estragole (methyl-chavicol), limonene, phellandrene, p-cymen, and safrole. 4,5,6,7
Medicinal Uses and Pharmacological/Scientific Studies
Seeds of F. vulgare is used for the treatment of glaucoma and hypertension.8 It has been reported that tea made from its seeds is used against snake bites, insect bites, and for food poisoning.9 Leaves possessed diuretic properties. Roots are purgative in nature.1 Fruit is used for the treatment of various skin diseases.2 F. vulgare is used for the treatment of amenorrhea, angina, asthma, anxiety, depression, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, kidneys, spleen, liver, lungs, and respiratory diseases.9 It has been reported that essential oil from the seed possessed antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, antispasmodic, oxytoxic, and abortifacient properties.2
- Baquar, S. R. (1989). “Medicinal and Poisonous Plant of Pakistan”, p: 208, Printas Karachi, Pakistan, First Edition.
- Khare, C.P. (2007). “Indian Medicinal Plants”, p: 271, Springer Science Publication, New York, U.S.A.
- Zahid, N. Y., Abbasi, N. A., Hafiz, I. A., and Ahmad, Z. (2009). “Genetic Diversity of Indigenous Fennel, (Foeniculum vulgare Mill) Germplasm in Pakistan Assessed By RAPD Markers.Pakistan Journal of Botany, 41(4). p: 1759-1767.
- Ali, M. (2007). “Textbook of Pharmacognosy”, p: 176-177, CBS Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi, India, Second
- Shahat, A. A., Ibrahim, A. Y., Hendawy, S. F., Omer, E. A., Hammouda, F. M., Abdel-Rahman, F. H., and Saleh, M. A. (2011). “Chemical Composition, Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activities of Essential Oils from Organically Cultivated Fennel Cultivars”.Molecules, 16(2). p:1366-1377.
- Thomas, S. C. Li. (2000). “Medicinal Plants: Culture, Utilization and Phytopharmacology”, p: 20, CRC Press, Boca Raton, London, New York, Washington, D.C.
- Rather, M. A., Dar, B. A., Sofi, S. N., Bhat, B. A., and Qurishi, M. A. (2012). “Foeniculum vulgare: A Comprehensive Review of Its Traditional Use, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology, and Safety.Arabian Journal of Chemistry.