Foeniculum vulgare

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Related to Foeniculum vulgare: sweet fennel




(trade name),


(trade name),

Foeniculum vulgare

(trade name),

Foeniculum officinale

(trade name),

Foeniculum capillaceum

(trade name),

Anethum foeniculum

(trade name)


Therapeutic: antispasmodics
GI tract spasticity, flatulence or bloating, anorexiaexpectorant and cough suppressantenhance lactation and promote menstruation


Fennel contains volatile oils which may promote GI motility and have antispasmodic effects, reduce upper respiratory tract secretions and increase mucociliatory activity. May have estrogenic effects.

Therapeutic effects

Relief from GI discomfort.


Absorption: Unknown.
Distribution: Unknown.
Metabolism and Excretion: Unknown.
Half-life: Unknown.

Time/action profile

PO, Topicalunknownunknownunknown


Contraindicated in: Allergy to carrot, celery, mugwort or other members of the Apiaceae family; Obstetric: Pregnancy and lactation.
Use Cautiously in: Hormone-dependent cancers, such as breast, uterine, and ovarian, as well as other conditions, such as endometriosis and uterine fibroids, due to possible estrogenic effects; Fennel oil should not be consumed for more thantwo weeks). Alcohol-containing products should be used cautiously in patients with known intolerance or liver disease.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects


  • photosensitivity


ciprofloxacin bioavailability by 50%; space administration times.Alcohol -containing preparations may interact with disulfiram and metronidazole.May interfere with effects of oral contraceptives, estrogens, andtamoxifen.None known.
Oral (Adults) Tea—steep 1–2 g dried fruit or seed in 150 mL boiling water and strain. One cup tea QD-TID; Tincture—5–7.5 g per day; Oil—0.1–0.6 mL per day. Fennel oil should not be consumed for more than 2 wk.


Tea: OTC
Dried fruit/seed: OTC
Tincture: OTC
Oil: OTC

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Assess frequency and nature of cough and consistency and color of sputum. Unless contraindicated encourage fluid intake of 1500–2000 mL per day to decrease viscosity of secretions and facilitate expectoration.
  • Assess appetite, flatulence, and bowel elimination before and during therapy.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Acute pain (Indications)
Ineffective airway clearance (Indications)
Deficient knowledge, related to medication regimen (Patient/Family Teaching)


  • May be administered without regard for food intake.
  • Do not take for longer than 2 wk.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patients that grow this herb not to confuse it with Hemlock, which may be fatal if ingested.
  • Inform patients that there is insufficient information to recommend use of this herbal supplement.
  • Advise patients not to use this herb for longer than 2 wk.
  • Caution patients to use sunscreen and protective clothing to prevent photosensitivity reactions.
  • Advise female patients to avoid use of fennel if pregnancy is planned or suspected.
  • Inform patients that the long term risks of this herb are not known.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Improved appetite and decrease in intestinal discomfort.
  • Decrease in intensity and frequency of cough without suppression in cough reflex.
  • Regular menstrual flow.


A perennial herb that contains fixed oils (e.g., oleic, linoleic and petroselenic acids), flavonoids, vitamins and volatile oils (e.g., anethole, estragole, limonene and pinene).
Chinese medicine
The seeds are regarded as antispasmodic, antitussive, diuretic, expectorant and tonic, and used for colic, dyspepsia, hernias, nausea and vomiting. 

Herbal medicine
In Western herbal medicine, fennel is regarded as a carminative; the seeds and roots are used to treat tired eyes, gastric discomfort, kidney stones, to increase breast milk and to stimulate the appetite; other uses are similar to those in Chinese herbal medicine.

Foeniculum vulgare,

n See fennel.
References in periodicals archive ?
Antidepressant activity of methanolic extract of Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) fruits in experimental animal models.
Extracellular matrix; ERK, Extracellular signal-regulated kinase; FV, Foeniculum vulgare Mill; LDH, Lactate dehydrogenase; MAPK, Mitogen activated protein kinases; MMPs, Matrix metalloproteinases; NF-[kappa]b, nuclear factor-[kappa]B; NHDFs, Normal human fibroblasts; Nrf2.
Beneficial effects of Foeniculum vulgare on ethanol-induced acute gastric mucosal injury in rats.
19 species: Centella asiatica, Convolvulus pluricaulis, Celastrus paniculatus, Balsamodedron mukul, Ocimum sanctum, Nardostachys jatamansi, Piper longum, Carum copticum, Zingiber officinalis, Cyperus rotundus, Acorus calamus, Embelia ribes, Syzygium aromaticum, Santalum album, Elettaria cardamomum, Foeniculum vulgare, Rosa damascena, Cinnamomum cassia, Crocus sativus.
foeniculus and Aphis coreopsidis on their host plants Foeniculum vulgare and Bidens pilosa, respectively.
Assim, neste trabalho, buscou-se determinar a atividade antimicrobiana e a curva de morte termoquimica das bacterias, empregandose solucoes desinfetantes dos oleos essenciais de Thymus vulgaris (tomilho), Elettaria cardamomum (cardamomo), Eugenia caryophyllus (cravo da india), Foeniculum vulgare dulce (funcho doce) sobre Eschericha coli, Salmonella enterica Enteritidis e Staphylococcus aureus.
piperita, Verbena officinalis, Pelargonium capitatum, Rosa centifolia, Potentilla anserina, Cuminum cyminum, Foeniculum vulgare, Pimpinella anisum, Santolina rosmarinifolia and Carum carvi.
Foeniculum vulgare is grown both as a monoculture and intercropped with other plant species of commercial interest in the northeast of Brazil (Ferreira & Silva 2004; Carvalho et al.