phytochemicals Phytochemicals

More plants with phytochemicals



Foeniculum vulgare

What is fennel?

Fennel is a robust perennial with a height up to 1,5 m. The bright green stems are cylindrical and very smooth. Fennel forms typical sheaths at the base of the stems. The leaves are finely divided. The light-yellow flowers are small and are born in flat umbels. The odour of fennel seed is very strong and typical. The taste of the fennel seeds is sweet and anise-like.

Parts used

The sheaths of the fennel leaves are eaten as vegetable. Dried fruits and the essential oil are used for therapeutic use. Sometimes the fennel roots are used.


These are typical phytochemicals found in fennel: phenylprpanoids, anethole, fenchone, rutin, flavonoids, quercetin, limonene, kaempferol.

Benefits of fennel

Fennel has aromatic and carminative properties. Tea made from the fennel seeds is used to ease flatulence of infants and is used by women to ease menopause symptoms. Syrup made from fennel juice or the fennel seeds are used to treat chronic coughs and catarrh. Fennel is used externally to treat conjunctivitis and skin problems. An infusion of fennel seeds is used as eyewash.
Fennel has traditionally be used by nursing mothers to stimulate the milk production. The phytochemicals in the fennel are passed to the baby and give a soothing action.
Extract from fennel roots has diuretic properties and reduces water retention.
Fennels oil containing high levels of the toxic estragol should not be used.

Other facts

Fennel originates from the Mediterranean region. Fennel is now cultivated worldwide, mainly in France, Russia and India.

Other names

Fenkel, sweet fennel

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