Also known as Sweet Fennel and Wild Fennel
History:Fennel was known as a medicinal herb in ancient China, India, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. According to Greek legend, man received knowledge from Mount Olympus in the form of a fiery coal enclosed in a stalk of fennel. During the Middle Ages, wealthy people routinely used it to seasoning their food due to its licorice like flavor. On the other hand, the poor used its ability as an appetite suppressant during days of fasting. The plant was originally introduced to North America by Spanish priests; however, the English also brought it to their early settlements in Virginia where it was a trade good with the Native Americans.
Modern Uses: The Commission E approved the internal use of fennel seed preparations for dyspepsias such as mild, spastic gastrointestinal afflictions, fullness, and flatulence. It is also approved for catarrh of the upper respiratory tract. Fennel syrup and fennel honey are used for catarrh of the upper respiratory tract in children.
In France, fennel seed is allowed the same indications for use as the star anise seed or aniseed. The German Standard License for infusion of fennel seed reports its use against flatulence and cramp-like pains in the gastrointestinal tract, especially in infants and small children, and to dissolve mucus in the respiratory tract. ESCOP lists fennel seed for dyspeptic complaints such as mild, spasmodic gastrointestinal complaints, bloating, and flatulence, for catarrh of the upper respiratory tract, and fennel syrup or fennel honey for catarrh of the upper respiratory tract in children.
Active Ingredients: anethole, fenchone, petroselinic acid, oleic acid, and tocopherols, limonene, camphor, alpha-pinene
Actions: Carminative, aromatic, anti-spasmodic, stimulant, galachtogogue, rubefacient, expectorant, anti-emetic, diaphoretic, hepatic